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Trends to watch out for in the apps development industry in 2022

The App development industry is ever-evolving. Each day, you wake up and find something new on the table. The App development services are multiplying and bringing exciting progression in the industry. With this progression, the trends are surely near, and here are some trends industries need to watch out for in 2022:

Latest Updates

Latest Updates

Facebook renamed its “news feed” to just “feed”

Remember writing on your friend’s “wall” before the Facebook timeline? Now, the Facebook “news feed” will join the graveyard of anachronisms in our memories. Henceforth, the “news feed’ will now be known as just the “feed.”

Starting today, our News Feed will now be known as “Feed.” Happy scrolling! pic.twitter.com/T6rjO9qzFc

— Facebook App (@facebookapp) February 15, 2022

This decision could be read as an attempt to separate Facebook from its reputation as a hub of misinformation — they’ve quite literally taken the news out of the news feed. But in other realms of the app, Facebook is doubling-down on its desire to operate as a news source. Yesterday, Facebook announced that it is launching Facebook News in France. So, renaming the news feed could distinguish those posts — which include updates from friends, groups, pages, events and more — from the actual Facebook News section.

“Facebook News is a dedicated tab on Facebook in the bookmarks section that will spotlight news stories from a diverse range of reliable and relevant news sources,” the company wrote in a blog post. “As part of our ongoing commitment to journalism and content creation at Meta, this new tab will give people a dedicated space to seek out stories that matter the most to them, whilst ensuring original reporting is given a wider reach to audiences across the country.”

A team of independent journalists will help curate France’s Facebook News to ensure “a fair overview of news published.” Plus, Facebook has become a publisher in its own right through Bulletin, its curated slate of newsletters.

“We’ve had this change planned for some time. We think Feed is a better reflection of the broad variety of content people see as they scroll. This not related to the News Tab announcement in France,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Update, 2/15/22, 1:40 PM: Added comment from Facebook. 

Remember writing on your friend’s “wall” before the Facebook timeline? Now, the Facebook “news feed” will join the graveyard of anachronisms in our memories. Henceforth, the “news feed’ will now be known as just the “feed.” Starting today, our News Feed will now be known as “Feed.” Happy scrolling! pic.twitter.com/T6rjO9qzFc — Facebook App (@facebookapp) February

TechCrunch+ roundup: Zendesk rejects $17B offer, sidewalk robots, recruiting survey

When consumers started buying cars, many predicted the transportation revolution would lead to air pollution, traffic and life-threatening collisions. But no one gave much thought to the security aspect.

Early autos were very easy to steal: With a little practice, almost anyone could hot-wire an ignition, and Vehicle Identification Numbers were decades away. Most cars lacked locking doors until the 1920s, and Chrysler wouldn’t invent the ignition lock until the 1940s.

Fast-forward to today: the automotive cybersecurity industry has a compound annual growth rate around 20%. Likewise, the digital transformation sparked by the pandemic has boosted the cybersecurity asset management sector to new heights.

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There has been a steady drumbeat of stories about high-profile hacks, leaks and ransomware attempts since COVID-19 arrived on the scene. Newly remote workers are gathering and processing data titanic amounts of data, so keeping it secure has taken on greater importance.

In short order, this shift has created tangible benefits for the cybersecurity industry: In 2021, investors poured $29.5 billion into cyber startups, a YoY increase of 138%. Likewise, M&A activity nearly tripled, totaling $77.5 billion.

“Asset inventory has historically been a challenge when workforces were physically sitting in company offices and on company networks,” said Paul Baird, chief technical security officer at cloud security firm Qualys.

“With the pandemic solidifying a new normal of either fully remote or hybrid working approaches, the complexities surrounding asset inventory have only increased in difficulty,” he told TechCrunch.

Thanks very much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch+
@yourprotagonist

Our startup’s first hire was a fractional Head of Remote

Image Credits: DNY59 (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

By this point, most startup employees have worked remotely. Even so, few managers have any meaningful experience when it comes to overseeing distributed teams.

With that in mind, SaaS startup Wingback made a fractional head of remote its first hire, “and it was the best decision we made,” said Yann Leretaille, co-founder and CTO.

“A head of remote is not just a glorified HR manager. They make sure that the right processes are set up and that the right tools are selected and used to make remote work successful.”

TechCrunch Experts is recruiting recruiters

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

It’s common for early-stage founders to spend more than a third of their time on recruiting — not because they want to, but because they have to.

Fundraising is key, but a generous wire transfer from an enthusiastic investor only addresses one problem. Before you can deliver on any of the promises in your pitch deck, you’ll need to build a team.

To help TechCrunch+ readers take on this challenge, we are looking for experts to participate in a survey about tactics and strategies for startup recruiting in Q1 2022.

Do you have recent experience recruiting talent for pre-revenue startups?

If this describes you — or someone you know — please use the form to share a link to their professional profile and their contact information before March 4, 2022.

Exploring the many faces of sidewalk delivery robots with Cartken’s Anjali Jindal Naik

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

As part of an ongoing series of interviews with transportation startup founders, ​​Rebecca Bellan spoke to Anjali Jindal Naik, co-founder and COO of Cartken, which manufactures autonomous sidewalk robots.

Since its founding in 2019, the company has run pilot programs in Miami, Rotterdam and Tokoname, Japan, to offer curbside delivery and local pickup for restaurants, convenience stores and coffee shops.

“I think being on the bike path or even on the road creates some barriers to entry,” Naik said.

“Sidewalks, to us, seem like the best way to get to an origin and an end destination. So that’s kind of where we’ve landed.”

Zendesk spurns $17B private equity takeover offer

Image Credits: Bloomberg / Getty Images

Zendesk’s board of directors is a confident, secure group of individuals.

Last week, it declined a $17 billion offer from a consortium of private equity firms on the grounds that “this non-binding proposal significantly undervalues the Company and is not in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders.”

As Ron Miller and Alex Wilhelm note, the company best known for its help desk platform now has a suite of integrated support products that “accounted for $500 million in ARR and 35% of total ARR in its first year.”

Given the company’s steady growth, “who wants to sell that business for 10x?”

Startups are evolving to manage growth alongside profitability

Image Credits: Peter Cade (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

My knowledge of physics is rudimentary, but I know that momentum can only take you so far.

Eventually, external forces like gravity, friction — or increased competition in your chosen sector —will cause things to slow down a bit.

As startups get larger and older, they’re also adopting new growth strategies to deepen their defensible moats, said Amit Anand, a founding partner at Jungle Ventures.

In a TC+ guest post, he looks at tactics companies like DoorDash, Block, Airbnb and Zomato are using to build more resilient businesses. Three trends he’s identified:

Moving beyond demand-side innovation
Creating an ecosystem of offerings to maximize value
Accelerating profitable non-core operations

It’s not a startup reckoning, it’s a correction

Businessman using fire extinguisher on laptop computer that is in flames

Natasha Mascarenhas considers the turbulence at companies like Peloton and Hopin that experienced a huge pandemic-induced bump.

“Every growth round, mega-valuation, impressive IPO pop and total-addressable-market bump gave the appearance of strength amid the crisis,” she writes.

“But the same tailwinds that drove so much value creation also quieted money-saving conversations and planning for a future deceleration.”

As a result, we’re starting to see “which startups are disruption-proof.”

The laws of physics dictate that momentum can only take you so far. Eventually, external forces like gravity, friction — or increased competition in your chosen sector —will cause things to slow down a bit.

Clearview AI ordered to delete facial recognition data belonging to UK residents

Controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI has been ordered to delete all data belonging to UK residents by the country’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO also fined Clearview £7.5 million ($9.4 million) for failing to follow the UK’s data protection laws.
It’s the fourth time Clearview has been ordered to delete national data in this way, following similar orders and fines issued in Australia, France, and Italy.
Clearview claims to have scraped 20 billion images from sources like Facebook and Instagram
Clearview claims its facial recognition database contains some 20 billion images scraped from public sources like Facebook and Instagram. It previously sold its software to an array of private users and businesses, but recently agreed to restrict itself in the US to selling to federal agencies and police departments following a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In the UK, Clearview AI’s services have been used in the past by law enforcement customers including the Metropolitan Police, Ministry of Defence, and National Crime Agency. ICO says the company “no longer offers its services to UK organisations,” but notes that the data it has scraped from UK residents can still be used by customers in other countries.
In a press statement, the UK’s Information Commissioner John Edwards said Clearview had likely collected a great deal of information on UK residents. “The company not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behaviour and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable,” said Edwards. “That is why we have acted to protect people in the UK by both fining the company and issuing an enforcement notice.”
The ICO said Clearview violated several tenets of UK data protection law, including failing to use data in a way that is “fair and transparent” (given that residents’ images were scraped without their knowledge or consent), “failing to have a lawful reason for collecting people’s information,” and “failing to have a process in place to stop the data being retained indefinitely.”
However, although ICO has issued a fine against Clearview and ordered the company to delete UK data, it’s unclear how this might be enforced if Clearview has no business or customers in the country to sanction. In response to a similar deletion order and fine issued in Italy under EU law earlier this year, Clearview’s CEO Hoan Ton-That responded that the US-based company was simply not subject to EU legislation. We’ve reached out to both the ICO and Clearview for further clarity on these points.

Apple TV’s Prehistoric Planet looks so good it feels like a real nature documentary

Finally, some feathered dinos are ready for their close-up From the moment the first Tyrannosaurus swam onto the screen in Prehistoric Planet I was a lost cause — I giggled in delight. My thoughts instantly devolved from “I’m a science editor taking a serious look at this nature show” to “Holy crap, that’s a dinosaur.”
Prehistoric Planet is Apple’s attempt at answering the question: what if we made Planet Earth but 66 million years ago? The result is shockingly good-looking, especially since the producers have not, in fact, managed to invent time travel, nor have they pulled a Jurassic Park and brought dinosaurs back to life.
It’s a whole lot of movie magic that makes the five-episode series actually seem like a nature documentary, even though its main subjects haven’t been swimming the seas, soaring the skies, or stalking through forests since the end of the Cretaceous period. It’s not perfect — some heads looked animatronic, and some of the herds had a decidedly animated feel. But those few visual misses were drowned out by the film’s meticulous attention to detail. Snowflakes falling off a Nanuqsaurus after a blizzard or dappled sunlight hitting the cobalt feathers of a Corythoraptor in a forest make the dinosaurs seem real, even if every movement, every shadow, is engineered. This kind of leap forward in dino-realism was last achieved 29 years ago when the first Jurassic Park movie came out.

Since that’s the second mention of the movie, it’s time we talk about the titanosaur in the room. At the time it premiered, Jurassic Park was remarkable. It portrayed dinosaurs as science at the time understood them and inspired a generation of paleontologists. That generation has now been part of a massive wave of discoveries made in the decades since. So many discoveries, in fact, that some of the science represented in the original movie is now out of date — something that the many sequels have wrestled with. We’re now living in what’s often termed “the golden age of paleontology” — especially for dinosaurs. We now know so much more about how dinosaurs behaved, what they looked like, and where they lived than we did 29 years ago.
It is deeply exciting to see some of the fossil discoveries of the past few decades play out on the screen
So, for a paleontology nerd, it is deeply exciting to see some of the fossil discoveries of the past few decades play out on the screen — not just dinosaurs with feathers but also nesting behaviors, fights between species, and even how their digestive systems worked. There is absolutely no doubt that we’ll see plenty of discussion from the paleontology community about the series, including what parts were speculation, which parts were probably right, and what people disagree with the most, and some of that discussion has already been going on behind the scenes.
Each scene for Prehistoric Planet involved a vast amount of research and discussion about and comparisons with animals that we see today. “Everything that we show is plausible with the latest science,” Jon Favreau, an executive producer on the show, said in a press conference, noting how different that was “from Hollywood, where you could kind of make up anything and put anything on the screen.”

“Now this may all change by the way, in the year,” Favreau said, referring to the pace of research. “But right now we could point to everything we’re doing and none of it is done for flash. None of it is done for spectacle. This is all set in the science.”
Even with libraries of background research, there were some questions that the team’s scientific consultant paleontologist Darren Naish couldn’t answer with journal papers alone. But the film often ended up finding an answer nonetheless.
“We went with the floppy one”
Take one of the plesiosaur scenes. “We have to decide whether we show plesiosaur paddles as stiff when they flap them or whether there was a bend, you know, whether they were a bit floppy,” Naish said in an interview with The Verge. “We went with the floppy one, because that was what the animators explained would work best.” That choice turned out to be a good one. The animators had noticed that the biomechanics made the most sense with the “floppy” option, and a subsequent paper from researchers showed that that interpretation was probably correct, Naish said.
The depth of research is also reflected in the sheer variety of ancient creatures on display. There are popular favorites, like the T. rex with his pack of T. rex juniors. And velociraptors are here in full-feathered glory — clever girl. But there’s also Ornithomimus, the thieving nest-building dinosaurs that look like punk rock ostriches with dark mohawks and bright red sleeves. Or Barbaridactylus, a pterosaur that has a ridiculous giant antler on its head. Or Beelzebufo, a giant frog that will absolutely haunt my dreams. And charismatic megafauna aren’t the only ones to make the cut. Other organisms, including fungi, ammonites, and ancient plants all show up as supporting characters.

That’s fitting because, at its heart, this is still a nature documentary complete with the king of all natural history narrators: David Attenborough. Even though it doesn’t have all of the same creatures we see today (crabs and dragonflies do make cameos) the series has the same beats and stories that you’ll find in any Attenborough documentary — they just started in the fossil record and not in a field shoot. There are battles to the death, funny mating rituals, and cute young dinosaurs just trying to get by in a cruel world.
(Fair warning to any other new parents out there: the scenes with young dinosaurs in peril definitely hit harder than they ever did in my pre-kid days. I may have yelled, “Don’t you dare hurt that baby, David Attenborough!” more than once across the five-episode arc. Hormones are a thing.)
What’s really remarkable in watching the series is how it drives home just how much things haven’t changed in 66 million years. Sure, the continents have shifted, and different lifeforms have overtaken the planet, but the same forces are still at work. The seasons are still turning, lifeforms still have to contend with wild events like storms, wildfires, and even mosquitoes. Against these familiar backdrops, the dinosaurs feel just as alive as any bird or rhino or tiger that we’d see today — even though all that’s left of them are a few fossilized remnants. Turns out that with the right filmmaking tech and enough research, life, uh, finds a way.
“Prehistoric Planet” premieres on Monday, May 23 on Apple TV. The five episodes will be released daily throughout the week.

Imec launches sustainable semiconductor program

Imec, a semiconductor research accelerator in Leuven, Belgium, announced the first fruits of the Sustainable Semiconductor Technologies and Systems (SSTS) research program aimed at reducing the semiconductor industry’s carbon footprint.

Stranger Things 4 cranks everything up way past eleven

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven.

The Upside Down is back and more brutal than ever Stranger Things 4 is like the seasons that came before it in how it draws inspiration from the pop cultural canon of the ‘80s, making its individual chapters feel like studied homages to the genre cinema of the era. In this fourth installment though, Stranger Things embraces a newfound sense of itself as something more than a stylized tribute to the creature features and coming-of-age classics that packed theaters decades ago. Stranger Things 4 is bigger, bloodier, and much more intense than the seasons that came before it, but it also feels like a natural evolution of the sprawling epic the Duffer Brothers have been telling from the very beginning.
Time has always been a somewhat tricky thing in Stranger Things’ fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, where slimy portals to nightmarish parallel dimensions are known to occasionally open up, but it takes on a new significance as Stranger Things 4 catches up with its teen heroes. Set about six months after the events of its season 3 finale, Stranger Things’ newest batch of chapters opens on Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) all doing their best to find some sense of normalcy after their last battle with a being from the Upside Down.

Image: Netflix
Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson.

“Normal” for Eleven, Will, Will’s older brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and the boys’ mother Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) means settling into a new life as a seemingly average family in California where they believe “Jane” — Eleven’s birth name — can get a fresh start. With Eleven’s powers on the fritz and her adoptive father Jim Hopper (David Harbour) still missing, learning how to simply exist as a regular teenager is both a challenge and thrill for her. But Eleven’s genuine excitement and the Upside Down going all but dormant following their departure from Hawkins makes the Byers’ journey out West feel like something that’s right for them all.
Stranger Things 4 finds the rest of the gang back in Hawkins also mostly thriving as the town’s kids gear up for their impending spring break. With Lucas dedicating more time to Hawkins High’s basketball team and Max still coping with the death of her brother, Mike and Dustin find new friends in the Hellfire Club — a group of Dungeons & Dragons-playing outcasts led by outgoing senior Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn).
By splitting the kids up into smaller units and introducing other new characters, like basketball team captain Jason Carver (Mason Dye) and pizza-delivering stoner Argyle (Eduardo Franco) into their arcs, Stranger Things 4 establishes change as one of its defining themes this season. Stranger Things’ core group of childhood friends aren’t breaking up or falling out exactly, but they are growing up and apart as kids tend to do as they get older.
Leaning into that reality is part of the way that Stranger Things 4 tries to skirt around the fact that essentially all of its young actors have already visibly out-aged their characters. The distraction works, especially as Stranger Things’ central mystery pulls its protagonists closer together in the face of the supernatural once again. But when the kids are dealing with more grounded everyday challenges in normal settings, like getting a grasp on the social dynamics of their high schools, it’s occasionally hard to buy them as unpopular high school freshmen.

Image: Netflix
Eduardo Franco as Argyle, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, and Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler.

What’s much easier to believe and more interesting to dig into is the psychological baggage Stranger Things 4 highlights in each of its protagonists. Though Stranger Things has always and very much continues to revolve around Eleven and her connection to the Upside Down, this season plays with the idea of Hawkins being a cursed place that has an uncanny way of changing people who know about its secrets. While most everyone’s busy going through puberty and staying on top of schoolwork, they’re also dealing with the weight of knowing what kinds of horrors the Hawkins National Laboratory has unleashed upon the world.
Though this season introduces yet another Dungeons & Dragons-inspired creature from another world — this time a Nightmare on Elm Street-like ghoul — the monster plays an important role in how Stranger Things 4 begins to flesh out and answer some of the series’ bigger mysteries. For characters like Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Steve (Joe Keery), and Robin (Maya Hawke), Stranger Things 4 is a story about knowing themselves and embracing responsibility at a time when the adults in their lives aren’t equipped to. What’s impressive is how effectively Stranger Things organically pulls their threads together to tell a story that feels like it’s gaining momentum in the buildup to the series’ not-too-distant finale.
As Stranger Things 4 evokes the real-world satanic panic that gripped pearl-clutching ‘80s parents who didn’t understand why people would want to fight make-believe dragons in dungeons, you get the sense that this is the direction the Duffer Brothers always planned to take the show. There’s a thoughtfulness to both Stranger Things 4’s central monster and to the obstacles it throws at Eleven and co. that keeps this season mostly crackling with a vibrant energy. But that energy falters whenever Stranger Things slows down for one of its many quippy exposition dumps that pop up with increasing frequency as the season progresses. These caches of plot detail — always delivered in breathless exchanges of almost rhetorical questions — are also partially why some of this season’s episodes run (unnecessarily) long.

Image: Netflix
Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler, Rob Morgan as Officer Powell, John Paul Reynolds as Officer Callahan, and Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair.

One reason Stranger Things 4 sometimes feels the need to overexplain itself may be because there’s quite a bit going on this season that’s all meant to fit together like a satisfying puzzle once enough of the pieces are laid out. That impulse may be justified given how far this story’s come in the six years since Stranger Things first began airing, but it only serves to underline how straightforward most of the show’s twists are when you step back to consider them.
Unlikely as Stranger Things 4 is to confound you, it has a much better chance of disturbing you with its unusually gruesome and graphic way of sending off this season’s victims. There is a logic behind and significance to the amount of gore Stranger Things 4 puts on display, and the way those things are revealed really works to emphasize what level of threat Eleven and her friends are facing.
What’s curious about the episodes of Stranger Things 4 that were provided to press is how the show already feels like it’s in the series’ imminent endgame territory. It’s not that season 4 answers every burning question that you might have had. But it does manage to stand on its own in a way, instead of simply feeling like set-up for the finale. It’s bold, bloody, and a little too big — but it’s also a good reminder of what made Hawkins such a hit in the first place.
The first seven episodes of Stranger Things 4 premiere on May 27th, 2022, with the final two dropping on July 1st.

Samsung’s 240Hz 4K Mini LED 32-inch monitor goes on sale for $1,500

The Odyssey Neo G8 in action. | Image: Samsung

Samsung’s latest high-end gaming monitor — the curved 32-inch Odyssey Neo G8 — is now available to preorder for $1,500 and will be available to purchase on June 6th, the company has announced. The news follows its reveal back at CES in January.
The Odyssey Neo G8 is notable for having a 240Hz refresh rate, making it one of, if not the, fastest-refreshing 4K monitors on the market. Other features include a claimed peak brightness of 2,000 nits, support for Adaptive-Sync (which means it’ll do variable refresh rates with both Nvidia and AMD GPUs), and a curvature of 1000R.

Image: Samsung
Its curved display makes the monitor deep.

Image: Samsung
Its looks make it clear this is meant as a gaming monitor.

Image: Samsung
32 inches big with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Like its larger sibling, last year’s ultrawide Odyssey Neo G9, the G8 is Mini LED. It uses over a thousand LEDs as a display backlight, and these can be selectively turned off and on for better contrast. The G8 has 1,196 local dimming zones across its curved 32-inch display.
For an idea of how the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 might perform in practice, check out our review of the Odyssey Neo G9 from last year. Hopefully a year of progress means the new G8 won’t suffer from the same issues displaying HDR and 240Hz content as its predecessor. Curved displays are generally reserved for ultrawide monitors rather than regular 16:9 displays like the Neo G8, but it’s impossible to say for sure how it’ll perform until we see it for ourselves.

The Verge’s 2022 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Illustration by Harry Bhalerao / The Verge

Get a gift that the dad in your life will actually enjoy Sunday, June 19th, is the Day of the Dad in the US, and if you can arrange to be with your dad on Father’s Day, nothing beats the gift of giving your time. But regardless of your proximity to your special guy, getting him a gift will show how well you’re tapped into his interests or, at the very least, that you put some thought into making this Father’s Day a special one. For this year’s Father’s Day gift guide, The Verge staff has pulled together a wide range of gadgets and gear recommendations suited for work and play, like the Apple Watch SE, a handy electric screwdriver, a speedy e-bike, and a classic cocktail book.
Whether you have a tech-minded father or one who’s more into analog gifts that don’t require a smorgasbord of cables, we’ve put our heads together to come up with a couple of dozen gift ideas that Dad (probably) hasn’t thought of himself.

Instagram created custom fonts called ‘Instagram Sans,’ and some of them are truly wild

Instagram Sans is the new typeface you’ll see all over the app. | Image: Instagram

Instagram rolled out a big “brand refresh” today, which is mostly a fancy term for freshening up some marketing materials and making big hand-wavy statements about logos. And there’s plenty of that here, too. (Can I interest you in a long digression about illuminated gradients?) But there’s also one much bigger change: Instagram created its own typeface, called Instagram Sans, that it plans to use broadly going forward both in marketing and in the app itself.
Instagram Sans was inspired by Instagram’s logo, the company said, and “reflects the shape of the glyph and our commitment to simplicity and craft.” (Like I said, hand-wavy.) It’s inspired in large part by the combination of squares and circles, or as Instagram lovingly calls them, squircles. And, as Instagram has always tried to do, it’s a mix of pixel-perfect and hand-made with a few details, like the not quite straight terminal at the bottom of the “t,” that make it look more human. In some places, you can see the evolution from the cursive logo Instagram used for years.

Image: Instagram
Some of Instagram Sans looks normal — and some doesn’t.

Most of the Instagram Sans fonts are fairly straightforward sans-serif lettering, which makes sense for a brand with such a global and diverse set of users. Instagram said it worked with linguists to make sure the typeface works in as many languages as possible, including script languages like Thai and Japanese. In some fonts, only a small hump in the tail of the uppercase “Q” gives away that it’s an unusual font. But then there’s Instagram Sans Script, which adds broad brushstroke-y flourishes to practically every letter, sometimes to cool effect (the uppercase “W” looks like the logo of a super hip yoga studio) and sometimes to deeply strange results (the lowercase “r” doesn’t even look like a letter).
What the wackier fonts give Instagram, though, is a much more distinct identity. One place the company is hoping users try out Instagram Sans is in Stories and Reels, where a caption written in Sans Script is going to look nothing like a ripped TikTok video. As vertical video becomes the norm, there’s a certain sameness permeating the social landscape, and while a needlessly wavy “x” may not change everything, it’s something.
The real question, though, is how users will feel about the new look. Meta knows better than anyone how resistant users can be to change; remember all the “10,000 against the new Facebook!” groups? That may be why Instagram is starting small rather than totally overhauling everything about the app on day one. But don’t be surprised if you see squircles start to appear more places before you know it.

GameStop now has its own wallet for crypto and NFTs

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

GameStop has launched a beta for its very own Ethereum wallet that will let users store, send, and receive both cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through their web browsers. The wallet is currently available as an extension for Google Chrome and Brave, but GameStop’s wallet website indicates it will also be available as an iPhone app in the future.
After GameStop reached meme stock status last year, the company’s fan base has become largely split between two groups: gamers and investors. Those dedicated to “hodling” the stock may be in favor of GameStop’s foray into Web3, but many gamers dislike having the concept wedged into their pastime as much or more than they used to hate GameStop’s preorder policies or its insulting lowball offers for used games and systems. Players recoiled upon hearing Ubisoft’s NFT integration into Ghost Recon, and such strong reactions from gaming communities led the developers of games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and Worms to abandon their NFT projects altogether.

Securely store, send & use ETH, NFTs & ERC20 tokens with GameStop’s self custodial Ethereum Wallet.— GameStopNFT (@GameStopNFT) May 23, 2022

GameStop’s wallet is non-custodial, meaning users can access their assets via a private key known only to them. The setup is compatible with hardware wallets and reduces the risk of it being hacked or confiscated, but it means that if the owner loses their key, they also lose access to its contents.
It uses Loopring to execute transactions, a Layer 2 solution built on top of the Ethereum blockchain that’s supposed to lower costs for “gas,” the sometimes exorbitant fees incurred when processing a transaction on Ethereum. Earlier this month, the cost to process a transaction on Ethereum spiked into the thousands during the mint for the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s metaverse project due to the sheer volume of transactions processed at once.
With the launch of the new wallet, GameStop also confirmed that its upcoming NFT marketplace will become available sometime in the second quarter of this year. Upon launch, users will be able to use their wallets in conjunction with the marketplace. GameStop first announced the NFT marketplace in February alongside a $100 million fund that’s supposed to convince game developers to actually use it. The company is partnering with Immutable X for its launch, another Layer 2 protocol designed to lessen the gas fees associated with Ethereum transactions.