Instagram is fighting back against fake followers. The company has announced its removing automated apps people use to to gain inauthentic followers that often leave spammy comments or follow, then unfollow, others in the hopes of growing their audience. The move comes amidst the continuing threat of misinformation campaigns on Facebook and Instagram that are designed to polarize communities. Instagram says that it will be removing likes and comments from accounts that violate its policies so if you see your number of followers or likes drop, it’s likely because these followers were fake. To be clear, Instagram has been taking down fake since 2014 but this is the first time its publicly discussed removing fake likes from posts. Some of the most popular bot apps for growing followers like Instagress and Social Growth have been shut down. But other like Archie, InstarocketProX and Boost that charge users $10 to $45 per month are still around despite the fact these apps violate Instagram’s policies on fake followers.
After months of deliberations, data dumps, short lists and wish-lists Amazon has finally announced the location of its second headquarters, HQ2, and “2” is the important detail here: Amazon has named not one, but two different cities, New York (specifically, Long Island City in Queens) and Arlington, Virginia, as the sites for its new major offices, which will sit alongside its current Seattle, WA location — making three global headquarters for the e-commerce and cloud services giant. Amazon says it will invest $5 billion ($2.5 billion in each location) and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington. Photo credit: Christopher Lee/ Bloomberg via Getty Images #amazon#hq2#ecommerce#tech
Yes, these really exist! Just in time for the holiday season, TouchBase is selling a line of VC trading cards featuring Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham, Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen, Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker and Benchmark general partner Bill Gurley. A pack of five cards will cost you $60. The cards begin shipping this month. #Venturecaptital#SiliconValley#tech#bayarea
Highlights from our first Startup Battlefield in Latin America. Congratulations to our Battlefield winner Olho do Dono and runner-up Unima! We’re heading to Shenzhen next week for another packed event. Stick with TechCrunch.com for the latest on the startup scene around the world. #startupbattlefield#techcrunch#saopaulo#brazil
A new chapter is unfolding in the streaming wars. Disney has officially announced the name of its streaming service, Disney+, that plans to shake-up the dominance of Netflix and HBO GO. Disney+ will launch in “late” 2019, around the same time its contractual ties with Netflix come to an end. The new streaming service currently has two original shows in the works: An unnamed live action Star Wars series that’s set to take place prior to Rogue One and an unnamed Marvel series that will focus on Loki. #streaming#Disney+ #Netflix#HBO#tech
Samsung unveiled its highly-anticipated dual screen folding phone today at its developers conference in San Francisco. Dubbed the “Infinity Flex Display,” the prototype unfolds into a 7.3” display that’s capable of running three apps at once, through a feature Samsung is calling ‘Multi-Active Window.”It’s clear that despite hyping up this “innovation,” Samsung isn’t quite ready to release a device of this type yet. The company says it will start mass production of the new display in the coming months. While this isn’t the first folding phone we’ve seen, it also won’t be the last. Google officially added support for folding displays into Android this morning and it sounds like they’ve got a reason to believe a number of manufacturers are dabbling with this concept as well. #samsung#infinityflex#sanfrancisco#tech#mobile
The 2018 midterm elections are tomorrow and in addition to exciting changes to the political landscape, the day promises to bring millions of voties, pictures of completed ballots posted to social media, and simultaneously, confusion at a national level over whether they’re legal or not. It depends on what state you’re in — so fear not and consult this map! #midterms
With its shiny new $8B valuation, Coinbase is now worth more than all but the top three cryptocurrencies that trade on the platform. That’s right, the only cryptocurrency assets that are worth more than the platform that trades them are Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. Coinbase’s Series E is nearly three times as much as its Series D, and the fresh cash brings the company’s total capital-raised-to-date to over $520M. The bet for investors is, and should be, that if cryptocurrencies are indeed the next big idea in the ways that humans determine value, then Coinbase should be worth far more than any of the assets that trade on its exchange. The fact that it’s neither indicates how much farther the company has to grow, or the limits of the thesis that cryptocurrencies will take over the world.
Apple has announced a brand new MacBook Air, dubbed the “greenest Mac ever.” The new MacBook Air is made from 100% recycled aluminum. It features all day battery life, Touch ID, retina display, and a larger trackpad. The new MacBook Air weighs just 2.75 pounds and is 15.6mm thick. That’s 17% less volume and 10% thinner than the previous Air. the new MacBook Air’s speakers are 25% louder with 2 times more bass. It features wide stereo sound and a 3 microphone array. There are also two thunderbolt 3 ports so you can connect to just about everything. The new MacBook Air will run $1199, with pre-orders starting October 30. The product is set to arrive during the week of November 4.
Apple unveiled a new iPad Pro today at a hardware event in Brooklyn, NY. The company’s latest flagship tablet features an 11 and 12.9-inch liquid retina edge-to-edge display with 25% more pixels than before. The new tablet is 5.9mm thin, making it 15% thinner and 25% lighter than its predecessor. Much like the iPhone, the new iPad is ditching the headphone jack and is bringing in FaceID to replace the home button. Underneath the hood, the iPad Pro comes equipped with an 8-core CPU - making it 35% faster than the previous iPad, and a 7-core GPU will double the tablet’s graphics performance. Apple is also switching to USB-C, making it easier to hook the iPad up to various displays. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch version starts at $999. Pre-orders begin now and the device will be available on Nov. 7.