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Signal and Telegram are also growing in China – for now - techcrunch

Signal and Telegram are also growing in China – for now

As fears over WhatsApp’s privacy policies send millions of users in the West to Signal and Telegram, the two encrypted apps are also seeing a slight user uptick in China, where WeChat has long dominated and the government has a tight grip on online communication. Following WhatsApp’s pop-up notification reminding users that it shares their […]
techcrunch - 12 minutes ago
Virgin Orbit reaches orbit for the first time - techcrunch

Virgin Orbit reaches orbit for the first time

Virgin Orbit launched its LauncherOne rocket to orbit for the first time today, with a successful demonstration mission that carried a handful of satellites and will attempt to deliver them to low Earth orbit on behalf of NASA. It’s a crucial milestone for the small satellite launch company, and the first time the company has […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
GitHub’s head of HR resigns in light of termination of Jewish employee - techcrunch

GitHub’s head of HR resigns in light of termination of Jewish employee

A GitHub internal investigation has revealed the company made “significant errors of judgment and procedure” in the firing of the Jewish employee who cautioned his coworkers about the presence of Nazis in the DC area on the day of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In a blog post today, GitHub COO Erica Brescia said the […]
techcrunch - 11 hours ago
Original Content podcast: Martin Scorsese and Fran Lebowitz have a good time in ‘Pretend It’s A City’ - techcrunch

Original Content podcast: Martin Scorsese and Fran Lebowitz have a good time in ‘Pretend It’s A City’

The concept behind the new Netflix documentary series “Pretend It’s A City” is pretty straightforward: Author Fran Lebowitz talks, while Martin Scorsese (who’s both director and an on-camera presence) listens and laughs. Lebowitz’s musings across seven episodes are organized by loose themes, such as “Metropolitan Transit” and “Library Services,” with the more recent footage interspersed […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Checkout wants to be Rapyd and Fast - techcrunch

Checkout wants to be Rapyd and Fast

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We’re back on this lovely Saturday with a bonus episode! Again! There is enough going on that to avoid failing to bring you stuff that we think matters, we are back yet again for more. This time around we […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Facebook blocks new events around DC and state capitols - techcrunch

Facebook blocks new events around DC and state capitols

As a precaution against coordinated violence as the US approaches President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Facebook announced a few new measures it’s putting in place. In a blog post and tweets from Facebook Policy Communications Director Andy Stone, the company explained that it would block any events slated to happen near the White House, the U.S. […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
GitLab raises $195M in secondary funding on $6B valuation - techcrunch

GitLab raises $195M in secondary funding on $6B valuation

GitLab has confirmed with TechCrunch that it raised a $195 million secondary round on a $6 billion valuation. CNBC broke the story earlier today. The company’s impressive valuation comes after its most recent 2019 Series E in which it raised $268 million on a 2.75 billion valuation, an increase of $3.25 billion in under 18 […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
The pandemic was top of mind in the tech of CES 2021 - techcrunch

The pandemic was top of mind in the tech of CES 2021

Of course COVID-19 was bound to be an unavoidable topic during the first-ever all-virtual CES. After all, the topic is at front of mind regardless of the topic these days. Close to a year into the pandemic, presenters still understandably feel obligated to address the always-present elephant in the room. Sometimes it was as simple […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Daily Crunch: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash

WhatsApp delays enforcement of a controversial privacy change, Apple may get rid of the Touch Bar in future MacBooks and Bumble files to go public. This is your Daily Crunch for January 15, 2021. The big story: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash Earlier this month, WhatsApp sent users a notification asking them to consent to […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Marc Lore leaves Walmart a little over four years after selling Jet.com for $3B - techcrunch

Marc Lore leaves Walmart a little over four years after selling Jet.com for $3B

Marc Lore, the executive vice president, president and CEO of U.S. e-commerce for Walmart, is stepping down a little over four years after selling his e-commerce company Jet.com to the country’s largest retailer for $3 billion. Lore’s tenure at the company was a mixed bag. Walmart instituted several new technology initiatives under Lore’s tenure, but […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Coinbase commits to a “better customer experience” following complaints - techcrunch

Coinbase commits to a “better customer experience” following complaints

Coinbase has a problem. As interest in bitcoin has soared along with its price, the popular cryptocurrency exchange has found itself the target of a growing spate of angry customers who haven’t been able to access customer service. A quick look at Twitter tells the story. As ranted one upset user of the service just […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
15 steps to fundraising a new VC or private equity fund - techcrunch

15 steps to fundraising a new VC or private equity fund

Based on my experience, taking the 15 steps below will help build the core of a high-performing fundraising and investor relations function.
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Lessons from Top Hat’s acquisition spree - techcrunch

Lessons from Top Hat’s acquisition spree

Top Hat, a startup that digitizes textbooks and turns them into an interactive experience for college students, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired yet another business: Fountainhead Press. The acquisition marks Top Hat’s third scoop of a publishing company in the past 12 months. Top Hat’s whole business proposition is a subtweet to Zoom […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Group Nine’s SPAC goes public - techcrunch

Group Nine’s SPAC goes public

Group Nine Media revealed last month that it was forming a SPAC (short for special purpose acquisition corporation) in order to raise money for acquisitions. The company has now moved forward with those plans, announcing last night that it had priced the SPAC’s IPO at $10 per unit, to raise a total of $200 million. […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Apple is extending Apple TV+ trials again - techcrunch

Apple is extending Apple TV+ trials again

If you’ve got an Apple TV+ trial that’s set to expire sometime between now and June, good news: you’re getting some free bonus time. Apple TV+ first launched in November of 2019, alongside a one-year free trial for anyone buying a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac. As those initial trials approached […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Desktop Metal buys fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC for $300M - techcrunch

Desktop Metal buys fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC for $300M

Desktop Metal this morning announced its intention to purchase fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC. Founded in Germany in 2002, EnvisionTEC specializes in photopolymer additive manufacturing, putting its technology in more direct competition with the likes of 3D printing darling Carbon than Desktop Metal’s own existing portfolio. The deal follows Desktop Metal’s push to go public […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
WhatsApp delays enforcement of privacy terms by 3 months, following backlash - techcrunch

WhatsApp delays enforcement of privacy terms by 3 months, following backlash

WhatsApp said on Friday that it won’t enforce its new data-sharing policy until May 15, weeks after news about the new terms created confusion among its users, exposed the Facebook-app to a potential lawsuit, launched a nationwide investigation, and drove a lot of its loyal fans to explore alternative messaging apps. “We’re now moving back […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson says wisdom lies with your developers - techcrunch

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson says wisdom lies with your developers

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson knows a thing or two about unleashing developers. His company has garnered a market cap of almost $60 billion by creating a set of tools to make it easy for programmers to insert a whole host of communications functionality into an application with a couple of lines of code. Given that […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Tracy Chou launches Block Party to combat online harassment and abuse - techcrunch

Tracy Chou launches Block Party to combat online harassment and abuse

Block Party, an anti-harassment startup that aims to help folks feel safer on social media founded by Tracy Chou, launched today. Currently only available for Twitter, Block Party helps people filter out the content they don’t want to see and into what Block Party calls the Lockout Folder. That’s where all of the filtered-out content […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Fired GitHub employee who warned coworkers about Nazis is seeking legal counsel - techcrunch

Fired GitHub employee who warned coworkers about Nazis is seeking legal counsel

On the day a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, a worried GitHub employee warned his co-workers in the D.C. area to be safe. After making a comment in Slack saying, “stay safe homies, Nazis are about,” a fellow employee took offense, saying that type of rhetoric wasn’t good for work, the […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
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techcrunch
Dating app S’More adds blurred video calling and launches in LA

Dating app S’More adds blurred video calling and launches in LA

techcrunch - 6 months ago

The pandemic hasn’t slowed down dating app S’More at least according to CEO Adam Cohen-Aslatei, who said that the app’s daily active user count doubled in March and hasn’t gone down since.

“When people are working form home, they have much more time to dedicate to their relationships,” Cohen-Aslatei told me.

The app (whose name is short for “something more”) launched last fall and has supposedly attracted nearly 50,000 users. The goal is to move beyond the superficiality of most dating apps, where you first learn about another user and then unlock visual elements (like a profile photo) as you interact.

Cohen-Aslatei said the team has also spent more on marketing to attract a diverse audience, both in terms of racial diversity (something S’more reinforces by not allowing users to filter by race) and sexual orientation, with 15% of users identifying as LGBTQ.

Of course, dating someone new can be challenging when meeting up in-person poses real health risks, but Cohen-Aslatei said S’More users have gotten creative, like remote dinners where they order each other takeout from their favorite restaurants. And now that things are reopening (though some of those reopenings are getting pulled back), users are asking, “How do we transition these virtual relationships into IRL?”

S'More video calling

Image Credits: S’More

To give users more ways to interact, the S’More team recently launched a video calling feature. But Cohen-Aslatei noted, “We had to to create it in a way that was really fitting for our app … Women actually dont want to see a guy right away, when you don’t know if they’re a creep.”

So in S’more’s video calling, the video is blurred for the first two minutes, which means you’ve got to actually start an interesting conversation before you can see who you’re talking to, and before they see you (a concept that may be familiar to viewers of Netflix’s dating show “Love is Blind”).

S’More has also expanded geographically, launching last week in Los Angeles (it was already available in Boston, Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago). And it recently started its a video series of its own on Instagram’s IGTV the S’More Live Happy Hour, where celebrities offer dating advice.

“There’s this negative history of dating apps perpetuating negative online behaviors, fake images, catfishers,” Cohen-Aslatei said. “But now we’re going into a new era of authenticity, where we’re going from super vain to super authentic. S’more is one of those apps that’s going to lead you in that direction.”

sauce: techcrunch
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