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This Week in Apps: Apple launches a COVID-19 app, the outbreak’s impact on social and video apps and more

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 saw a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s […]

It’s still easy to find coronavirus mask ads on Facebook

Ads for face masks are still appearing on Facebook, Instagram and Google, according to a review of the platforms carried out by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP). This despite pledges by the platforms that they would stamp out ads which seek to profit from the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook said on […]

The future of collectibles is digital

Ryoma Ito Contributor Share on Twitter Ryoma Ito is co-founder of MakersPlace, a community empowering the world’s digital creators. In prior roles, he co-founded a B2B e-commerce subscription business servicing 100k+ online merchants, was VP of Product at Specialdeals and was employee No. 1 at two venture-backed startups, one of […]

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People who mostly get news from social networks have some COVID-19 misconceptions

A new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center shows a COVID-19 information divide between people who mostly get their news from social networks and those who rely on more traditional news sources. Pew surveyed 8,914 adults in the U.S. during the week of March 10, dividing survey respondents by […]

Snapchat’s Zenly launches coronavirus Stay Home leaderboard

Snapchat’s location sharing app acquisition Zenly has gamified shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 outbreak. Today the app launched its Stay At Home challenge that shows a leaderboard of which friends have spent the most percentage of the last three days in their homes. Users can see who’s social distancing the best […]

The best video chat apps to turn social distancing into distant socializing

The vicissitudes of social distancing have taken many people by surprise, making video calls a new necessity for distant socializing. But which of the two-dozen apps out there should you and your (perhaps not as tech-savvy) friends and family use? Here are our recommendations, whether it’s for a coffee meeting, […]

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With kids and adults staying at home, are virtual worlds ready for primetime?

We’ve been diligently following the development of virtual worlds, also known as the “metaverse,” on TechCrunch. Hanging out within the virtual worlds of games has become more popular in recent years with the growth of platforms like Roblox and open-world games like Fortnite, but it still isn’t a mainstream way […]

Under quarantine, media is actually social

The flood of status symbol content into Instagram Stories has run dry. No one is going out and doing anything cool right now, and if they are, they should be shamed for it. Beyond sharing video chat happy hour screenshots and quarantine dinner concoctions, our piece-by-piece biographies have ground to […]

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Twitter prioritizes blue-check verifications to confirm experts on COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus

At long last, here’s an actually useful purpose for Twitter’s blue-check verification mark: Twitter last night announced that it is mobilising the badge system to help surface and signal more authoritative and verified voices that can provide “credible updates” on the topic of the coronavirus, and made a general call […]

Instagram founder launches gift card site for quarantined restaurants

Coronavirus quarantines are hurting local businesses, but Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger wants to help them keep revenue rolling in. Krieger and his wife Kaitlyn this week launched SaveOurFaves, a directory of Bay Area restaurants selling gift certificates to offset lost income amidst ‘shelter in place’ orders across the region. Users […]