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1. TikTok tests social commerce
The short-form video app said it’s allowing some users to add links to e-commerce sites (or any other destination) to their profile, while also offering creators the ability to easily send their viewers to shopping websites.
On their own, these changes might not sound that dramatic, and parent company ByteDance characterizes them as experiments. But it could eventually lead TikTok to become a major force in commerce — and to follow the lead of Instagram, where “link in bio” has become one of the most common promotional messages.
2. Despite bans, Giphy still hosts self-harm, hate speech and child sex abuse content
A new report from Israeli online child protection startup L1ght has uncovered a host of toxic content hiding within the popular GIF-sharing community, including illegal child abuse content, depictions of rape and other toxic imagery associated with topics like white supremacy and hate speech.
3. Lyft is ceasing scooter operations in six cities and laying off 20 employees
Lyft notified employees today that it’s pulling its scooters from six markets: Nashville, San Antonio, Atlanta, the Phoenix area, Dallas and Columbus. A spokesperson told us, “We’re choosing to focus on the markets where we can have the biggest impact.”
4. Takeaways from Nvidia’s latest quarterly earnings
After yesterday’s earnings report, Wall Street seems to have barely budged on the stock price — everyone’s waiting for resolution on some of the key questions facing the company. (Extra Crunch membership required.)
5. Virgin Galactic begins ‘Astronaut Readiness Program’ for first paying customers
The program is being run out of the global headquarters of Under Armour, Virgin Galactic’s partner for its official astronaut uniforms. The training, with instruction from Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses and Chief Pilot Dave Mackay, is required for all Virgin Galactic passengers.
6. AWS confirms reports it will challenge JEDI contract award to Microsoft
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson suggested that there was possible bias in the selection process: “AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD’s modernization efforts.”
7. SoftBank Vision Fund’s Carolina Brochado is coming to Disrupt Berlin
At SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Brochado focuses on fintech, digital health and marketplace startups. Some of her past investments with both Atomico and SoftBank include LendInvest, Gympass, Hinge Health, Ontruck and Rekki.