Big Tech

The big picture

Facebook boycott battle goes global

As more companies jump on the boycott bandwagon, organizers are taking their campaign to the world stage.

Jun 29, 2020 - Technology
Big Tech's reckoning on race

The industry also must grapple with the effects, good and bad, on inequality.

Jun 12, 2020 - Technology
Tech's biggest upcoming battles in 2020

Tech firms' battles this year will touch every part of our lives.

Jan 6, 2020 - Technology
Sundar Pichai's Alphabet to-do list

The new CEO of Google's parent company inherited a long list of issues in need of tackling.

Dec 17, 2019 - Technology
The sovereign state of Facebook

It's making the kinds of world-shaping decisions that used to be in the hands of governments.

Nov 1, 2019 - Technology
For tech, it's all hard problems now

The giants must navigate treacherous political, social, and ethical rapids at every turn.

Oct 9, 2019 - Technology

All Big Tech stories

New downloads of TikTok, WeChat to be blocked in U.S. on Sunday

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Commerce Department issued Friday an order blocking new downloads of WeChat and TikTok in the U.S. as of Sept. 20.

The state of play: President Trump has been in a standoff with TikTok, threatening to ban the app if its Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not relinquish control to a U.S. company. A deal is in the works with the American tech company Oracle, but would need to go through before Sunday to prevent TikTok from being ousted from app stores.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

IPOs flourish as market shows appetite for tech stocks

Photo: JFrog

Snowflake shares more than doubled on Wednesday, after having the biggest software IPO in history, while JFrog also posted strong first-day gains.

Why it matters: The moves show that Wall Street's appetite for new tech stocks remains significant, with concerns about both the pandemic and high valuations taking a back seat.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 17, 2020 - Technology

Behind Facebook's giant bet on hardware

Photos: Facebook

Facebook's foray into virtual and augmented reality, which it doubled down on this week, is a bet on where the future of online social interaction is heading. But even more important to Facebook, it's also a plan to make sure the company owns a big piece of whatever platform ultimately supplants the smartphone.

Why it matters: In the smartphone era, Facebook has found itself at the mercy of Apple and — to a lesser degree — Google and Android phone makers. The company doesn't want to see history repeat itself.

Sep 17, 2020 - Technology

Facebook launches Business Suite to link messaging apps

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook on Thursday launched a new app named Facebook Business Suite that lets small businesses manage their pages and profiles across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger from a single interface.

Why it matters: The app is the first product Facebook has launched that combines the backend infrastructure for three of its messaging apps. The company has teased this move for over a year.

Sep 16, 2020 - Technology

NYT, Facebook launch multi-year augmented reality reporting project

Screen shots from the NYT's Instagram filters about pollution

The New York Times and Facebook have struck a multi-year partnership to co-develop augmented reality (AR) filters and effects on Instagram that help users access and contextualize New York Times journalism, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: It's the first time that The Times has experimented with augmented reality technology at scale and off of its own website and apps. The partnership also represents an evolution in the relationship between publishers and tech companies.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 16, 2020 - Technology

Facebook updates Quest VR headset, will test sensors for AR glasses

Photo: Facebook

Facebook on Wednesday introduced a new version of its Oculus Quest and took the next step in a longer-term push toward augmented reality glasses.

Why it matters: Facebook has made big bets on virtual reality and augmented reality as key to its future and it is moving forward despite concerns from regulators and privacy advocates.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 16, 2020 - Technology

Apple just significantly deepened its bet on services

Photo: Apple

As expected Tuesday, Apple debuted new iPads and Apple Watch models featuring new colors and modest hardware advances. But the really significant long-term move for Apple was the further expansion of its services business.

Why it matters: With the slowing down of the smartphone market, Apple has turned to services to become its key growth engine.

Sep 15, 2020 - Technology

Kim Kardashian to freeze Facebook, Instagram accounts in #StopHateForProfit effort

Photo: Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Kim Kardashian West announced that she will join two dozen celebrities in temporarily freezing their Instagram and Facebook accounts on Wednesday because the platforms "continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation — created by groups to sow division and split America apart."

Why it matters: The announcement from such a high-profile user is likely to be a PR disaster for Instagram and Facebook, as well as a boost to the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Kardashian West is the seventh-most followed account on Instagram with 188 million followers. She currently has 30 million followers on Facebook.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Sep 15, 2020 - Technology

Apple updates Apple Watch and iPad models, adds fitness service

Screenshot: Axios via Apple.com

Apple on Tuesday unveiled new iPad and Apple Watch models, as well as a new fitness service and Apple One, which bundles the company's main services for one monthly price.

Context: Apple has launched new iPhones in September in the past, but production issues have flipped the script this year and the new smartphones are expected to be unveiled at a second event, likely next month.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 15, 2020 - Economy & Business

Match CEO calls Apple's policies "inconsistent and unfair"

Match Group CEO Shar Dubey stepped up her criticism of Apple's App Store policies in an interview with "Axios on HBO" that aired Monday, saying the way that the company applies its policies is "inconsistent and unfair" and takes choices away from consumers.

What happened: In the interview, Dubey said the App Store relationship, wherein the company controls billing and subscriptions, had been "a great source of dissatisfaction."

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