Photo: Cocoon

Cocoon, an iPhone app for sharing with a close circle of friends, is adding a number of health and wellness features designed to be useful amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The app, founded by two former Facebook employees, was already pretty well suited to a society sheltering in place, as it allows people to privately share thoughts, pictures and other information with an intimate circle.

Details: The app was designed to allow physically distant friends and family to replicate the kinds of sharing that happen organically when they are with one another in person, CEO Sachin Monga said in an interview. Cocoon has been downloaded by thousands of families since launching last November, Monga said.

  • With its new update, Cocoon will also let people share health data like temperature or steps taken, and reward one another for staying at home for multiple days in a row.
  • "Hopefully this will provide a little extra comfort," Monga said.

Go deeper: Small social networks are having a moment

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

3 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.