Zuckerberg announces new ways for Instagram creators to make money (via CNBC)
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently announced that their company is working on features to help Instagram creators generate more revenue from their content. There’s a marketplace in the works that matches brands with creators whose content fits the audiences they’re trying to reach. The goal of the marketplace would be for Instagram to play a more involved role in helping brands discover creators. Creator Shops will also be added soon which allows creators to sell goods to users directly through their own profiles.
Stripe acquires TaxJar to add cloud-based, automated sales tax tools into its payments platform (via TechCrunch)
Stripe, a privately-held payments company, recently acquired TaxJar, a cloud-based suite of tax services. The financial details of the deal have not been made public. In January of 2019 the company was valued at $179 million post-money when it last raised. Stripe also confirmed that all 200 employees of TaxJar will be joining the company. CFO Dhivya Suryadevia was excited about the acquisition, stating that “With TaxJar, we will help millions of internet businesses running on Stripe with their sales tax and making it easier for them to sell internationally…” This isn’t the first time the company has made a move in the tax area. Back in 2017, Stripe also bought out Payable, an online service that helps with 1099 reporting for customers who pay contractors. The addition of TaxJar has allowed Stripe to cover over 11,000 tax jurisdictions in the U.S alone which makes the users of the service even happier than before.
DigitalOcean says customer billing data accessed in data breach (via TechCrunch)
DigitalOcean recently announced in an email sent to their customers that a data breach allowed access to customer billing information. The two-week window which this occurred was from April 9th to April 22nd. Customer billing names and addresses were accessed along with the last four digits of payment cards, expiration dates, and the name of the bank the card was issued through. Accounts were not accessed according to the company, only billing information. DigitalOcean claimed that they fixed the issue that caused the breach and implemented additional security measures going forward.
Privacy browser Brave is launching its own Google search rival (via WIRED UK)
Google’s dominance of the web has been challenged by Brave who has announced they will be launching their own search engine. The founder, Brendan Eich, states that the search engine won’t track or profile people who use it. Brave already has a default anonymous user profile with no data collection at all which will continue into their own search engine. IP addresses will not be collected and they will be working on a paid, ad free version and a free version which includes advertising. Brave will not be starting its engine from scratch and have instead purchased Tailcat which is an offshoot of German engine Cliqz.
Spotify CEO says live audio content is the next ‘Stories’ (via TechCrunch)
Spotify recently acquired the live audio app Locker Room and with it they plan on creating the next stories. CEO Daniel Ek said that he sees live audio as a new set of capabilities that will be adopted by all. The pandemic has increased the idea and want for live audio. Clubhouse was one of the first to do it, starting an invite-only service for regular people to talk live with others, quickly amassing a following and having big names use the app such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Ashton Kutcher. Today, platforms such as Facebook, reddit, and LinkedIn are looking for ways to incorporate a live audio feature. Instead of starting from scratch, Spotify made the move to acquire Locker Room and build upon it. Originally created for sports, Spotify hopes to have the likes of authors, musicians, professional athletes, and more. This addition will satisfy a need that many creators on the app wanted; a way to connect with their fans.