Week in Review: Snapchat beats a dead horse

Hey. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about how Netflix might have some rough times ahead as […]

Instagram says growth hackers are behind spate of fake Stories views

If you use Instagram and have noticed a bunch of strangers watching your Stories in recent months — accounts that don’t follow you and seem to be Russian — well, you’re not alone. Nor are you being primed for a Russian disinformation campaign. At least, probably not. But you’re right to smell a fake. TechCrunch’s […]

Facebook’s AR dev toolkit exits closed beta on Instagram

Not one to let Face App and Snapchat steal its spotlight, Facebook announced today that it’s opening its closed beta of Spark AR on Instagram, letting any developer build and share an augmented reality filter on the platform. The company announced this change was coming at its F8 keynote earlier this year. Phone-based AR isn’t […]

Automattic’s bargain-bin Tumblr deal plugs right into the WordPress business model

Tumblr has been a millstone around the neck of its owners, first Yahoo and later Oath and Verizon Media, pretty much since it was acquired in 2013. They never found an answer to the question that new owner Automattic is presumably about to take a crack at: how to make this unruly erstwhile porn factory […]

Week in Review: Netflix’s big problem and Apple’s thinnest product yet

Hey. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about the Capital One breach and how Equifax taught us […]

Most EU cookie ‘consent’ notices are meaningless or manipulative, study finds

New research into how European consumers interact with the cookie consent mechanisms which have proliferated since a major update to the bloc’s online privacy rules last year casts an unflattering light on widespread manipulation of a system that’s supposed to protect consumer rights. As Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May […]

Reports say White House has drafted an order putting the FCC in charge of monitoring social media

In the executive order, the White House says it received more than 15,000 complaints about censorship by the technology platforms. The order also includes an offer to share the complaints with the Federal Trade Commission. As part of the order, the Federal Trade Commission would be required to open a public complaint docket and coordinate […]

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 […]

Instagram ad partner secretly sucked up and tracked millions of users’ locations and stories

Hyp3r, an apparently trusted marketing partner of Facebook and Instagram, has been secretly collecting and storing location and other data on millions of users, against the policies of the social networks, Business Insider reported today. It’s hard to see how it could do this for years without intervention by the platforms except if the latter […]

Instagram and Facebook are experiencing outages

Users reported issues with Instagram and Facebook Sunday morning. [Update as of 12:45 p.m. pacific] Facebook says the outage affecting its apps has been resolved. “Earlier today some people may have had trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps due to a networking issue. We have resolved the issue and are fully back up, we apologize […]