Substack doubles down on uncensored ‘free speech’ with acquisition of Letter

Substack announced last week that it acquired Letter, a platform that encourages written dialogue and debate. The financials of the deal weren’t disclosed, but this acquisition follows Substack’s recent $65 million raise. Newsletters are all the rage — Facebook launched its exclusive, celeb-studded Bulletin platform last month, and Twitter acquired the newsletter startup Revue earlier […]

Yat thinks emoji ‘identities’ can be a thing, and it has $20M in sales to back it up

I learned about Yat in April, when a friend sent our group chat a link to a story about how the key emoji sold as an “internet identity” for $425,000. “I hate the universe,” she texted. Sure, the universe would be better if people with a spare $425,000 spent it on mutual aid or something, […]

Duolingo’s bellwether IPO

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We were a smaller team this week, with Natasha and Alex together with Chris to sort through yet another summer frenzy of a week. This time around we actually recorded live on Twitter Spaces, which was a first for the […]

Jack Dorsey says bitcoin will be a big part of Twitter’s future

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed to investors that bitcoin will be a “big part” of the company’s future, as he sees opportunities to integrate the cryptocurrency into existing Twitter products and services, including commerce, subscriptions and other new additions like the Twitter Tip Jar and Super Follows. Dorsey has been a staunch bitcoin advocate for […]

Trouble in fandom paradise: Tumblr users lash out against its beta subscription feature

The Tumblr community often refers to itself as the Wild West of the internet, and they’re not wrong. A text post with over 70,000 notes puts it best: “Tumblr is my favorite social media site because this place is literally uninhabitable for celebrities. No verification system, no algorithm that boosts their posts, it’s a completely […]

Facebook onboards another 31 newsletter writers on Bulletin

Late last month, Facebook announced Bulletin, its newsletter platform. Unlike Substack, Medium and other competitors, Bulletin hand-picks its writers to curate a more controlled platform, with stars ranging from Mitch Albom, whose book “Tuesdays with Morrie” continues to break hearts in seventh grade English classes, to Queer Eye’s Tan France, who taught a generation of […]

Equity Monday: Cybersecurity startups see deluge of capital as Microsoft looks to buy RiskIQ

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You […]

Twitter appoints resident grievance officer in India to comply with new internet rules

Twitter has appointed a resident grievance officer in India days after the American social media firm said to have lost the liability protection on user-generated content in the South Asian nation over non-compliance with local IT rules. On Sunday, Twitter identified Vinay Prakash as its new resident grievance officer and shared a way to contact […]

Evernote quietly disappeared from an anti-surveillance lobbying group’s website

In 2013, eight tech companies were accused of funneling their users’ data to the U.S. National Security Agency under the so-called PRISM program, according to highly classified government documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Six months later, the tech companies formed a coalition under the name Reform Government Surveillance, which as the name would […]

Twitter shares its ideas around new privacy features, including a way to hide your account from searches

Twitter today has shared a few more ideas it’s thinking about in terms of new features around conversation health and privacy. This includes a one-stop “privacy check-in” feature that would introduce Twitter’s newer conversation controls options to users, and others that would allow people to be more private on the service, or to more easily […]