BigBrain aims to bring live mobile trivia back to glory

If you ask Nik Bonaddio why he wanted to build a new mobile trivia app, his answer is simple. “In my life, I’ve got very few true passions: I love trivia and I love sports,” Bonaddio told me. “I’ve already started a sports company, so I’ve got to start a trivia company.” He isn’t kidding […]

Apple expands its ad business with a new App Store ad slot

At the same time as it’s cracking down on the advertising businesses run by rivals, Apple is introducing a new way for developers to advertise on the App Store. Previously, developers could promote their apps after users initiated a search on the App Store by targeting specific keywords. For example, if you typed in “taxi,” […]

Instagram adds a captions option for Stories and soon, Reels

Instagram is making its video Stories and Reels more accessible with the launch of a new “captions sticker” that will allow users to watch without having the sound on. The addition will not only make it easier for users who are hard of hearing or deaf to engage with video content, it also offers a […]

Twitter acquires distraction-free reading service Scroll to beef up its subscription product

Twitter this morning announced it’s acquiring Scroll, a subscription service that offers readers a better way to read through long-form content on the web, by removing ads and other website clutter that can slow down the experience. The service will become a part of Twitter’s larger plans to invest in subscriptions, the company says, and […]

Sony announces investment and partnership with Discord to bring the chat app to PlayStation

Sony and Discord have announced a partnership that will integrate the latter’s popular gaming-focused chat app with PlayStation’s own built-in social tools. It’s a big move and a fairly surprising one given how recently acquisition talks were in the air — Sony appears to have offered a better deal than Microsoft, taking an undisclosed minority […]

Epic Games buys artist community ArtStation, drops commissions to 12%

One the same day as Fortnite maker Epic Games goes to trial with one of the biggest legal challenges to the App Store’s business model to date, it has simultaneously announced the acquisition of the artist portfolio community ArtStation — and immediately lowered the commissions on sales. Now standard creators on ArtStation will see the […]

Facebook rolls out vaccine finder tool in India, donates $10 million

Facebook has announced a $10 million grant to support emergency response efforts in India and has rolled out its Vaccine Finder tool in the country as the South Asian nation grapples with the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The American social network said that it has partnered with a number of organizations including United […]

Rapchat tunes into $2.3M as its music-making app hits 7M users

YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook’s Instagram have upended the film and TV industries, with a new wave of cinematographers, directors and actors leveraging innovations in technology to create new work and connect directly with billions of consumers to see it. Today, a startup is announcing some funding as it looks to make a similar […]

Digital comics startup Madefire is shutting down

R.I.P. Madefire, a startup that recruited high-profile artists to reinvent comics for new formats and platforms. An announcement on the Madefire website states the company entered into “an assignment of benefit for creditors” (explained as “a state-level insolvency proceeding similar to bankruptcy”) earlier this month, which was then reported this morning in The Beat. As […]

Instagram Live takes on Clubhouse with options to mute and turn off the video

In addition to Facebook’s Clubhouse competitor built within Messenger Rooms and its experiments with a Clubhouse-like Q&A platform on the web, the company is now leveraging yet another of its largest products to take on the Clubhouse threat: Instagram Live. Today, Instagram announced it’s adding new features that will allow users to mute their microphones […]