Openbook is the latest dream of a digital life beyond Facebook – TechCrunch

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As tech’s social giants wrestle with antisocial demons that appear to be both an emergent property of their platform power, and a consequence of specific leadership and values failures (evident as they publicly fail to enforce even the standards they claim to have), there are still people dreaming of a better way. Of social networking beyond outrage-fuelled
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Founder Zain Jaffer may be looking to take back control of Vungle – TechCrunch

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Zain Jaffer may be gearing up for a fight to take back control of Vungle, the mobile ad company he founded. Jaffer was removed from his role as CEO last fall following his arrest on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and performing a lewd act on a child. However, a San Mateo County
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Google slowly lifting ban on addiction center ads after adding vetting process – TechCrunch

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Google will now allow ads to run on addiction-related keywords and phrases after a nearly year-long ban instituted to crack down on shady providers cashing in on vulnerable patients. A small group of providers vetted by a third party have been approved by the company to appear in results for searches like “help quitting pills”
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Short video service Musical.ly is merging into sister app TikTok – TechCrunch

Comments Off on Short video service Musical.ly is merging into sister app TikTok – TechCrunch

Musical.ly, the short video app that’s popular among teens and young people, is going away. Kinda. The app and all user data and accounts is being merged with Tiktok, a sister app that’s owned by ByteDance, the Chinese company that acquired Musical.ly for around $1 billion last year. The switch-over happens today (Thursday) and it should
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WhatsApp finally earns money by charging businesses for slow replies – TechCrunch

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Today WhatsApp launches its first revenue-generating enterprise product and the only way it currently makes money directly from its app. The WhatsApp Business API is launching to let businesses respond to messages from users for free for up to 24 hours, but will charge them a fixed rate by country per message sent after that.
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Fake news inquiry calls for social media levy to defend democracy – TechCrunch

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A UK parliamentary committee which has been running a multi-month investigation into the impact of online disinformation on political campaigning — and on democracy itself — has published a preliminary report highlighting what it describes as “significant concerns” over the risks to “shared values and the integrity of our democratic institutions”. It’s calling for “urgent
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Why unskippable Stories ads could revive Facebook – TechCrunch

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Prepare for the invasion of the unskippables. If the Stories social media slideshow format is the future of mobile TV, it’s going to end up with commercials. Users won’t love them. And done wrong they could pester people away from spending so much time watching what friends do day-to-day. But there’s no way Facebook and
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Facebook finally hands over leave campaign Brexit ads – TechCrunch

Comments Off on Facebook finally hands over leave campaign Brexit ads – TechCrunch

The UK parliament has provided another telling glimpse behind the curtain of Facebook’s unregulated ad platform by publishing data on scores of pro-Brexit adverts which it distributed to UK voters during the 2016 referendum on European Union membership. The ads were run on behalf of several vote leave campaigns who paid a third company to
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