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 […]

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 adds a ‘Payout Time Bonus’ to help retain bug bounty hunters

When it comes to bug bounties, Facebook lags behind the likes of Microsoft and Google in terms of overall payouts and volume of tips received: last year, Microsoft and Google respectively paid out $13.6 million and $6.7 million; Facebook meanwhile paid out just $1.98 million as of November. But on the other hand, Facebook’s a […]

Facebook’s newsletter platform Bulletin is now live

The cool new thing on Facebook is for Mark Zuckerberg to drop product news in live audio rooms. So today, Zuckerberg took to his brand’s Clubhouse competitor to announce its next new thing: Bulletin, a newsletter platform. Bulletin is built on a separate platform from Facebook — on its website, the FAQ states that this is […]

Adtech ‘data breach’ GDPR complaint is headed to court in EU

New York-based IAB Tech Labs, a standards body for the digital advertising industry, is being taken to court in Germany by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in a piece of privacy litigation that’s targeted at the high-speed online ad auction process known as real-time bidding (RTB). While that may sound pretty obscure, the […]

In latest Big Tech antitrust push, Germany’s FCO eyes Google News Showcase fine print

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s very active competition authority, isn’t letting the grass grow under new powers it gained this year to tackle Big Tech: The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has just announced a third proceeding against Google. The FCO’s latest competition probe looks very interesting, as it’s targeting Google News Showcase — Google’s relatively recently launched […]

Google hires former SiriusXM CPO/CTO to lead its Maps team

Almost exactly a year ago, Google announced a couple of leadership changes that saw Prabhakar Raghavan, who joined the company back in 2012, take over the lead of Search, Assistant and Maps. Now, sources familiar with the hiring tell us, the company has hired Christopher Phillips, who was previously the chief product and technology officer […]

Substack acquires team from community consulting startup People & Company

New media poster child Substack announced today that they’ve added a small community-building consultancy team to its ranks, acquiring the Brooklyn-based startup People & Company. The small firm has been working with clients to build up their community efforts, and its team will now be tasked with building up some of the newsletter company’s upstart […]

Facebook launches Neighborhoods, a Nextdoor clone

Facebook is launching a new section of its app designed to connect neighbors and curate neighborhood-level news. The new feature, predictably called Neighborhoods, is available now in Canada and will be rolling out soon for U.S. users to test. As we reported previously, Neighborhoods has technically been around since at least October of last year, […]

For Trump and Facebook, judgment day is around the corner

Facebook unceremoniously confiscated Trump’s biggest social media megaphone months ago, but the former president might be poised to snatch it back. Facebook’s Oversight Board, an external Supreme Court-like policy decision making group, will either restore Trump’s Facebook privileges or banish him forever on Wednesday. Whatever happens, it’s a huge moment for Facebook’s nascent experiment in […]