iOS gains new emoji, Showtime joins a more expensive Paramount+, and Instagram launches channels • TechCrunch

iOS gains new emoji, Showtime joins a more expensive Paramount+, and Instagram launches channels • TechCrunch

iOS gains new emoji, Showtime joins a more expensive Paramount+, and Instagram launches channels • TechCrunch

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Hey, best friends at TechCrunch. After a week in Korea and the Philippines, it’s great to be back in the States – and slightly more tanned (ie burned) than before. Many thanks to Henry, who had to step in for the past two weeks because I didn’t realize that Korean Air does not offer in-flight Wi-Fi. Talk about a good sport.


If you’re wondering about Greg’s status, don’t worry — he’s due back from well-earned parental leave in a month and changing. In the meantime, I’m here to tell you about TechCrunch’s upcoming headlining events.

TechCrunch Early Stage is fast approaching — it’s April 20 in Boston this year, and it’ll host experts from across the venture capital and tech landscape who will talk about solutions for launching a startup. (Also in Boston: City Spotlight, which kicks off February 27.) On the distant horizon is TechCrunch Disrupt (September 19-21), which promises to be an absolute blast this year. After taking a look at the preliminary guest list, let me say this: it won’t disappoint.

With those administrative bits out of the way, let’s get to the week in review. (If you want it in your inbox every Saturday, sign up here). Here are the best stories of the last days!

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Disappointed ambitions: Tags exclusively reports that Dash’s alleged CEO, Prince Boakye Boampong, has been temporarily suspended pending an investigation into financial irregularities within the company. Boampong, one of Africa’s best-known serial entrepreneurs, is reportedly accused of engaging in financial misrepresentation; sources tell TechCrunch that executives have repeatedly hidden company finances while firing employees at will. Prior to Boampong’s alleged suspension, Dash had raised tens of millions in venture capital at a valuation of over $200 million.

New iOS, new emoji: Apple released the iOS 16.4 developer beta, which brought the next set of emoji coming to iPhones. Originally unveiled during last year’s draft phase, the emoji cover categories such as food and drink, activity, objects, animals and symbols. Sarah writes that among the highlights are variations on the heart emoji, pushing hand gestures, and a “shaking face” emoji. Curious users can check out the new additions by signing up for Apple’s Developer Program.

Pony for Paramount: Ahead of the launch of “Paramount+ with Showtime,” a new TV streaming service bundle that will see Showtime integrated with Paramount+, Paramount has announced that it will increase the price of its Paramount+ Premium tier 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 nonetheless put Paramount+ at a disadvantage with Showtime as it competes with Warner Bros’ upcoming HBO Max/Discovery+ service. . Discovery.

Feishu is the new Slack: Feishu, ByteDance’s Slack-like workplace collaboration app, surpassed $100 million in annual recurring revenue last year, Rita writing. ByteDance’s heavy investment in Feishu is indicative of the state of enterprise software in China. At a time when Silicon Valley investors are heralding product-led growth, software in China still relies heavily on sales, marketing and services to recruit users.

Channeling Instagram: Instagram this week launched a new broadcast chat feature called “Channels.” Aisha reports that it allows creators to share one-to-many public posts to engage directly with their followers. Channels support text, images, polls, reactions and more. Instagram is starting to test channels with select creators in the US and plans to expand the feature in the coming months.

Salesforce under pressure: Salesforce is looking for new ways to cut costs as activist investors pressure the company. This week, Salesforce implemented tougher performance metrics for engineering, with some salespeople being pressured to quit or succumb to their own harsh performance policies. As Ron writes, this is likely related to activist investors circling the company, no doubt pushing management to increase productivity and cut expenses.

Safety concerns the Tesla dog: Tesla this week issued a recall of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software, an advanced driver assistance system that federal regulators say could allow vehicles to act unsafely at intersections. Affecting more than 362,000 vehicles, the recall was prompted in part, Telsa revealed, by fears that FSD-equipped vehicles would respond insufficiently to posted speed limit changes, among other concerns. The FSD beta software — from its name and Musk’s promises about its capabilities to its deployment and security issues — has been controversial, drawing the attention of regulatory agencies.

Capturing users: Snapchat now has over 750 million monthly active users (MAUs). The company announced the milestone at its Investor Day on Thursday, Sarah reports. Snapchat said it plans to reach more than a billion people over the next two to three years, but whether it will actually achieve that remains to be seen. In any case, 750 MAUs put Snapchat ahead of Pinterest (450 million) but behind Facebook (2.96 billion).

A Tetris movie: Apple TV+ released the first trailer for its movie “Tetris” this week, based on the origin story of the popular puzzle video game. Starring Taron Egerton, who plays American video game salesman Henk Rogers, “Tetris” tells the story of Rogers and his mission to secure the game’s distribution rights. The film will premiere at the South by Southwest film festival in March, after which Apple will stream it worldwide on Apple TV+ (March 31).


TechCrunch has a wonderful lineup of audio programs, in case you didn’t know. In other words, we have podcasts for days. This week on Equity, Mary Ann And Beca took the mic to talk about Descope’s $53 million funding round, Phenomenal Ventures’ new fund, and the latest raise from a Mexican neobank. On Found, Darrell And Beca spoke with Alex Rappaport, CEO and Co-Founder of ZwitterCo, enabling industries to recycle water and improve product recovery through new filtration technology. And on TechCrunch Live, the team went live (not to be repetitive) with CFO-turned-CEO Christina Ross and her Mayfield Fund partner Rajeev Batra to talk about Ross’ company history, Cube, and how it responds to its customers where they are.

Tech Crunch+

TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and polls, which you know if you’re already a subscriber. If not, consider signing up. Here are some highlights from this week:

An egg, 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 a subsequent price hike at the end of 2022 seem to provide an “in” for alternative egg companies to show that they can be competitive. Christina takes a deep dive.

Down but not out: Natasha M writes how an emerging class of founders reminds the tech ecosystem how collapse can be an enabler. Laid-off talent is flocking to build startups in every industry, from climate to crypto to the creator economy. And they hope to course-correct where their alma maters — both big tech companies and small upstarts — got it wrong.

Is the tech job market as bad as it seems? : Ron survey of the state of the tech jobs market, finding that – although some numbers are down – it’s not a clear cut question. His high-level observation? Tech workers, especially those with specialized skills like engineering, data science, AI and cybersecurity, continue to be in demand as supply lags behind the number of workers. open jobs.


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