11 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

Before we take off for the long weekend, check out the best stories from the past week (8/23-8/29).

  1. After months of rumors suggesting that Google was prepped to snatch up Twitch, Amazon ended up dropping the money to make this deal happen. Alex Wilhelm originally reported the news for TechCrunch, but Kyle Russell offered some critical analysis about how Amazon’s acquisition is too big too fail. Although Amazon spent $970M (1/5 of its cash) on the deal, this acquisition makes a ton of sense.
  2. This is the founding story of Lyft. The founders came from very different backgrounds, and they originally had completely different goals. Did you know that the first items they bought after their first round of funding were beaver and frog mascot costumes? Speaking of Lyft, did you know that Uber gave contractors burner phones and credit cards to create fake Lyft accounts and recruit drivers?
  3. There’s been a lot of chatter about Burning Man and the tech elites over the past week. Josh Constine wrote a wonderful piece last Friday about how the tech elites aren’t ruining Burning Man. Josh argues, “it may take a little extra air conditioning at first, but if they don’t flaunt their money and bring home some of the ideals, that seems like a net win for the human race.” Alexia Tsotsis also offers insight into the press’ coverage of the event, suggesting that “networking is networking, whether you’re exchanging business cards or ecstasy.” The founders of Burning Man have even admitted that the festival has jumped the shark, but they feel that it’s okay because it’s the natural way these things evolve. On a side note, HBO’s Silicon Valley could go to Burning Man next season.
  4. The Coolest Cooler has dethroned Pebble. This fancy cooler is the now most funded Kickstarter of all time.
  5. Facebook made some changes to its algorithm. The biggest of these changes is that they are cracking down on clickbait. I’m very curious to see how this affects some publishers in the near future.
  6. Snapchat is raising a new round from KPCB at a $10B valuation.
  7. Instagram launched a intriguing new app called Hyperlapse. The app gives you the ability to make professional looking timelapse videos. For the full experience, check out our video of the new app.
  8. Many users have had access to Twitter’s tuned-up analytics for a long time, but this week they made the suite available to all users. Now you can see how many people actually viewed your tweets.
  9. Social media is not living up to its promise of being an online outlet for discussion that mirrors our communications and conversations that take place in the offline world. In fact, people are less willing to discuss important issues on social media, than they are in real life.
  10. If you’re an advertiser on Facebook, now you can target by bandwidth.
  11. This is why PC sales are up, and tablet sales are down.

As a bonus, check out this 3D-printed “bump key” that can open almost any lock. To wrap things up, take a look at our gallery on the brief history of BuzzFeed.

Enjoy the long weekend, and be sure to look over the Disrupt agenda if you plan on attending.