iOS gets new emoji, Showtime joins pricey Paramount+, and Instagram launches Channels • TechCrunch

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Hey TechCrunch besties. After a week in Korea and the Philippines, it’s great to be back in the U.S. — and a little more exhausted (ie, burned out) than before. A big thank you to Henry, who has been forced to enter the last two weeks because I didn’t know the Korean air does not Provide in-flight Wi-Fi. Talk about a good sport.

If you’re wondering about Greg’s situation, don’t worry – he’s due to come back and change within a month of parental leave. In the meantime, I’m here to tease you about TechCrunch’s upcoming headline events.

TechCrunch Early Stage is fast approaching – it’s in Boston on April 20th this year, and will host experts from across the venture and tech landscape who will be talking about solutions to get you started from the ground up. (Also in Boston: City Spotlight, kicking off February 27.) On the far horizon, this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt (September 19–21) promises to be absolute carnage. Looking at the preliminary guest list, let me say this: it does not disappoint.

With those administrative touches out of the way, let’s move on to Review Week. (Sign up here if you want it in your inbox every Saturday). Here are the top stories from the past several days!

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Wrong Desires: take on Dash CEO Prince Boki Boampong has reportedly been temporarily suspended from the company pending an investigation into the company’s lack of finances. Boampong, one of Africa’s most famous serial entrepreneurs, has been accused of engaging in financial misreporting. Sources told TechCrunch that executives frequently hid financial issues within the company while firing employees at will. Before Boampong’s ban, Dash had raised tens of millions in venture capital at a valuation of more than $200 million.

New iOS, new emoji Apple has released the iOS 16.4 developer beta, which brings the next set of emoji to iPhones. Unveiled during last year’s draft phase, emoji include categories such as food and drink, movement, objects, animals and symbols. Sarah He wrote that among the highlights are variations on the heart emoji, pushing hand gestures, and the “shaking face” emoji. Curious users can check out the new additions by enrolling in Apple’s developer program.

Pony up for Paramount: Ahead of the launch of Showtime’s new “Paramount+ with Showtime” TV streaming service bundle, Paramount announced that it will raise the premium tier of Paramount+ from $9.99 per month to $11.99 per month. It’s not an unexpected move — Paramount CEO Bob Bakish telegraphed the plans in early December — but it could put Paramount+ on a losing streak with Showtime as it competes with Warner Bros. Discovery’s upcoming HBO Max/Discovery+ service.

Facebook is the new Slack: Feishu, ByteDance’s Slack-like workplace collaboration app, surpassed $100 million in annual recurring revenue last year. Rita He wrote. ByteDance’s major investment in Feishu is talking about the state of enterprise software in China. At a time when Silicon Valley investors are heralding product-driven growth, software companies in China are still counting on sales, marketing and services to recruit users.

Channeling Instagram: Instagram this week launched a new broadcast chat feature called “Channels.” Aisha It reports that it allows creators to share one-to-many messages in public so they can connect directly with their followers. Channels support text, images, polls, responses, and more. Instagram has begun testing Channels with select creators in the US and plans to expand the feature in the coming months.

Sales force under pressure; As activist investors put pressure on the company, Salesforce is looking for new ways to cut costs. This week Salesforce implemented stricter performance measures for engineering, as some vendors were pressured to quit or succumb to their own harsh performance policies. as a Ron It has to do with activist investors circling the company, he wrote.

Dog Tesla deals with safety: Tesla this week announced its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software, an advanced driver assistance system that federal regulators say allows vehicles to perform unsafe maneuvers around intersections. Affecting more than 362,000 vehicles, Telsa said the recall was prompted in part by concerns that FSD-driven vehicles may not adequately respond to changes in posted speed limits, among other concerns. FSD’s beta software — from its name and mask to promises surrounding its capabilities to its release and security concerns — has been controversial and drawn scrutiny from regulatory agencies.

Picking up users; Snapchat now has over 750 million monthly active users (MAUs). The company announced the milestone during its investor day on Thursday. Sarah Reports. Snapchat says it’s looking at a way to reach more than 1 billion people in the next two to three years, but whether it can actually achieve that remains to be seen. Either way, 750 MAUs puts Snapchat ahead of Pinterest (450 million) but behind Facebook (2.96 billion).

The Tetris Movie; Apple TV+ this week released the first trailer for “Tetris,” the movie based on the origin story of the popular puzzle video game. Starring Taron Egerton as American video game salesman Hank Rogers, “Tetris” tells the story of Rogers and his mission to secure the game’s distribution rights. The film will premiere at the Southwest Film Festival in March, after which Apple will release it worldwide on Apple TV+ (on March 31).

Audio

In case you didn’t know, TechCrunch has an amazing audio program lineup. In other words, we’ve got podcasts for days. This week on fairness, Mary Ann And Becca He gets on the mic to talk about Deskop’s $53 million seed round, Phenomenal Ventures’ new fund and Mexico’s Neobank’s latest raise. found, Darrell And Becca He spoke with Alex Rappaport, CEO and founder of Zwiterco, which helps industries reuse water and increase product recovery with new filtration technology. And at TechCrunch Live, the crew went live with CFO-turned-CEO Christina Ross and Mayfield Fund partner Rajeev Batra to talk about the history of Ross’s company, Cube, and how it fits together. where customers are.

TechCrunch+

TC+ subscribers get in-depth commentary, analytics, and surveys — something you already know if you’re a subscriber. If not, consider signing up. Here are a few highlights from this week:

Eggs, but not. Price parity with traditional foods is one of the main challenges for alternative protein startups. However, bird flu, a shortage of cage-free eggs, and price increases in late 2022 seem to be “in” for alternative egg companies to show they can compete. Christine It takes a deep dive.

But he did not go down. Natasha M He writes that an emerging class of founders is a reminder of how disrupting the tech ecosystem can be energizing. Laid-off talent is flocking to build startups in every sector, from climate to crypto to the creative economy. And no matter where their students end up — whether big tech companies or small startups — they hope to course-correct.

Is the tech jobs market as bad as it seems? Ron It examines the state of the technology jobs market, which – while some numbers are down – is not a clear issue. His top notch observation? Technology workers, particularly those with specialized skills such as engineering, data science, AI and cybersecurity, continue to be in demand as supply lags behind the number of open positions.



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