The head of Facebook’s business development team, Dan Rose, is leaving the company. “Rose … has been in charge of the company’s deals with partners like media companies, and distributors like Apple and Google,” Recode writes. “He also headed up Facebook’s mergers and acquisitions group, shepherding deals like its 2012 acquisition of Instagram.”
Bloomberg reports on what it is calling a growing backlash against the app stores of Apple and Google. “A growing number of companies [say] the tech giants are collecting too high a tax for connecting consumers to developers’ wares,” it writes. “Netflix Inc. and video game makers Epic Games Inc. and Valve Corp. are among companies that have recently tried to bypass the app stores or complained about the cost of the tolls Apple and Google charge.”
Apple just pulled a security app named Onavo from the App Store for failing to comply with its privacy rules. Complicating matters, Facebook bought Onavo in 2013. As CNBC notes, Onavo lets users access a “virtual private network,” or VPN, to browse the Web and download apps with a higher level of privacy.
Writing for Lawfare, former Facebook executive Alex Stamos says he is still haunted by the role that the social network played in electing Donald Trump as President of the United States. He also warns that not enough has been done to prevent future U.S. elections from becoming the “World Cup” of information wars.
Google just relaunched its Fit fitness tracking app with the help of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA). “Google Fit now uses two activity goals based on WHO and AHA research, in order to push users toward achieving the right amount -- and crucially, the right intensity -- of exercise,” The Next Web reports.
Tinder just debuted Tinder U, a dating service tailored to college students. “It is primarily a dating service, but can also be used to find new friends, a study partner and more,” Engadget reports. “Over half of the dating service’s users are between the ages of 18 and 24,” it notes. “It makes sense, then, that Tinder would want to focus on the college campus.”
Google Assistant will now respond to the command, “tell me something good.” Regarding the sort of communications this new command will produce, The Verge reports: “Google calls this ‘solutions journalism,’ and it is intended to spark dialogue about how to make things better, rather than wallowing in how everything is terrible.”
Slack just raised another $427 million in funding, which values the communication platform at more than $7.1 billion, TechCrunch reports. Led by Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, additional investors included T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., funds advised by Wellington Management, Baillie Gifford and Sands Capital, along with unnamed investors.
GIF search engine Giphy just debuted a new home page with several new features. Now, “Instead of featuring individual trending GIFs, Giphy’s homepage will now feature Stories, a new format for organizing GIFs,” Venture Beat writes. “Giphy started testing Stories in June, and with the new homepage one new Story will be published every hour.”
Facebook is working with New York University’s medical school to make MRI exams 10 times faster, CNN reports. “Computer scientists at Facebook think they can use machine learning to make things a lot faster,” it writes. For its part, “NYU is providing an anonymous dataset of 10,000 MRI exams, a trove that will include as many as three million images of knees, brains and livers.”