Category Archives: Social

Uber fires up its own traffic estimates to fuel demand beyond cars

If the whole map is red and it’s a short ride, maybe you’d prefer taking an Uber JUMP Bike instead of an UberX. Or at least if you do end up stuck bumper-to-bumper, the warning could make you less likely to get mad mid-ride and take it out on the driver’s rating. This week TechCrunch spotted Uber overlaying blue, yellow, and red traffic condition bars on your route map before you hail. Responding to TechCrunch’s inquiry, Uber confirmed that traffic estimates have been quietly testing for riders on […]

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HQ Trivia nabs Target to sponsor game with biggest ever single winner prize of $100K

HQ Trivia is aiming to attract more players following a slight decline in downloads with a new, large prize. The company announced today it has bagged Target to sponsor to sponsor a special Emmy-themed game featuring its biggest-ever single winner prize of $100,000. The game will air on Monday, September 17 at 9 PM ET, but will be played in a different fashion than usual. Typically, HQ Trivia players compete to win or split a cash prize, which often doesn’t amount to much more than enough for a […]

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Meet SelfieCircus and 8 more in Snapchat’s new startup accelerator

Snapchat is hedging its bets as its social network shrinks. Today Snap Inc. revealed the first class of its startup accelerator called Yellow that offers $150,000 in funding and creativity-centric business education in exchange for what a source says is a seven to 10 percent equity stake — in line with other accelerators like Y Combinator. The nine companies will take up a three-month residency in one of Snap’s buildings in Venice, Calif., near Los Angeles. The accelerator class ranges from augmented reality and journalism studios to […]

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Bumble launches Snooze button to pause dating for a digital detox

Bumble doesn’t want you to delete your account when you get into a relationship, go on vacation, or just need a break from your phone. So today it’s launching a Snooze button that lets you stop showing up to people swiping through potential matches for a day, three, a week, or indefinitely. You’ll also get to select an away message like “I’m traveling”, “I’m on a digital detox”, “I’m focusing on work”, or “I’m prioritizing myself” that will show up with existing matches you’re chatting with. The […]

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Coinbase acquires Distributed Systems to build ‘Login with Coinbase’

Coinbase wants to be Facebook Connect for crypto. The blockchain giant plans to develop “Login with Coinbase” or a similar identity platform for decentralized app developers to make it much easier for users to sign up and connect their crypto wallets. To fuel that platform, today Coinbase announced it has acquired Distributed Systems, a startup founded in 2015 that was building an identity standard for dApps called the Clear Protocol. The five-person Distributed Systems team and its technology will join Coinbase. Three of the team members will […]

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HQ Trivia downloads spiral downward as it hits Apple TV

HQ Trivia’s app store ranking has continued to sink the past three months, but it’s hoping a new version on your television could revitalize growth. HQ today launched an Apple TV app that lets users play the twice-daily live quiz game alongside iOS Android players. “Everything about the game is still the same – same questions, same time, same rules,” says a spokesperson, except you’ll play with the Apple TV remote instead of your phone’s screen. But that might not be enough to get HQ’s player count […]

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Facebook buys Vidpresso’s team and tech to make video interactive

Zombie-like passive consumption of static video is both unhealthy for viewers and undifferentiated for the tech giants that power it. That’s set Facebook on a mission to make video interactive, full of conversation with broadcasters and fellow viewers. It’s racing against Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to become where people watch together and don’t feel like asocial slugs afterward. That’s why Facebook today told TechCrunch that it’s acqui-hired Vidpresso, buying its seven-person team and its technology but not the company itself. The six-year-old Utah startup works with […]

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Openbook is the latest dream of a digital life beyond Facebook

As tech’s social giants wrestle with antisocial demons that appear to be both an emergent property of their platform power, and a consequence of specific leadership and values failures (evident as they publicly fail to enforce even the standards they claim to have), there are still people dreaming of a better way. Of social networking beyond outrage-fuelled adtech giants like Facebook and Twitter. There have been many such attempts to build a ‘better’ social network of course. Most have ended in the deadpool. A few are still around with […]

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MessageBird offers single API for customer comms across WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger and more

MessageBird, the Amsterdam-based cloud communications platform backed by Accel in the U.S. and Europe’s Atomico, is unveiling a new product today that aims to make it easier for enterprises to communicate with customers across various channels of their choosing. Dubbed “Programmable Conversations” (yes, really!), the product takes the form of a single API that unifies customer interactions across multiple channels into a single conversation thread. Out of the box these include WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Line, Telegram, SMS and voice interactions. The idea is that by providing […]

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Chilling effects

The removal of conspiracy enthusiast content by InfoWars brings us to an interesting and important point in the history of online discourse. The current form of Internet content distribution has made it a broadcast medium akin to television or radio. Apps distribute our cat pics, our workouts, and our YouTube rants to specific audiences of followers, audiences that were nearly impossible to monetize in the early days of the Internet but, thanks to gullible marketing managers, can be sold as influencer media. The source of all of this […]

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