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Meesho, an Indian social commerce with 150M transacting users, secures $275M in new funding | TechCrunch

Meesho, a leading e-commerce startup in India with about 150 million transacting users, has secured $275 million in a new funding round, it disclosed in a securities filing. The new funding is part of a larger financing round, which is likely to include secondary transactions and balloon to over $500 million, people familiar with the […]

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Google brings a variation on 'Circle to Search' to iPhone users | TechCrunch

Google has found a way to bring a variation of its clever “Circle to Search” gesture to iPhone users. The new interaction, launched in January, allows Android users to search from anywhere on their device by circling, highlighting, scribbling or tapping, making it easier to engage with Google Search from any screen. Of course, a […]

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WeTransfer cuts out the middle man and now lets users sell files directly on the platform | TechCrunch

WeTransfer is adding new features that allow users to sell files directly on the platform, the company announced on Tuesday.

According to one study, 87% of content creators have reported late or missed payments. With this new functionality, photographers, designers, illustrators and other creators will now be able to earn money immediately and not have to spend time following up on invoices for payments. Plus, creators won’t have to deal with the additional cost of a website or storefront to make sales.

The integrated payments on WeTransfer are powered by Stripe and are rolling out to all users globally.

The company says that beyond standard payment processing fees from Stripe, there will be no additional costs for subscribers. Users who aren’t on WeTransfer’s paid plans will be able to access integrated payments without added platform charges until the end of June. The feature supports more than 100 currencies based on a user’s preferences when onboarding with Stripe.

Image Credits: WeTransfer

Creators can upload a file and then set a price in the new “request payment” section when creating a folder. After you set a price, you can send the WeTransfer link to a client or buyer. The person who receives the link will have to submit a payment before downloading the files.

“Millions of creatives already use our platform daily to interact with clients, fans and share important work, but too often get tripped up by chasing final payments long after the work has been completed,” said WeTransfer CEO Alexandar Vassilev in an emailed statement. “Bringing payments into our product ecosystem is a major new chapter in our mission to boost the convenience and earning potential of our creative user base, while removing common barriers through secure and beautifully simple technology.” 

The integration supports translations for all WeTransfer-supported languages, which include Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish and Turkish.

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Farewell, dunks? Threads launches quote controls for all users | TechCrunch

Threads users can now exert more control over who can quote their posts.

This builds on a feature that already allows Threads users to limit who can reply to their posts (competing services like X and Bluesky offer similar reply controls). Threads outlined its plans for quote controls last month, and last night Adam Mosseri — who leads both Threads and Instagram for parent company Meta — announced that the feature is available to all users.

“I hope this will help keep Threads a more positive place and give people more control over their experience,” Mosseri wrote.

As of Saturday morning, the ability to limit quotes isn’t showing up when I log into Threads on my desktop web browser, but it is available in the Threads mobile app. Quote and reply controls appear to be bundled together in a single dropdown menu, where users can open the conversation to “Anyone,” or limit it to “Profiles you follow” or “Mentioned only.” These controls should make it harder to “dunk” on others, where users quote someone else’s post in order to make them look dumb.

Image credit: Threads

“But dunking is good!” you say. “I need to be able to tell my followers when someone on X/Threads/Bluesky/Mastodon has posted something dumb, offensive, or stupid.”

Fair enough: When I’m not the one being destroyed, I enjoy a good dunk as much as anyone. Luckily, the ability to screenshot and share someone’s post while explaining why it’s dumb/offensive/otherwise objectionable still exists. This just makes it less likely that a succession of dunks will make the original post go viral.

And it means that in theory, the original poster can scroll on, blissfully anywhere that someone on the internet might be saying mean things about them.

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Watch: Spotify’s move to paywall lyrics is putting pressure on free users

Spotify’s slow movement to put lyrics behind its paid service wall in its music service are about as popular as you would expect. Precise details of the update are evolving but what we can say at this point is that it seems that Spotify has a new feature up its sleeve to try and get free users to convert to is paid service.

The why behind the move matters more than the what. Sure, it’s a little weird that Spotify is going to start putting information that is freely available online behind a paid wall, but the company is in a slightly difficult position today. Thanks to an early start and attractive pricing, Spotify is huge. It does billions in revenue, and helped shake up the music industry for good.

That said, it largely offers paid access to other peoples’ music. Other companies do the same. Apple is one of them. That means that Spotify’s pricing power is modest at best. Features like its yearly music review are neat, but don’t allow Spotify to charge more for its mostly-music-service than, say, Apple Music.

But as Spotify makes a lot more money off its paid accounts than it does off free users, it can at least try to get them to upgrade. And it only has so many dials to turn there. So, behind the paywall go the lyrics. For those of us who already pay, it’s a non-issue. But for the budget conscious, it may seem that that their prior service is getting worse for no reason that they can suss out. So long as some convert to paying users, Spotify will endure the gripes. It needs the gross profit.

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Apple rejects Spotify's update with pricing information for EU users | TechCrunch

Update April 25, 2024 8.30AM ET: Spotify told TechCrunch that Apple has rejected the music streaming service’s update. 

“Apple has once again defied the European Commission’s decision, rejecting our update for attempting to communicate with customers about our prices unless we pay Apple a new tax. Their disregard for consumers and developers is matched only by their disdain for the law,” a Spotify spokesperson said.

In a reply to Spotify, Apple said that Spotify’s changes would be approved if the company accepted Apple’s terms related to Music Streaming Services Entitlement (EEA). Here is Apple reply to Spotify in full:

Hello team at Spotify,

We are reaching out to let you know about new information regarding your app, Spotify – Music and Podcasts, version 8.9.33.

As you may be aware, Apple created a new Music Streaming Services Entitlement (EEA) for iOS and iPadOS music streaming apps offered in EEA storefronts. The entitlement allows music streaming apps to use buttons, external links, or other calls to action to direct customers to a purchase mechanism on a website owned or controlled by the developer. You must accept its terms before adding any of these capabilities to your app. Please find more information about the entitlement here.

We note that your current submission includes a call to action to purchase a Spotify subscription on your website. As such, you must accept the terms of the Music Streaming Services Entitlement (EEA) and include the entitlement profile in your app for submission. To be clear, this entitlement is required even if your app does not include an external link (nor does it require that you offer an external link). We will, however, approve version 8.9.33 after you accept the terms of the Music Streaming Services Entitlement (EEA) and resubmit it for review.

The European Commission said it assesses if Apple has fully complied with its decision. The commission also said that it will assess Apple’s App Store changes in relation to DMA.

“In general, if the Commission suspects that there is non-compliance with an adopted decision, it will send the undertaking concerned a Statement of Objections (‘S0’) explaining why it believes there is non-compliance,” a spokesperson for the European Commission told TechCrunch.

The headline has been changed to reflect that. The original story follows.

Spotify said Wednesday that it has submitted a new version of its app for EU users with pricing information and basic site information. Critically, the version doesn’t contain the link to the website.

The music streaming company said it is not opting into Apple’s new Digital Markets Act (DMA) changes that charge a “core technology fee” for developers with more than 1 million annual downloads.

The company said that the new update features bare minimum details that are in line with the European Commission’s ruling.

“Despite Apple’s attempts to punish developers with new fees, we remain committed to giving consumers a real choice in our app at no increased cost. That’s why we have submitted a new update to Apple. It features basic pricing and website information – the bare minimum outlined under the European Commission’s ruling in its music streaming case,” Dustee Jenkins, Spotify’s chief public affairs officer, said in a statement.

“By charging developers to communicate with consumers through in-app links, Apple continues to break European law. It’s past time for the Commission to enforce its decision so that consumers can see real, positive benefits.”

The version is yet to be approved by Apple, so Spotify will still have to wait until it goes live. Once Apple approves this, Spotify’s free users in the EU will be able to see the perks and pricing information of different premium plans.

However, they won’t be able to click on a link to go to the company’s website and buy those plans. Spotify said that the final version will have language indicating that users will need to visit the website via their browsers and buy a plan.

Last month, Spotify submitted a similar update to the App Store with a link to its website. However, Apple didn’t approve that version, and the music-streaming company didn’t hear back from Apple.

Spotify argues that under the DMA, gatekeepers (in this case, Apple’s App Store) should allow businesses to promote different offers to users on their apps.

Spotify submitted the previous update after the European Commission slapped a fine of €1.84 billion ($ 2 billion) on Apple for the company’s anticompetitive practices in the music-streaming market. In response, Apple said it plans to challenge EC’s decision.

“From now on, Apple will have to allow music streaming developers to communicate freely with their own users, be it within the app, or by email, or any other way of communicating,” EC commissioner Margrethe Vestager said at that time.

Natasha Lomas contributed to the report.

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WhatsApp now lets users plan and schedule events in Communities | TechCrunch

WhatsApp is introducing a new way for people to organize events in Communities, the company announced on Wednesday. The feature makes it easier to plan get-togethers and events directly in WhatsApp, whether it’s setting up a PTA meeting or a birthday dinner.

Anyone can create an event that others can respond to, so everyone else in the group can see who is planning to attend. Users can find the event in the group’s information page, and those who are going to the event will get a notification when the event date nears.

The new feature is first becoming available to groups that belong to a Community and will roll out to all groups over the coming months.

Image Credits: WhatsApp

WhatsApp is also adding the ability for users to reply to messages in Announcement Groups, which is where admins in a Community send updates to all community members. Replies are grouped together so you can see what other people have said, and users won’t get notifications for them. The purpose of this feature is to allow admins to hear from their members, while still keeping Announcement Groups organized and free of clutter.

WhatsApp launched Communities back in November 2022 as a way for neighborhoods, school associations, hobbyists and more to keep groups connected by letting admins combine up to 50 groups together. The company says it will continue to roll out new features to Communities and groups over the next few months.

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