TechCrunch’s Top 10 investigative reports from 2019

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Despite bans, Giphy still hosts self-harm, hate speech and child sex abuse content

Image search engine Giphy bills itself as providing a “fun and safe way” to search and create animated GIFs. But despite its ban on illicit content, the site is littered with self-harm and child sex abuse imagery, TechCrunch has learned. A new report from Israeli online child protection startup L1ght — previously AntiToxin Technologies — […]

Lightspeed’s Jeremy Liew is on the hunt for always-on media startups

Perhaps best known for a career-making seed investment in Snapchat, Lightspeed partner Jeremy Liew is a leading investor across media and entertainment, making bets on startups like Cheddar, Giphy, HQ, SpecialGuest, Mic, Beme, Playdom, Duta and Flixster. I spoke to him earlier this week about how he assesses the market for media startups, which led […]

Instagram launches Create mode with On This Day throwbacks

Instagram has finally turned Throwback Thursday into an official feature. It’s part of the new Instagram “Create” mode that launches today in Stories, bringing the app beyond the camera. Create makes Instagram a more omni-purpose social network with the flexibility to adapt to a broader range of content formats. For now, the highlight of Create […]

Sperm storage startups are raising millions

A number of startups are bringing technology and innovation to the fertility industry, with a growing few focused specifically on male fertility. “Society at large doesn’t understand the subject of fertility,” Tom Smith, the co-founder and chief executive officer of men’s sperm storage startup Dadi tells TechCrunch. “People see it as a female issue.” Dadi […]

WeWork backs New York tech clubhouse Betaworks Studios

Betaworks Studios, the brainchild of New York City seed-stage venture capital fund Betaworks, has amassed the support of WeWork, or The We Company, as they now call themselves. JLL Spark Ventures and the co-working giant have led co-led a $4.4 million investment in the membership-based co-working club described as a supportive community for builders. Launched […]

Gfycat ramps up its focus on game clips and highlights as it hits 180M monthly users

Gfycat is already a pretty popular host for lots of content like short clips from shows and movies, but there’s also a pretty substantial store of content centered around gaming — which is why the company is starting to put some extra focus on it. Gfycat, which is centered around creator tools to make those […]

Instagram reenables GIF sharing after GIPHY promises no more racism

A racial slur GIF slipped into GIPHY’s sticker library earlier this month, prompting Instagram and Snapchat to drop their GIPHY integrations. Now Instagram is reactivating after GIPHY confirmed its reviewed its GIF library four times and will preemptively review any new GIFs it adds. Snapchat said it had nothing to share right now about whether […]

Google is acquiring GIF platform Tenor

Google will be acquiring Tenor, which powers a variety of GIF keyboards on phones and messengers like Facebook Messenger, the companies announced today. Tenor will continue to operate as a separate brand within Google, the company said in a blog post. Tenor has increasingly positioned itself as a search company, using that as a metric […]

Gfycat looks to be a hub of content for AR experience development

If all goes well, some GIF creators may start seeing their GIFs show up in augmented reality experiences, based on a new deal that’s happening with Gfycat this morning. Gfycat said it would be working with a company called Metaverse that, like many tools of its kind, is looking to make it easier to build […]