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Friday Five: 11/14 – 11/18

Alyssa Girdwain


Happy Friday! Here’s a look at some of this week’s tech news:

What Tech Companies Are Doing to Police Social Content - The Wall Street Journal

Fake news on Facebook and other social media platforms has always been a problem, but it became a prominent issue during the election. In the fallout following Donald Trump’s victory in the election, people questioned the effect of fake news on the outcome, and now platforms are making strides to prevent fake news. Facebook said it will refine its algorithms and bar websites that post misleading or fake news from using ad-selling tools. Twitter announced users can block notifications of tweets, making it easier to flag offensive content. And this week, Google said it plans to prevent Google ads from appearing on fake news sites.

This is why Snapchat didn’t give Spectacles to techies - TechCrunch

In my last Friday Five post, I wrote about people gearing up for the release of Snapchat Spectacles, and this week the wearable was released. The catch -- Spectacles are first exclusively sold in a series of pop-up vending machines called Snapbots that look like a hybrid of a minion and something out of Spongebob Squarepants. Snap didn’t send review units to tech bloggers or celebrities, which would’ve pegged the device as more serious and mature than it actually is, considering teens are their main demo. The vending machine tactic achieved three things: artificial scarcity, geographic clustering and buying as an experience -- which might save Spectacles from suffering the fate of Google Glass.

Lyft shaves the stache for amp, a color-coded LED display to tell you which ride is yours - TechCrunch

Lyft’s ride sharing business has been on the upswing, giving over 17 million rides in October (more than 2.4x the number of Lyft rides given last October). And with this growth comes a renewed brand maturity. As a part of Lyft’s “Ride on the Bright Side” ad campaign, Lyft cars will now be outfitted with a new LED dashboard display called Amp. Out with the glowstache, and in with a pill-shaped display that helps nighttime riders figure out which Lyft ride is theirs. Amp glows in six different colors and the corresponding color pops up on the rider’s phone. This, of course is an attempt to decrease the time between booking a ride and picking the rider up, but I do love some good brand aesthetics.

Snapchat Parent Files for $25 Billion IPO - Wall Street Journal

Snap Inc. has confidentially filed paperwork for an initial public offering that could value the platform at $25 billion. This news comes from anonymous sources, so don’t get too excited. The IPO is expected as early as March. If the IPO comes at this valuation, it would be the largest U.S. listed technology offering, and is expected to give the IPO market a much needed boost. We’ll have to wait and see what actually happens.

How Two Former YouTubers Want to Help You Discover Your Next Meal - Fast Company

Next up in the foodie tech space and just in time for the holiday season, “Nom” is a newly launched app that allows users to find new recipes, restaurants and share foodie pictures. Founded by Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube and Vijay Karunamurthy, former engineering lead at YouTube, the app strives to create communities around the people preparing and consuming food. Users can make recipe and food preparation videos, and other users can comment in real time. It’s backed by $4.7 million in funding, including 3-star Michelin chef Corey Lee and restaurateur Ming Tsai.