WhatsApp could wreck Snapchat again by copying ephemeral messaging

WhatsApp already ruined Snapchat’s growth once. WhatsApp Status, its clone of Snapchat Stories, now has 450 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 188 million. That’s despite its 24-hour disappearing slideshows missing tons of features including augmented reality selfie masks, animated GIFs, or personalized avatars like Bitmoji. A good enough version of Stories conveniently baked…

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Discover the next messaging giant at Disrupt Berlin

Truecaller may already be a familiar name, but many of you probably don’t know that it’s slowly becoming a significant messaging app. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Truecaller co-founder and CEO Alan Mamedi will join us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Truecaller first started as a call screening app. Some countries are more affected…

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Google’s Project Fi gets an improved VPN service

Google’s Project Fi wireless service is getting a major update today that introduces an optional always-on VPN service and a smarter way to switch between Wi-Fi and cellular connections. By default, Fi already uses a VPN service to protect users when they connect to the roughly two million supported Wi-Fi hotspots. Now, Google is expanding…

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Open sourcing analysis, plus US, China and HQ2

The big news today is that — finally — we have Amazon’s selection of cities for its dual second headquarters (Northern Virginia and NYC). Then some notes on China. But first, semiconductors and open sourcing analysis. We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of something new — provide…

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Rakuten has SoftBank in its sights

This week, I’ve tried to do something new at TechCrunch with this experimental column — getting obsessed about a topic broadly in tech and writing a continuous stream of thoughts and analysis about it. With my research consultant and contributor Arman Tabatabai, we’ve covered two topics: Form Ds, the filing that startups usually submit to…

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