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1. All users can now access Facebook’s tool for controlling which apps and sites can share data for ad-targeting
Facebook is making its “Off-Facebook Activity” tool, which allows users to manage and delete the data that third-party websites and apps share with Facebook, available to all users worldwide. The feature was first introduced in 2018 at Facebook’s annual developer conference, but only launched to users in select geographies last year.
As Facebook explains today, other businesses send Facebook information about your activity on their sites and apps, which Facebook then uses to show you relevant ads. With the new Off-Facebook Activity tool, you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account.
2. ServiceNow acquires conversational AI startup Passage AI
Passage AI helps customers build chatbots in multiple languages, something that should come in handy as ServiceNow continues to modernize its digital service platform.
3. Flipboard expands into local news
The goal with the new offering is to give Flipboard users an easy way to catch up with local news, sports, dining, real estate, transportation and weather from a variety of sources, including local newspapers, local TV stations, radio stations, college news sites and even blogs.
4. Tech valuations versus tech-enabled valuations: 2020 IPO edition
The value of tech-enabled companies is coming into focus as several American unicorns test the public markets, with data showing that some venture-backed companies that are often grouped with technology companies are in fact worth just a fraction of their tech-first cousins. (Extra Crunch membership required.)
5. With Tony Fadell’s help, Advano is building battery components to power an electric future
The technology was innovative enough to earn the Louisiana-based startup a place in Y Combinator’s accelerator. It has now attracted the attention of Mitsui Kinzoku, which is investing in the company as a strategic partner, and Tony Fadell, the famous product designer known as “the father of the iPod” and the founder of the smart thermostat company Nest.
6. Scroll launches its subscription offering ad-free access across 300 partner sites
CEO Tony Haile previously led analytics company Chartbeat, and he said he founded Scroll because of his frustration with the way news sites were becoming dragged down by ads and trackers — and despite those performance-slowing/privacy-defying practices, publications were still struggling to make money.
7. Filmic’s DoubleTake app brings simultaneous camera shooting to the iPhone 11
The most visually compelling use here is Shot/Reverse Shot, which takes video from both the rear-facing and front-facing cameras at once. Obviously there’s going to be a gulf in image quality between the front and back, but the ability to do both simultaneously opens up some pretty fascinating possibilities.