Daily Crunch: Twitter will let you limit replies

Anthony Ha

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1. Farewell, don’t @ me. Twitter will test a way to let you limit replies to your tweets

Twitter users will soon have four options to “tailor” the replies to their tweets: anyone can reply, only those followed by the user can reply, only those tagged can reply, or setting a tweet to allow no replies at all.

At CES, Twitter's head of conversations Suzanne Xie said the feature builds on the already launched ability to hide replies: "We thought, well, what if we could actually put more control into the author’s hands before the fact? Give them really a way to control the conversation space, as they’re actually composing a tweet?"

2. Quibi’s Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman offer a deeper look at the new streaming service

Quibi is using a new engineering technology it’s calling “Turnstyle,” which allows the viewer to move between portrait mode viewing and landscape viewing, seamlessly — and without any black bars to fill the rest of the screen when switching to landscape video.

3. IAC sells CollegeHumor to executive Sam Reich, resulting in 100+ layoffs
CollegeHumor will continue on with a new owner and a dramatically reduced team. Reich announced the move on Twitter, saying that digital media holding company IAC “made the difficult decision to no longer finance us,” but that it would allow him to “run with the company.”

4. Facebook won’t ban political ads, prefers to keep screwing democracy

Instead of banning political ads, Facebook is announcing a few tweaks to the information it lets users see about political ads — claiming it’s boosting “transparency” and “controls." Natasha Lomas is not impressed.

5. MasterClass co-founder’s new educational startup Outlier raises $11.7M

Founder and CEO Aaron Rasmussen previously helped to popularize online learning as co-founder and creative director at MasterClass. When Outlier launched last year, Rasmussen told me his goal is to address the growing cost of higher education by offering a more affordable alternative.

6. Together with portfolio company AMP Robotics, Sidewalk Labs launches recycling pilot in Toronto

Sidewalk Labs and its portfolio company AMP Robotics are working on a pilot program that would provide residents of a single apartment building of 250 units in Toronto with detailed information about their recycling habits. In other words, waste is categorized, sorted and recorded at a materials recovery facility, and Sidewalk will communicate with building residents about how they’re doing in their recycling efforts.

7. Will online privacy make a comeback in 2020?

Last year was a landmark for online privacy in many ways, with consensus emerging that consumers deserve protection from the companies that sell their attention and behavior for profit. The debate now is largely around how to regulate platforms, not whether it needs to happen. (Extra Crunch membership required.)