Daily Crunch: Twitter has a record week

Twitter sees record downloads, Signal adds a new face-blurring feature and Facebook rethinks its approach to government-backed media.

Here’s your Daily Crunch for June 5, 2020.

1. Twitter has a record-breaking week as users looked for news of protests and COVID-19

Civil unrest due to the nationwide George Floyd protests drove Twitter to a record number of new installs this week, according to data from two app store intelligence firms, Apptopia and Sensor Tower. While the firms’ exact findings differed in terms of the total number of new downloads or when records were broken, the firms agreed that Twitter’s app had its largest-ever week, globally.

For example, according to Sensor Tower, Twitter saw just over 1 million installs on Monday, making it the day with the most single-day installs since the firm began tracking app store data on January 1, 2014.

2. Signal now has built-in face blurring for photos

This is supposed to make it easy to protect someone’s identity without leaving any trace on other, less secure apps. After noting Signal’s support of the protests against police brutality, founder Moxie Marlinspike wrote in a blog post, “We’ve also been working to figure out additional ways we can support everyone in the street right now. One immediate thing seems clear: 2020 is a pretty good year to cover your face.”

3. Facebook adds labels identifying state-controlled media

Facebook will soon add labels to news outlets owned or otherwise controlled by a government — that doesn’t necessarily mean the information is false or unreliable, but at least it’s worth considering the source. Those outlets will also be banned from buying ads starting this summer.

4. OTTO Motors raises $29M to fill factories with autonomous delivery robots

The OTTO Motors division of Clearpath Robotics launched in 2015. It’s landed a number of contracts to bring its autonomous mobile robot platform into factories, with customers including GE, Toyota, Nestlé and Berry Global.

5. How to get the most from your corporate VC after you get the check

Scott Orn of Kruze Consulting looks at the factors that founders need to keep in mind if they want the best chance at a productive and successful relationship with their corporate VC. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Google says Iranian, Chinese hackers targeted Trump, Biden campaigns

Shane Huntley, director for Google’s Threat Analysis Group, tweeted that hackers backed by China and Iran recently targeted the Trump and Biden campaigns using malicious phishing emails. But, Huntley said, there are “no signs of compromise,” and both campaigns were alerted.

7. PhotoRoom automagically removes background from your photo

The concept is extremely simple: After selecting a photo, PhotoRoom removes the background from that photo and lets you select another background. When you’re done tweaking, you can save the photo and open it in another app.

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