Twitter exposes secrets and techniques, FTC clamps down on assessment hijackers and Android 14 arrives

Hiya, pals. In search of a recap of this week’s information? You’re in the suitable place. It’s Week in Assessment (WiR), the (roughly) common e-newsletter that recaps the highest tales from the previous few days written by the gifted TC group. (Woot, alliteration.) There’s no faster technique to make amends for the stuff that issues. In fact, we’re somewhat biased.

Earlier than we get on with the great things, a reminder that TechCrunch Early Stage 2023 is almost upon us — going down April 20 in Boston. I’ll chorus from rehashing my pitch in previous columns too a lot, however belief me after I say you’ll wish to be there. Not solely will you be handled to a wholesome chunk of the TC editorial crew out and about — a rarity! — however you’ll even have entry to professional panels protecting the various points of startup constructing.

Elsewhere in occasions land, don’t neglect that Disrupt, TechCrunch’s annual flagship convention, kicks off September 19. We’re notably excited in regards to the AI Stage, which is new this 12 months. Tickets can be found right here.

With that out of the best way, on to the information:

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Personal no extra: This week, quite a few Twitter customers reported a bug through which Circle tweets — that are supposed to succeed in a choose group, like an Instagram Shut Buddies story — have been surfacing on the algorithmically generated For You timeline. That meant that some folks’s supposedly non-public posts have been breaching containment to succeed in an unintended viewers, which shortly sparked some uncomfortable conditions, Amanda experiences.

They made me do it: In a current interview with BBC reporter James Clayton on Twitter Areas, Twitter CEO Elon Musk admitted what many had suspected: He purchased Twitter as a result of he thought he’d be compelled to. To recap, Twitter took Musk to trial final 12 months to power him to honor his signed obligation to amass the corporate for the agreed-upon value of $44 billion, or $54.20 per share. After some authorized back-and-forth, Musk — staring down the barrel of a prolonged court docket battle — agreed to purchase the corporate on the value he initially set.

Twitter turn into X: In much more Twitter information (it’s loads, I do know), Twitter, Inc., is now known as X Corp., in line with a court docket submitting in California. Amanda writes that Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion final 12 months, has aspired to construct what he calls “X, the everything app.” This proposed app would possibly seem like China’s WeChat, which helps messaging, funds, ride-sharing, meals supply and different providers multi functional place.

Hijacked evaluations: The U.S. Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) authorised a ultimate consent order in its first-ever enforcement motion over a case involving “assessment hijacking,” or when a marketer steals shopper evaluations of one other product to spice up the gross sales of its personal. Sarah writes that, on this case, the FTC ordered dietary supplements retailer The Bountiful Firm, the maker of Nature’s Bounty nutritional vitamins and different manufacturers, to pay $600,000 for deceiving and deceptive prospects on Amazon.

If it’s free, it’s for me: Google TV, Google’s sensible TV working system that powers Chromecast gadgets and varied TVs, this week obtained a big replace geared toward increasing entry to free, streaming content material. Google TV now integrates entry to free streaming channels like Tubi, Plex and Haystack Information straight in its redesigned Stay tab, alongside the prevailing lineup of channels from free streamer Pluto TV.

New telephone, who dis?: In an effort to broaden its attain, Stockholm-based Truecaller is introducing an replace that’ll present dwell caller ID assist on iOS, obtainable to folks utilizing its paid tiers. Jagmeet writes that the brand new characteristic comes as Truecaller continues to see numerous progress, but additionally some knocks in its strongest markets, comparable to India.

Clay is the brand new plastic: Disposable plastic and paper cups are an environmental mess. GaeaStar, a startup based mostly in Berlin and San Francisco, thinks it will probably do higher with simply clay, water, salt and sand, Harri experiences. To make the disposable containers, the startup says that it developed a particular 3D-printer that churns them out in “30 seconds or much less” — fairly the declare.

New Android on the block: Google’s Android improvement cycle runs on a somewhat predictable cadence nowadays. To wit, this week, after two developer previews, the corporate launched the primary of 4 deliberate public beta releases of Android 14, Frederic experiences. As with earlier variations, the primary beta can be the primary launch that anybody can set up over the air, assuming they’ve a supported Pixel machine, going again to the Pixel 4a 5G (however not the Pixel 4).


TechCrunch’s roster of podcasts hasn’t gotten any much less spectacular, in case you haven’t given any of it a hear. Over on Fairness, the crew dove into offers of the week, regulation and on-the-ground dynamics at play within the AI house and the chance that funds could afford enterprise companies. And on this week’s Discovered, Lauren Markler got here talked about how her firm, Cofertility, goals to rebrand egg donation by making the method much less transactional — and rather more inexpensive.


TC+ subscribers get entry to in-depth commentary, evaluation and surveys — which in case you’re already a subscriber. When you’re not, contemplate signing up. Listed here are a number of highlights from this week:

SaaS metrics that appeal to buyers: Oleksandr Yaroshenko, the pinnacle of technique and investments at Headway, writes about what engagement metrics achieve probably the most vital curiosity from buyers, together with engagement over lengthy durations on the finish of a subscription and the frequency of interactions with core app options.

What tailpipe regs imply for buyers: The Environmental Safety Company is proposing new guidelines that will take impact in 2027 and pave the best way for a brand new automobile market dominated by EVs. Tim writes about how funding alternatives abound as the foundations push EVs to the forefront.

Robotic revolution: Brian spoke with over a dozen VCs in regards to the state of robotics investing in 2023. As he notes, regardless of the current downtrend, robotics stays vibrant and thrilling, and it unquestionably has a vibrant way forward for exponential progress forward.