Welcome, folks, to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular column wrapping up the week in tech news. I don’t know about you guys, but it felt like a long weekend – and I’m thankful for the extended weekend. For those observing Memorial Day, enjoy. Those who don’t, take time off where you can. We all need rest here and there.
First a few PSAs.
This week, TechCrunch Live hosted Flint Capital and Sensi.AI, a startup that uses audio-based software to monitor patients and assist medical staff and family members with care. To those of you who tuned in, thank you very much. But if you missed it, don’t worry – we’ll have the recording soon.
Then in September there is Disrupt, TC’s annual conference. Whether you’re a startup rookie learning the ropes, a seasoned investor looking for the next big thing, or a founder determined to change the world, Disrupt delivers the tools, knowledge, and connections to help you help achieve this.
Now on with the news.
After 28 years, Windows gets RAR support: Devin writes about Microsoft bringing native support for the RAR archive format to Windows. Miraculously, it took nearly three decades for the .rar file to finally be supported in Windows without any kind of additional software. That’s longer than I live, dear readers – not to date myself!
Netflix begins password crackdown: After a delayed launch, Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing is now starting to roll out to US subscribers and other global markets. The streamer originally planned to introduce “paid sharing” for US subscribers in the first quarter of this year, but pushed back the launch date to the summer after seeing cancellations in markets where it had already implemented the changes.
More layoffs at Meta: Meta is conducting its latest round of layoffs on Wednesday, which is estimated to affect about 6,000 people. These cuts are part of the so-called Year of efficiencyin which Meta is being massively restructured to save money and flatten its organizational structure.
EU orders Meta suspension: In other Meta news, Meta was hit this week with a formal suspension order demanding it stop exporting EU user data to the US for processing. Today the European Data Protection Board announced that Meta has been fined €1.2 billion (nearly $1.3 billion), which the board says is the largest fine ever levied under the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Meta forced to sell: Meta, once again dominating headlines this week, sold Giphy — the animated GIF search engine it bought for $400 million three years ago — to Shutterstock. The sale was not necessarily voluntary; seven months ago, the UK antitrust authority issued a final injunction to Meta to sell Giphy, on the grounds that the merger reduced competition.
WhatsApp adds message editing: WhatsApp this week announced one of the app’s most anticipated features: message editing. WhatsApp users can now edit a message within 15 minutes of sending the message. The edited posts have an “edited” tag next to the timestamp to mark the change.
The problem with paid verification: The fake Pentagon attack hoax that went viral this week shows the dangers of Twitter’s paid verification scheme. The core? The combination of paid blue checks and generative AI makes it all too easy to spread misinformation – and fast.
Investing in India: Amazon plans to invest $12.7 billion in its cloud business in India by 2030, the e-commerce group said Thursday, as it continues to scale AWS infrastructure in its key overseas market at a time when it has several other services in the region.
Bigger and better: Amazon launched its largest tablet this week. It’s called the Fire Max 11 and has an 11-inch screen. The company is pricing the device at $229.99 – a cheaper option for users than the 10.9-inch iPad and the new Pixel tablet with a similarly sized screen.
AI to build websites: This week at its annual Build conference, Microsoft launched Copilot in Power Pages — an AI-powered assistant for Microsoft’s low-code business website creation tool — in preview for US customers. Upon request, Copilot can generate text, forms, chatbots, and web page layouts, and create and edit themes for graphics and site design.
TechCrunch (virtual) in Atlanta
On June 7, TechCrunch hosts City Spotlight: Atlanta. We have planned a series of great programs, including a fireside talk with Ryan Glover, the co-founder of the fintech Greenwood, as well as a panel exploring the Atlanta area enterprise ecosystem and identifying the best ways to educate and meet local venture capitalists. But that is not everything. If you are an aspiring Atlanta founder, sign up to pitch to our panel of guest investors/judges for our live pitching competition; the winner will get a free booth at TechCrunch Disrupt this year to showcase their business in our startup alley. Register here.
Need a podcast (or several)? You’ve come to the right place – there’s no shortage of options from TC HQ. Continue this week Found itthe crew was joined by Sarah Sandnes, the co-founder and CTO of SafetyWing, which creates a global safety net for home workers. TechCrunchLivemeanwhile, Mark Rostick of Intel Capital and Garima Kapoor of MinIO, a startup that found a niche selling object storage while competing directly with Amazon S3.
TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and surveys – which you’ll know if you’re already a subscriber. If you’re not, consider signing up. Here are a few highlights from this week:
Profitability over growth: In this piece from Kate, five investors explained their mantra for South Korean startups. Kate spoke to selected investors investing in the South Korean market to hear their predictions for 2023, their investment strategy, which sectors appeal to them and more.
Cybersecurity Downturn: Alex writes about how, based on pretty strong earnings reports and valuations, public cybersecurity companies are outperforming the broader technology segment. Still, funding for cybersecurity startups has leveled off.
Startups in the enterprise AI race: Another piece from Alex explores whether startups have an opportunity in enterprise AI. Given the lucrative sales of software to large companies, he notes, the players are not looking for a small market.