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First we SPAC, then we take down AWS

The plan is simple: First, we create a knockoff of a popular digital service. Second, we cry political persecution. Third, we raise a bunch of money with a SPAC. And then, we take on AWS.

Facebook Messenger is testing a new ‘Split Payments’ feature in the US

Facebook Messenger announced today that it’s starting to test out a new “Split Payments” feature that introduces a way for users to share the cost of bills and expenses through the a

Square’s Better.com name Block is Butter-y smooth

Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. It’s Friday, which means the whole crew was aboard for th

Meta’s NPE team takes a global focus with seed-stage investments, offices in emerging markets

Meta’s (formerly, Facebook’s) experimental app division, the NPE team, is shifting gears. The group, which first launched in mid-2019, has been focused on building consumer-facing apps tha

EU warns adtech giants over ‘legal tricks’ as it moots changes to centralize privacy oversight

The European Commission has given its clearest signal yet that it’s prepared to intervene over weak enforcement of the EU’s data protection rules against big tech. Today the bloc’s e

Social app IRL makes its first acquisition with deal for digital nutrition company AeBeZe Labs

IRL, the SoftBank-backed social app and recent unicorn, is today announcing its first acquisition. The company is purchasing, for an undisclosed sum, the “digital nutrition” company AeBeZe

Playground launches in beta to help creators cultivate community

Launching today in beta, Playground is a social platform that seeks to help people discover and develop community while empowering creators to monetize their audience. For now, the beta is open to se

Here’s what’s happening today at the iMerit ML DataOps Summit 2021

And we’re off to the data races! Yes, today iMerit ML DataOps Summit 2021 dives deep into the data science solutions that power artificial intelligence and machine learning. It’s shaping up to be

Facebook is making two-factor mandatory for high-risk accounts

Facebook, a recently added subsidiary of Meta, said it will make two-factor authentication (2FA) mandatory for high-risk accounts likely to be targeted by malicious hackers. The move is part of a majo

Meta explains its approach to user safety following delayed rollout of end-to-end encryption

Meta (formerly Facebook) recently announced its plans to delay the rollout of end-to-end encryption* across its messaging service until sometime in 2023, citing concerns from child safety advocates wh

TikTok adds creator monetization features, including tips and video gifts

TikTok is today introducing new ways for its creators to make money from their content. While already, the short-form video platform allowed creators to accept virtual gifts from fans during TikTok LI

Facebook’s top crypto executive David Marcus is leaving the company

Facebook parent company Meta is losing its top crypto executive later this year. David Marcus who leads crypto unit Novi and previously helmed the company’s Messenger unit, announced Tuesday tha

UK’s antitrust watchdog orders Facebook to sell Giphy

In a significant push against Big Tech’s ability to maintain market dominance through sheer buying power, the U.K.’s competition watchdog has ordered Facebook (now Meta) to reverse its acq

3 views on Jack Dorsey’s decision to step down as Twitter’s CEO

After a fun chat about Jack Dorsey's decision on Equity, we hashed out our views about the value of founders who remain in leadership long after their companies have reached maturity.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will talk Section 230 reform with Congress this week

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will go before Congress again this week, this time offering her unique perspective on the company’s moderation and policy failures as they relate to Section

Europe offers tepid set of political ads transparency rules

It’s been almost a year since the EU’s executive announced it would propose rules for political ads transparency in response to concern about online microtargeting and big data techniques

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri will testify before the Senate on teen mental health

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri will testify before the Senate for the first time as part of a series of hearings about online safety for children and teens. Per The New York Times, Mosseri’s hea

European Parliament’s IMCO backs limits on tech giants’ ability to run tracking ads

In what looks like bad news for adtech giants like Facebook and Google, MEPs in the European Parliament have voted for tougher restrictions on how internet users’ data can be combined for ad tar

Dent Reality raises $3.4M to bring augmented reality into the grocery store

Despite Apple and Facebook investing billions into a “metaverse” future, in recent years there’s been a distinct drop-off in venture deals for startups focused on finding opportuniti

Facebook’s lead EU privacy supervisor hit with corruption complaint

Facebook’s problems with European privacy law could be about to get a whole lot worse. But ahead of what may soon be a major (and long overdue) regulatory showdown over the legality of its surve
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