Alphabet cuts, Twitter bans third-party clients, and Netflix fires Reed Hastings • TechCrunch

Hi, guys! Happy Friday. While our fearless Week in Review leader, Greg, is taking parental leave, I’m filling in by crafting the latest on the tech news front. It’s been a rollercoaster of a week yet again, with economic headwinds taking a brutal, demoralizing toll and Elon Musk’s Twitter in chaos. Somewhere in the middle of it all, Boston Dynamics unveiled an improved bipedal robot, Wikipedia launched a redesign, and major universities banned TikTok from their campus networks. Yes – a lot has happened.

Before we get started, a reminder that TechCrunch Early Stage 2023 will be in Boston on April 20th. This is a one-day summit for founders who are in the early stages of growing their company, who have built a product but don’t know how to monetize it, and who have an idea but don’t know where to find resources to apply. making it a viable business. Early Stage experts are involved in protecting intellectual property, structuring cap charts, developing target customer personas, and more. will share tips on You won’t want to miss it.

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The alphabet cuts deep: Alphabet, Google’s parent holding company, announced on Friday that it is cutting about 6% of its global workforce, or about 12,000 roles. Paul reports. In an open letter published by Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the narrative followed a trajectory similar to that of other companies that have cut in recent months, noting that the company is hiring for a different economic reality than today. .

Twitter prohibits third-party clients from: After cutting off well-known app makers like Tweetbot and Twitterific, Twitter quietly updated its developer terms to ban third-party Twitter clients entirely. Twitter’s “restrictions” section of over 5,000 words developer agreement updated with a clause prohibiting use or access [to] Licensed Materials to create, or attempt to create, a substitute or similar service or product for the Twitter Apps,” this decision will likely not foster much goodwill at a time when Twitter is facing problems on a number of fronts.

Defeating the Hastings Retreat: Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings announced Thursday that he will step down after more than two decades at the company. Taylor writes. While the news of his departure came as a shock, Hastings noted in the announcement that Netflix has been planning its next leadership cycle for “many years.” Netflix will maintain its CEO structure in Hastings’ absence, promoting COO Greg Peters to a tandem role with Ted Sarandos.

College students, no TikTok for you: Public universities in a growing number of US states have banned TikTok in recent months, and two of the nation’s largest colleges followed suit earlier this week. whom Taylor The University of Texas and Texas A&M University have taken action against the social app, owned by Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, banning users of the campus network and devices from accessing TikTok. The latest wave of bans was inspired by executive orders issued by several state governors.

Wikipedia is updated: This week, Wikipedia, a resource used by billions of people every month, changed its desktop for the first time in more than a decade. Sarah writes. The Wikimedia Foundation, which manages the Wikipedia project, has introduced an updated interface aimed at making the site more accessible and easier to use, with additions such as improved search, more embedded tools for switching between languages, and an updated header that offers access to commonly used languages. links etc.

Pour one for AmazonSmile: Just days after announcing a major round of cuts, Amazon said it would end AmazonSmile, a donation program that directs 0.5% of the value of all eligible products to charities. Amazon argued that the program “has not grown to produce the impact it does [it] at first he hoped, but as Romain notes that since 2013, Amazon has donated $400 million through AmazonSmile. Its termination appears to be a cost-cutting move.

Payday for data breach victims: If you were one of the roughly 77 million people affected by last year’s T-Mobile breach, a few dollars could be coming your way. Devin says the company will pay $350 million to be split by clients and attorneys, plus $150 million for “data security and related technology.” The breach appears to have occurred early last year, after which collections of T-Mobile customer data were put up for sale on various crime forums.

Catching and throwing robots: TechCrunch is bold Matt Burns writes this week about a demo video of Hyundai-backed Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot Atlas equipped with grasping hands that can pick up and release anything the robot can independently grab. The claw-like gripper consists of one fixed finger and one movable finger; Boston Dynamics says the handles are designed for heavy loads, such as Atlas holding a barrel above his head during a Super Bowl commercial. Naughty.

Dungeons & Dragons: After weeks of backlash and fan protests, Dungeons & Dragons’ Hasbro-owned publisher Wizards of the Coast has announced that it will now license the core mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. It gives the community a “worldwide, royalty-free, sublicense-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable license” to publish and sell works based on Dungeons & Dragons – a big change of heart for a gaming giant considering a new game. license that requires certain Dungeons & Dragons content creators to start paying 25% royalties.

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Whether it’s to pass the time on your commute or liven up your morning run, TechCrunch probably has a podcast to suit your fancy. This week on startup-focused Equity, Natasha, Mary Ann and Rebecca Sophia Amoruso hopped on the mic to talk about a week of different news, including deals from her new foundation, Welcome Homes, and a look at complimentary social media apps. Meanwhile, Mir Hwang, co-founder and CEO of GigFinesse, shared that struggling to book music gigs as a teenager inspired him to launch the company, which connects artists with venues for live shows.


TC+, TechCrunch’s premium channel for deep dives, polls, guest posts, and general analysis, was packed with content this week (as always). Here are some of the most popular posts:

Twitter’s response to the data breach: Carly writes about Twitter’s alleged data breach that exposed the contact information of millions of users. one unattributed blog post, Twitter said it conducted a “thorough investigation” and found “no evidence” that recent Twitter user data sold online was obtained by exploiting a vulnerability in Twitter’s systems. But as he noted, it’s unclear whether Twitter has the technical means, such as logs, to determine whether any user data has been leaked.

The Last Unicorns: VCs think most unicorns are no longer worth $1 billion. Rebecca It takes a look at the current investment landscape, finding that many companies that achieved unicorn status last year are in danger of losing it as economic conditions worsen.

Sexism in the workplace: Startups founded by women raised 1.9% of all VC funding in 2022, down from 2021. Dominic-Madori writes. This percentage is a significant decrease from the 2.4% all women’s teams accumulated in 2021. The decline was expected, but it was a sharp decline nonetheless. Apart from 2016, the last time all female-led startups raised such low funding was in 2012, a period of economic uncertainty and election-induced funding declines.

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