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First major GDPR decisions looming on Twitter and Facebook

The lead data regulator for much of big tech in Europe is moving inexorably towards issuing its first major cross-border GDPR decision — saying today it’s submitted a draft decision related to Twitter’s business to its fellow EU watchdogs for review. “The draft decision focusses on whether Twitter International Company […]

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Instagram Lite shuts down in advance of a relaunch

Instagram Lite, the two-year-old version of the Instagram app aimed at emerging markets, has quietly disappeared. The previously highly ranked app vanished from the Google Play charts on April 13 in the countries where it was active, including Kenya, Mexico, Peru and the Philippines. Existing Instagram Lite users have been […]

Facebook and Instagram add new features to help you find and support local businesses

Facebook is announcing a handful of new features that will allow users to show their support for small businesses and get the latest updates as those businesses deal with the fallout — economic and otherwise — of the COVID-19 pandemic. The social network is introducing a new section called Businesses […]

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This Week in Apps: Zoom gets busted, TikTok’s new record, contact tracing API launches

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in […]

Instagram ‘pods’ game the algorithm by coordinating likes and comments on millions of posts

Researchers at NYU have identified hundreds of groups of Instagram users, some with thousands of members, that systematically exchange likes and comments in order to game the service’s algorithms and boost visibility. In the process, they also trained machine learning agents to identify whether a post has been juiced in […]

TikTok tops 2 billion downloads

TikTok, the widely popular video sharing app developed by one of the world’s most valued startups (ByteDance), continues to grow rapidly despite suspicion from the U.S. as more people look for ways to keep themselves entertained amid the coronavirus pandemic. The global app and its Chinese version, called Douyin, have […]

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Facebook launches drop-in video chat Rooms to rival Houseparty

Facebook is co-opting some of the top video chat innovations like Zoom’s gallery view for large groups and Houseparty’s spontaneous hangouts for a new feature called Rooms. It could usher in a new era of unplanned togetherness via video. Launching today on mobile and desktop, you can start a video […]

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Coronavirus could push consumers away from influencers and toward streaming TV

Jay Prasad Contributor Share on Twitter Jay Prasad is chief strategy officer for LiveRamp TV, a data-connectivity platform leveraged by brands and their partners to deliver exceptional experiences. As the nation struggles with a pandemic and economic uncertainty, fundamental shifts in consumer habits are leading marketers to rethink existing strategies […]

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Facebook and Instagram will now show location of posts from high-reach accounts targeting US audiences

Facebook today is introducing another feature aimed at making it easier to see who’s behind the posts published across Facebook and Instagram. The company says it will now display the location of the Facebook Page or Instagram account with a large audience on every post it shares, so end users […]

Instagram founders launch COVID-19 spread tracker Rt.live

Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have teamed up to launch their first product together since leaving the Facebook mothership. Rt.live is an up-to-date tracker of how fast COVID-19 is spreading in each state. “Rt” measures the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person. The […]