Facebook Adds Songs to Updates With “Music Stories” | Crunch Report


Postmates gobbles up the partial Sosh team,
Facebook adds Music Stories to its iOS app, synesthesia will make you smell your colors,
and more from Friday in Beijing, China, where it is SNOWING. It’s Friday December 6th and this is Crunch
Report. Sosh, the curated online marketplace that
helps people find fun things to do in their city, is shutting down, with 18 of the company’s
40 emplyees joining the team at Postmates, including founder and CEO Rishi Mandal. Postmates
CEO Bastian Lehmann said of the acquihire “Sosh has been thinking about local for
the past five years, building relationships with local merchants and engineering for that,
so the acquihire made a lot of sense for us.” Postmates is also on the up, up to almost
one million deliveries per month, and expects to bring in just under a 250M in gross sales
by the end of 2015. Sources tell TechCrunch that Sosh’s previous acquisition talks with
Airbnb fell through, and since the 4 year old company had run out of money, it was forced
to sell. Facebook’s got a new feature in its iPhone
app called “Music Stories,” a new form of post that lets users to discover new music
and share tracks with their network. It’s an integration with Spotify and Apple Music
and posts a 30-second preview of the shared song or album. If you like a song you hear
and you either have an Apple Music or Spotify account, you can buy it or save it to stream
later, or buy the track via iTunes. Facebook says support for more music streaming services
is coming soon. “Music Stories” can also help artists and bands get the word out with
song updates in the form of Music Story posts on their Facebook profiles and pages. 30 second
previews are kind of the worst, though. Aren’t they? Let’s move onto to something cool for you
Android folks. Google’s YouTube app for Android now supports virtual reality 360-degree
video in combination with its Cardboard VR viewer. The company partnered with a few video
creators to launch this feature and give people a sense of watching Hunger Games in VR, for
example. Or buying Tom’s Shoes…cause Google love those ads. The app also lets you play
any video on the service using Cardboard “and experience a kind of virtual movie theater”
which isn’t exactly VR content, but gets people used to wearing silly stuff on their faces,
i guess. Listen, I’m old, this is all very hard for me. Earlier this week, TechCrunch covered Leslie
Miley’s departure from Twitter. Miley was the only engineer in a leaderhship position
at the company who was also African-American, and wrote in a Medium post explaining why
he left that he had issues with the way Twitter addresses diversity and inclusion. He also
claimed that Twitter’s SVP of Engineering Alex Roetter had said, among other things,
“diversity is important, but we won’t lower the bar.” Well, Roetter has finally
responded in his own Medium post, writing “The comments attributed to me aren’t
an accurate or complete facsimile, but they conveyed a meaning that was very far from
what I intended, which means I did a poor job communicating. That resulted in unnecessary
pain and confusion, for which I am truly sorry. We all want the same results — stronger
representation of underrepresented minorities at all levels within Twitter.” Ok. This
story got a lot of attention this week for obvious reasons. Twitter’s trying to turns
things around with Jack Dorsey back as CEO, new features, and a jump start to their user
growth. What remains to be seen is how management changes based on diversity issues changes
officoal Twitter policy, if at all. Have you heard of the concept of synesthesia,
which means, the mixing of the senses? Well, prepare to be frightened about the future
of reality by this DIY hack lets you turn color into scents. The system works by reading
colors on various surfaces and then responding with a certain smell. A fan pushes a smell
over the user’s face depending on what’s associated with various colors. The system
uses an Intel Edison board and itty bitty servos to shove scent into your face. Then
a little hand sensor allows you to read colors on various surfaces and a built-in camera
turns each pixel color into a scent. Neat, huh? For a fun weekend project, TechCrunch’s
John Biggs notes that “It’s a fun and easy project and could turn
you into a mutant, hell-bent on the destruction of mere mortals and dedicated to the eradication
of Professor X and his X-Men.” That’s the report for the week from Beijing,
China. I’m Sarah Lane, and it’s been real. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific on techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. See you
tomorrow!

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