Archive for TECHCRUNCH.COM

New Instagram features flag potentially offensive comments, allow you to quietly ‘restrict’ users

Instagram announced two new features today that it said are designed to combat online bullying.

In both cases, the Facebook -owned service seems to be trying to find ways to limit bad behavior without outright blocking posts or banning users.

“We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves,” wrote Instagram head Adam Mosseri in the announcement. “Today we’re announcing one new feature…

Facebook will start taking a cut of fan subscriptions in 2020

Facebook will take a cut of up to 30% on fan subscriptions, beginning on January 1, 2020.

The social network is revealing its plans as part of a broader slate of monetization-related announcements this week at VidCon. The news confirms a TechCrunch report earlier this year that Facebook would be taking a 30% share of subscription revenue.

Facebook first started rolling out fan subscriptions in early 2018, allowing creators to charge their fans $4.99 per month in exchange for access to…

Snapchat announces new shows from Serena Williams, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others

Snapchat just announced that it’s making shows with big names like Serena Williams, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin Hart, as well as online stars like Emma Chamberlain, Loren Gray, Rickey Thompson, Baby Ariel and FaZe Banks.

Snapchat launched its original content efforts two years ago, and today it’s unveiling a new program called Creator Shows. As initially announced in the Hollywood Reporter, these will be first-person shows designed around individual creators.

For example,…

Bumble chief responds to reports of misconduct at parent company

Update 4:30pm PT: “The responses are designed to obfuscate and deflect from the facts as borne out by the rigorous reporting,” a Forbes spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We stand by our reporting 100 percent.”

Following an extensive report in Forbes about Bumble’s parent company and its billionaire founder Andrey Andreev, the female-first dating app’s founder Whitney Wolfe Herd has issued a statement.

While Wolfe Herd says she was “mortified by the allegations” and “saddened…

Twitter updates hate speech rules to include dehumanizing speech around religion

Against a backdrop of rising violence against religious minorities around the world, Twitter today said that it would update its hateful conduct rules to include dehumanizing speech against religious groups.

“After months of conversations and feedback from the public, external experts and our own teams, we’re expanding our rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion,” the company wrote on its Twitter Safety blog.

The company…

Facebook tries to make ad targeting explanations more useful

Facebook has been adding new tools to provide more transparency about why users are seeing certain ads and content (and what they can do about it), but in a blog post today, Product Manager Sreethu Thulasi wrote, “We heard feedback from people that they can still be hard to understand and difficult to navigate.”

To address that, the company said it’s making two changes. First, when you select the “Why am I seeing this ad?” option on an advertisement, you’ll get more info:

In the…

SEC approves 1st consumer RegA+ token Props for cross-app rewards

After cracking down on ICOs, the SEC just okayed the first two RegA+ tokens that offer an alternative way for anyone to gain a financial stake in a company, even unaccredited investors. Blockstack got approved for a $28 million digital token sale to raise money, while influencer live-streaming app YouNow’s spin-off Props received a formal green light for a consumer utility “Howey” token users can earn to get loyalty perks in multiple apps.

Props has already raised $21 million by…

New Google Area 120 project Shoelace aims to connect people around shared interests

A new project from Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120, aims to help people find things to do and others who share your same interests. Through a new app called Shoelace — a name designed to make you think of tying things together — users can browse through a set of hand-picked activities, or add their own to a map. For example, someone who wanted to connect with fellow dog owners could start an activity for a doggie playdate at the park, then start a group chat to coordinate the…

Twitter will start testing its ‘hide replies’ feature next week, in Canada

Twitter users are getting more control over which comments are visible in the conversations they start.

The company has been testing and talking about this feature since earlier this year, but starting next week, Twitter will actually roll it out to users in Canada.

As you can see in the GIF below, when you’re looking at replies to your tweets, you’ll be able to select any of them and hit the “hide reply” option. However, as the name implies, these posts won’t be fully removed…