Google’s News Initiative heads to APAC with grants of up to $300K for media orgs

Google is expanding its efforts to support media to Asia-Pacific after the search giant brought its Google News Initiative to the region. Known as GNI, the program is designed to “help quality journalism thrive in the digital age” by providing grants (i.e. cash without equity) to media organizations that are judged to have potential. The initiative […]

YouTube VR finally lands on the Oculus Go

Today, Google’s YouTube VR app arrives on the $199 Oculus Go, bringing to Facebook’s entry-level VR device the largest library of VR content on the web. YouTube brings plenty of content in conventional and more immersive video types. It’s undoubtedly the biggest single hub of 360 content and native formats like VR180, though offering access […]

Facebook Portal needs more. At least it just added YouTube

To offset the creepiness of having Facebook’s camera and microphone in your house, its new Portal video chat gadget needs best-in-class software.  Its hardware is remarkably well done, plus Messenger and the photo frame feature work great. But its third-party app platform was pretty skimpy when the device launched this week. Facebook is increasingly relying […]

Quizlet hits 50M monthly users

Most students in the U.S. have used or at least heard of Quizlet, the website for creating digital flashcards. The company leverages machine learning to predict in which areas its users need the most help and provides 300 million user-generated study decks, maps, charts and other tools for learning. Roughly eight months after closing a […]

Startups are giving writers and filmmakers more ways to make it in Hollywood

On May 11, Netflix released the teen dramedy “The Kissing Booth” just as the school year was wrapping up for teens across the country. By June, the company had a smash hit among the tweenage set, and Wattpad, the company that owned the rights to the The Kissing Booth, had its first true breakout vehicle. The […]

It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been burgeoning awareness of the hate speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While activists have pressured these companies to improve their content moderation, few groups (outside of the German government) have outright sued the platforms for their actions. That’s because of a […]

For IGTV, Instagram needs slow to mean steady

Instagram has never truly failed at anything, but judging by modest initial view counts, IGTV could get stuck with a reputation as an abandoned theater if the company isn’t careful. It’s no flop, but the long-form video hub certainly isn’t an instant hit like Instagram Stories. Two months after that launched in 2016, Instagram was […]

Facebook also removes 4 Infowars videos, including one it previously cleared

Days after defending its decision to give a voice to conspiracy theory peddler Alex Jones and his Infowars site, Facebook has removed four of his videos for violating its community standards. But one of the four had already been allowed to slip through the firm’s review system. A source within Facebook told TechCrunch that one of […]

Dems and GOP unite, slamming Facebook for allowing violent Pages

In a rare moment of agreement, members of the House Judiciary Committee from both major political parties agreed that Facebook needed to take down Pages that bullied shooting survivors or called for more violence. The hearing regarding social media filtering practices saw policy staffers from Facebook, Google and Twitter answering questions, though Facebook absorbed the […]

Reminder: Other people’s lives are not fodder for your feeds

#PlaneBae You should cringe when you read that hashtag. Because it’s a reminder that people are being socially engineered by technology platforms to objectify and spy on each other for voyeuristic pleasure and profit. The short version of the story attached to the cringeworthy hashtag is this: Earlier this month an individual, called Rosey Blair, […]