Amazon Spark, the retailer’s two-year-old Instagram competitor, has shut down

Amazon’s two-year-old Instagram competitor, Amazon Spark, is no more. Hoping to capitalize on the social shopping trend and tap into the power of online influencers, Amazon in 2017 launched its own take on Instagram with a shoppable feed of stories and photos aimed at Prime members. The experiment known as Amazon Spark has now come […]

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Calendar influencers? Event social network IRL raises $8M

Why is there no app where you can follow party animals, concert snobs, or conference butterflies for their curated suggestions of events? That’s the next phase of social calendar app IRL that’s launching today on iOS to help you make and discuss plans with friends or discover nearby happenings to fill out your schedule. The […]

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Facebook backs social commerce startup Meesho in first India investment

As Facebook explores ways to generate revenue from WhatsApp, the company is now turning to a startup that already has a lead. The social juggernaut said today it has invested in social-commerce startup Meesho in what is the first time the firm takes equity in an Indian startup. Neither Facebook nor Meesho, which prior to […]

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Facebook collected device data on 187,000 users using banned snooping app

Facebook obtained personal and sensitive device data on about 187,000 users of its now-defunct Research app, which Apple banned earlier this year after the app violated its rules. The social media giant said in a letter to Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s office — which TechCrunch obtained — that it collected data on 31,000 users in the […]

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Facebook’s Blood Donations feature arrives in U.S., will alert donors in times of need

Facebook today is expanding its set of features focused on blood donations. The company since 2017 has been working with blood donation centers worldwide who have been able to use the platform to reach potential donors and then reach out to them in times of need. Now, Facebook is bringing its Blood Donations feature to […]

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Fortnite maker Epic acquires social video app Houseparty

What does a gaming company do after raising $1.25 billion? Acquisitions seem like a pretty good place to start. Epic Games — of Unreal Engine and the ridiculously successful Fortnite phenomenon — has has just picked up Houseparty. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The social video app announced the news via blog post […]

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WhatsApp is finally going after outside firms that are abusing its platform

WhatsApp has so far relied on past dealings with bad players within its platform to ramp up its efforts to curtail spam and other automated behavior. The Facebook -owned giant has now announced an additional step it plans to take beginning later this year to improve the health of its messaging service: going after those […]

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Facebook’s new Study app pays adults for data after teen scandal

Facebook shut down its Research and Onavo programs after TechCrunch exposed how the company paid teenagers for root access to their phones to gain market data on competitors. Now Facebook is relaunching its paid market research program, but this time with principles — namely transparency, fair compensation, and safety. The goal? To find out what other […]

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Shazam for Android now recognizes music played through headphones

Shazam, the Apple-owned app that helps users identify songs playing around them, can now recognize songs you’re listening to through your headphones when using an Android phone or tablet. Acquired by Apple for $400 million last year, the company introduced a feature called ‘Pop-Up Shazam’ to its Android app this week that, when enabled, works […]

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