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Thursday Facebook will debut Facebook Dating in the U.S. after offering it for less than a year in some other countries. The company is also finally integrating the dating service with Instagram, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
Why it matters: Facebook has 2.4 billion users around the world and is hoping a dating service will keep them around longer.
Between the lines: American millennials — arguably the group most coveted by dating apps — have increasingly shifted their time to Instagram over Facebook’s flagship app, and many already use it organically to contact or get noticed by potential mates. In other words: it's already millennial consumers' de facto online dating app.
Details: Instagram's role in Facebook's dating service will be limited for now to a "secret crush" feature and letting users link select photos from the app to their dating profiles (a feature rivals like Tinder and Bumble already offer).
Facebook also hopes to get some points from users for safety-related features, such as a recently added ability to share a date's location with close Facebook friends as a precaution.
What we don't know: How Facebook suggests potential matches to its online daters.
Our thought bubble: Tinder, Bumble, and others likely don't have to worry too much about Facebook's dating service. But Facebook still has 244 million monthly active users across its apps in the U.S. and Canada, some of whom are already using those services to find potential mates.
Meanwhile: Facebook already has many people's phone numbers, and, thanks to Facebook, lots of other people do, too.
Go deeper: Facebook wants to be your matchmaker
Google said today it will make freely available a set of tools to facilitate what is known as "differential privacy" — a technique for collecting personal information in such a way that the data can be used to draw conclusions while no users' information is personally identifiable. The tools are being released as open source software.
Why it matters: Big tech companies like Apple and Google tout the technique as a key means for protecting privacy while still making use of the benefits of machine learning. Google's move aims to make the technology more broadly available.
Google said it has used differential privacy to do things like calculate a restaurant's most popular dishes or determine what hours of the day a store is busiest.
Samsung said Wednesday night that the delayed $2,000 Galaxy Fold will go on sale Friday in Korea and will be available in the U.S. "in the coming weeks."
The company had promised in July that the phone would ship this month, following design changes. The phone was delayed after several early reviewers found their devices failing within days.
Why it matters: Samsung and other phone makers are hoping foldable devices will usher in a new era for the once fast-growing but now stalled smartphone market, but so far things have gotten off to a rocky start.
YouTube says it's making 4 major changes to its policies, after settling with the Federal Trade Commission for $170 million for violating children's privacy laws, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Why it matters: The changes announced by the video giant show that it's taking the problem of preventing further violations somewhat seriously, even if children's privacy advocates argue that the fine didn't go far enough.
What's new: YouTube says it will do more to promote its kids-specific app, YouTube Kids. In addition, starting in about 4 months:
What they're saying:
"In terms of YouTube's response, it's a good start. However expanding resources for YouTube Kids should just be the beginning."— Dylan Collins, CEO of kids tech platform SuperAwesome
“[I]t's extremely disappointing that the FTC isn't requiring more substantive changes or doing more to hold Google accountable for harming children through years of illegal data collection."— Josh Golin, Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood executive director
The big picture: YouTube says that while it knows a lot of families watch YouTube together, it recommends that kids watching video alone use the more highly regulated YouTube Kids app.
Nissan has designed an autonomous golf ball that can make even the toughest putt sinkable.