Daily Crunch: Twitter tests ephemeral Fleets

Twitter tries out its own version of the popular Stories format, a court orders Otto’s founder to pay a big fine to Google and electric skateboard company Boosted makes cuts. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 5, 2020.

1. Twitter starts testing its own version of Stories, called ‘Fleets,’ which disappear after 24 hours

Twitter is testing a new sharing format called “Fleets,” starting in Brazil, which will let users post ephemeral content to its social network for the first time. Unlike Tweets, Twitter’s new Fleets can’t receive Likes, Replies or Retweets. And they’ll disappear entirely after 24 hours.

To be clear, Fleets are publicly viewable, but they’re a little less accessible. You could visit someone’s public Twitter profile and tap to view their Fleets even if you don’t follow them. But their Fleet won’t circulate Twitter’s network, show up in Search or Moments and it can’t be embedded on an external website.

2. Anthony Levandowski ordered to pay $179M to Google

An arbitration panel ruled in December that Levandowski and Lior Ron had engaged in unfair competition and breached their contract with Google when they left the company to start a rival autonomous vehicle company focused on trucking, called Otto. (Uber acquired Otto in 2017.) On Wednesday, a San Francisco County court confirmed the panel’s decision.

3. Boosted lays off ‘a significant portion’ of its team as it looks for a buyer

Boosted — the company behind Boosted Boards and the Boosted Rev electric scooter — attributes the layoffs to the costs of developing, producing and maintaining electric vehicles and the “unplanned challenge with the high expense of the US-China tariff war.”

4. 5G is now live in 24 markets, GSMA predicts it’ll be 20% of global connections by 2025 — and eyes a big tech break-up

The next-gen flavor of mobile connectivity, 5G, is now live in 24 markets globally, according to industry group GSMA’s annual state of the global mobile economy report.

5. Despite earnings beat and upbeat forecast, Zoom shares fall after reporting Q4 results

Zoom came in ahead of both current-quarter expectations and full-fiscal-year anticipation. Why did the share price go down, given all of that? Perhaps investors expected an even more impressive beat? Or an even more impressive forecast? (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Hailo raises $60M Series B for its AI chips

What makes the Hailo chip stand out is its innovative architecture, which can automatically adapt resources to best run its users’ custom neural networks. With this, the chip doesn’t just run faster — it’s also far more energy efficient.

7. Judge rejects Tulsi Gabbard’s ‘free speech’ lawsuit against Google

Last July, Hawaii representative and longshot Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of violating her First Amendment rights to free speech when it briefly suspended her campaign’s ad account. On Wednesday, California’s Central District Court rejected the suit outright.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.