The difference between good and bad Facebooking

 “Social media” is a clumsy term that entangles enriching social interaction with mindless media consumption. It’s a double-edged sword whose sides aren’t properly distinguished. Taken as a whole, we can’t decide if it “brings the world closer together” like Facebook’s new mission statement says, or leaves us depressed and isolated. Read More

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A new version of Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch rival, hits iOS and Android

 Microsoft today is officially launching a new version of its Mixer mobile gameplay streaming app, its Twitch rival. The app, which is initially available on Android with iOS arriving soon, was first introduced into beta testing this fall, with a focus on improvements to its overall user experience, content discovery, performance and personalization features. For example, the beta build… Read More

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Facebook pushes pre-roll ads on Watch as it stops subsidizing Live

 Everyone’s least favorite ads are coming to Facebook, but six-second pre-rolls will only appear on original Watch tab videos you purposefully view and not in the News Feed. Facebook is embracing pre-rolls after years of shunning them as it tries to make payouts to video creators sustainable. Read More

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Snapchat launches augmented reality developer platform Lens Studio

 Snapchat is finally opening up so outside developers can help it offer infinite augmented reality experiences beyond those it designs in-house. Today Snap launches the Lens Studio AR developer tool for desktops so anyone can create World Lenses that place interactive, imaginary 3D objects in your photos and videos. But brands, news publishers, and developers will have to promote their own… Read More

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Half of Amazon app users have been switched to a new, swipe-based 1-Click checkout

 Has Amazon’s ‘one-click’ checkout on mobile looked a little different to you lately? A number of users of Amazon’s mobile applications have recently reported seeing a new checkout option that replaces the click – well, on mobile, the tap – with a swipe instead. As it turns out, the option is part of a fairly large-scale test Amazon has underway. Currently… Read More

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Gfycat wants to fix your low-fidelity GIFs with machine learning

 We all love to share GIFs — and there are plenty of ways to do that, through online portals or keyboards — but often times because there is so much content, you’ll end up surfacing up a lower-fidelity GIF. There can be plenty of copies of the same video clips as a GIF, or maybe it’s just difficult to capture and upload, but Gfycat hopes that it can be solved at a… Read More

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Google Assistant is coming to older Android phones and tablets

 The Google Assistant has long been available on most modern phones and tablets. But given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, many older devices will never get the newer versions of Android that feature built-in support for the Assistant. Google is now bringing support for its voice-activated helper to phones running Android 5.0 and tablets running Android 6.0 and 7.0. Read More

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Lily raises $2M from NEA and others for a personal stylist service that considers feelings, not just fit

 One of the reasons recently IPO’d Stitch Fix became so popular among female shoppers is because of how it pairs the convenience of home try-on for clothing and accessories with a personal styling service that adapts to your tastes over time. But often, personal stylists bring their own subjective takes on fashion to their customers. A new startup called Lily aims to offer a more… Read More

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This app will help you figure out if you can fit that Costco-sized paper towel box in your apartment

 You’re probably going to get a better deal when you buy consumer products — like paper towels — wholesale, but at the same time you’re also buying a very, very large package of said consumer products. So, they might not always fit in your apartment. Wholesale goods are the primary play for a startup called Boxed, a retailer looking to play the sort of… Read More

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To fix SoundCloud, it must become the anti-Spotify

 Startups die by suicide, not competition. It wasn’t that anyone was stealing SoundCloud’s underground rappers, bedroom remixers, and garage bands. SoundCloud stumbled because it neglected these hardcore loyalists as it wrongly strived to usurp Spotify as the streaming home of music’s superstars.
But four months ago after laying off 40% of its staff, SoundCloud scored a… Read More

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