Crown, a new app from Tinder’s parent company, turns dating into a game

If you’re already resentful of online dating culture and how it turned finding companionship into a game, you may not be quite ready for this: Crown, a new dating app that actually turns getting matches into a game. Crown is the latest project to launch from Match Group, the operator of a number of dating sites and apps including Match, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, and others. The app was thought up by Match Product Manager Patricia Parker, who understands first-hand both the challenges and the benefits of online…

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Facebook’s longtime head of policy and comms steps down

A prominent figure that helped shape Facebook public perception over the course of the last decade is on the way out. In a Facebook post today, Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications and public policy, announced his departure. Schrage joined the company in 2008 after leaving his position in the same role at Google. He had come under fire over the last year at Facebook for his influence in shaping Facebook’s highly criticized public reaction to a series of scandals that began with the platform’s policies during the 2016 U.S.…

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Twitter wants to inject live events into every area of the app

The chronological news feed has been a bit of a looming specter for Twitter . Sure, it’s their bread-and-butter, but it only works for users who are willing to put in the time to prune their own feeds and strip away follows while constantly keeping an eye out for new accounts. For Twitter, a major challenge is discovering how they can update the experience for casual users who follow a few accounts but haven’t gotten deep into the discovery phase yet. Twitter’s efforts to double-down on surfacing live events coverage and…

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Facebook demands advertisers have consent for email/phone targeting

Facebook is hoping to avoid another privacy scandal by adding new accountability and transparency requirements for businesses that use its Custom Audiences too to target you with ads based on your email address or phone number. Starting July 2nd, advertisers will have to declare whether contact info uploaded for ad targeting was collected with proper user consent by them, one of their partners or both. Users will be able to see this info if they opt to block future ads from that business. Companies can only share Custom Audiences info…

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Amino raises $45M to bring fan communities to smartphones

Amino has raised a big Series C round of funding — $45 million from GV, Venrock, Union Square Ventures, Goodwater Capital and Time Warner Investments, with Hearst Ventures joining as a new investor. Co-founder and CEO Ben Anderson has described Amino as a way to help people who have “passionate niche interests” find others who feel the same way, via smartphone apps. The company started out with apps focused on a handful of topics like K-pop, anime and Doctor Who, but it later added the ability for anyone to launch…

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Instagram adds shopping tags directly into Stories

Instagram’s shoppable tags are about to pop up in Stories. The company started testing the feature back in 2016 with a limited set of 20 partners. Since then it’s been a hit, expanding broadly to regular brand posts in the feed. Starting today, hitting a little shopping bag sticker in a Story will lead you to more details on the cute and/or dope thing that caught your eye and how to score it. It’s a simple addition, but given the success of Stories it’s a potent one for brands that…

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Facebook says it gave ‘identical support’ to Trump and Clinton campaigns

Facebook’s hundreds of pages of follow-ups to Senators make for decidedly uninteresting reading. Give lawyers a couple months and they will always find a way to respond non-substantively to the most penetrating questions. One section may at least help put a few rumors to rest about Facebook’s role in the 2016 Presidential campaigns, though of course much is still left to the imagination. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), whose dogged questioning managed to put Mark Zuckerberg on his back foot during the questioning, had several pages of questions sent over afterwards.…

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Here are 454 pages of Facebook’s written follow-up answers to Congress

Facebook finished its homework. In a pair of newly uploaded letters, the two Senate committees that grilled Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in April have published the social media giant’s written answers to their considerable body of questions. Zuckerberg faced criticism for not answering many of the more intricate or controversial questions from members of Congress in the moment, but by playing it safe the company bought two months’ worth of time to craft its answers in perfect legalese. If you’re interested in combing through the 454 pages worth of explanations…

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Twitter’s emoji for Trump’s North Korea nuclear summit is very weird

As U.S. President Trump preps for a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Twitter doesn’t want you to forget to tweet about it under the right hashtag. In a choice that seems to make light of a lot of really quite serious things at once, Twitter is promoting its new #TrumpKimSummit emoji for Tuesday’s summit in Singapore. The event-specific symbol features what appears to be a high-five between a hand representing the U.S. president and one representing the North Korean dictator known for executing his political enemies and…

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