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Facebook to test new business discovery features in US News Feed

Facebook announced this morning it will begin testing a new experience for discovering businesses in its News Feed in the U.S. When live, users tap on topics they’re interested in underneath posts and ads in their News Feed in order to explore related content from businesses. The change comes at a time when Facebook has been arguing how Apple’s App...

Social audio startup Stationhead looks beyond music as it hits 100K monthly active users

When I’ve written about Stationhead in the past, I’ve focused on how the startup aims to bring the personality and interactivity of a live radio broadcast to streaming music. But CEO Ryan Star said his ambitions are broader now: “We’re going to be the largest social audio platform in the world.” The startup says it’s growing quickly, with 100,000 monthly...

Feels is a new dating app with profiles that look more personal

Meet Feels, a new French startup that wants to change how dating apps work. According to the company, scrolling through photos and reading descriptions tend to be a boring experience. Feels want to improve profiles so that navigating the app feels more like watching TikTok videos or browsing stories. “For the past 10 years, there’s been little innovation...

TikTok funds first episodic public health series ‘VIRAL’ from NowThis

TikTok is taking another step toward directly funding publishers’ content with today’s announcement that it’s financially backing the production of media publisher NowThis’ new series, “VIRAL,” which will feature interviews with public health experts and a live Q&A session focused on answering questions about the pandemic. The partnership represents...

Google denies Pixel 5a 5G cancelation, confirming it’s coming this year

Sometimes you’ve just got to confirm an unannounced product to put the rumors to bed, I guess. That was Google’s strategy this afternoon, following earlier rumors from Android Central that a chip shortage had put the kibosh on the mid-budget phone. In a comment to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson noted, “Pixel 5a 5G is not cancelled. It will be available...

Quiq acquires Snaps to create a combined customer messaging platform

At first glance, Quiq and Snaps might sound like similar startups — they both help businesses talk to their customers via text messaging and other messaging apps. But Snaps CEO Christian Brucculeri said “there’s almost no overlap in what we do” and that the companies are “almost complete complements.” That’s why Quiq (based in Bozeman, Montana) is...

Spotify stays quiet about launch of its voice command ‘Hey Spotify’ on mobile

In 2019, Spotify began testing a hardware device for automobile owners it lovingly dubbed “Car Thing,” which allowed Spotify Premium users to play music and podcasts using voice commands that began with “Hey, Spotify.” Last year, Spotify began developing a similar voice integration into its mobile app. Now, access to the “Hey Spotify” voice feature...

Apple shares more details about its imminent App Tracking Transparency feature

Apple is sharing more details today about its upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature, which will allow users to control, on an app-by-app level, whether their data is shared for ad-targeting purposes. In a sense, anyone using the current version of iOS can see App Tracking Transparency in action, since iOS already includes a Tracking menu in the...

Signal tests payments in the UK using MobileCoin

Encrypted chat app Signal is adding payments to the services it provides, a long-expected move and one the company is taking its time on. A U.K.-only beta program will allow users to trade the cryptocurrency MobileCoin quickly, easily, and most importantly, privately. If you’re in the U.K., or have some way to appear to be, you’ll notice a new Signal...

LG’s exit from the smartphone market comes as no surprise

For those who follow the space, LG will be remembered fondly as a smartphone trailblazer. For a decade-and-a-half, the company was a major player in the Android category and a driving force behind a number of innovations that have since become standard. Perhaps the most notable story is that of the LG Prada. Announced a month before the first iPhone,...

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