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Qualtrics raises IPO pricing ahead of debut - techcrunch

Qualtrics raises IPO pricing ahead of debut

This morning, Qualtrics, a software company that tracks customer and employee sentiment, filed a new S-1 document. The new filing raises Qualtrics’ expected IPO price range, providing the Utah-based unicorn with a higher potential valuation in its impending debut. Qualtrics previously sold to SAP for $8 billion while on the path to going public; after […]
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Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC for Sunlight Financial is another sign of a renewables boom - techcrunch

Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC for Sunlight Financial is another sign of a renewables boom

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Twitter’s Birdwatch fights misinformation with community notes - techcrunch

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Twitter is launching what it calls “a community-based approach to misinformation.” The Birdwatch project first came to light last fall thanks to product sleuth Jane Manchun Wong. Now Twitter has launched a pilot version via the Birdwatch website. The goal, as explained in a blog post by Twitter’s Vice President of Product Keith Coleman, is […]
techcrunch - 44 minutes ago
Hear leading voices discuss workplace organizing in tech at TC Sessions: Justice on March 3 - techcrunch

Hear leading voices discuss workplace organizing in tech at TC Sessions: Justice on March 3

In a year defined by economic and civil unrest, it should come as little surprise that workplace organizing has been on the upswing. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular (coupled with the ever-present effects of late capitalism) has brought longstanding questions of employment stability and safety to the forefront of many. Of course, much of this […]
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Virgin Orbit will launch first Dutch defense satellite in mission that will demo rapid response capabilities - techcrunch

Virgin Orbit will launch first Dutch defense satellite in mission that will demo rapid response capabilities

Virgin Orbit isn’t slowing down after joining the exclusive club of small launch companies that have made it to orbit – the company just announced that it’s flying a payload on behalf of customer the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF). This is the first ever satellite being put up by the Dutch Ministry of Defense, […]
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Proving voicemail doesn’t have to be wack, the Slack-backed startup Yac raises $7.5 million - techcrunch

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Virtual social network IMVU raises $35M from China’s NetEase and others - techcrunch

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The line between social networking and gaming is increasingly blurring, and internet incumbents are taking notice. NetEase, the second-largest gaming company in China behind Tencent, is among a group of investors who just backed IMVU, an avatar-focused social network operating out of California. Menlo Park-based Structural Capital among other institutions also joined in the strategic […]
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Sano Genetics, a startup helping with Long Covid research, raises £2.5M in seed funding

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techcrunch
Google Maps takes on Facebook with launch of its own news feed

Google Maps takes on Facebook with launch of its own news feed

techcrunch - 1 month ago

People are getting frustrated that Stories are everywhere now, but Google Maps is keeping it old school. Instead of adding tiny circles to the top of the app’s screen, Google Maps is introducing its own news feed. Technically, Google calls its new feature the “Community Feed,” as it includes posts from a local area. However, it’s organized as any other news feed would be — a vertically scrollable feed with posts you can “Like” by tapping on a little thumbs up icon.

The feed, which is found with the Explore tab of the Google Maps app, is designed to make it easier to find the most recent news, updates, and recommendations from trusted local sources. This includes posts business owners create using Google My Business to alert customers to new deals, menu updates, and other offers. At launch, Google says the focus will be on highlighting posts from food and drink businesses.

For years, businesses have been able to make these sorts of posts using Google’s tools. But previously, users would have to specifically tap to follow the business’s profile in order to receive their updates.

Now, these same sort of posts will be surfaced to even those Google Maps users who didn’t take the additional step of following a particular business. This increased exposure has impacted the posts’ views, Google says. In early tests of Community Feed ahead of its public launch, Google found that businesses’ posts saw more than double the number of views than before the feed existed.

Image Credits: Google

In addition to posts from businesses, the new Community Feed will feature content posted by Google users you follow as well as recent reviews from Google’s Local Guides — the volunteer program where users share their knowledge about local places in order to earn perks, such as profile badges, early access to Google features, and more. Select publishers will participate in the Community Feed, too, including The Infatuation and other news sources from Google News, when relevant.

Much of the information found in the Community Feed was available elsewhere in Google Maps before today’s launch.

For example, the Google Maps’ Updates tab offered a similar feed that included businesses’ posts along with news, recommendations, stories, and other features designed to encourage discovery. Meanwhile, the Explore tab grouped businesses into thematic groupings (e.g. outdoor dining venues, cocktail bars, etc.) at the top of the screen, then allowed users to browse other lists and view area photos.

With the update, those groups of businesses by category will still sit at the top of the screen, but the rest of the tab is dedicated to the scrollable feed. This gives the tab a more distinct feel than it had before. It could even position Google to venture into video posts in the future, given the current popularity of TikTok-style  short-form video feeds that have now cloned by Instagram and Snapchat.

Image Credits: Google

Today, it’s a more standard feed, however. As you scroll down, you can tap “Like” on those posts you find interesting to help better inform your future recommendations. You can also tap “Follow” on businesses you want to hear more from, which will send their alerts to your Updates tab, as well. Thankfully, there aren’t comments.

Google hopes the change will encourage users to visit the app more often in order to find out what’s happening in their area — whether that’s a new post from a business or a review from another user detailing some fun local activity, like a day trip or new hiking spot, for example.

The feature can be used when traveling or researching other areas, too, as the “Community Feed” you see is designated not based on where you live or your current location, but rather where you’re looking on the map.

The feed is the latest in what’s been a series of updates designed to make Google Maps more of a Facebook rival. Over the past few years, Google Maps has added features that allowed users to follow businesses, much like Facebook does, as well as message those businesses directly in the app, similar to Messenger. Businesses, meanwhile, have been able to set up their own profile in Google Maps, where they could add a logo, cover photo, and pick short name — also a lot like Facebook Pages offer today.

With the launch of a news feed-style feature, Google’s attempt to copy Facebook is even more obvious.

Google says the feature is rolling out globally on Google Maps for iOS and Android.

 

 

sauce: techcrunch
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