Twitter Buys & Closes Quill; Samsung Merges Mobile & Consumer electronics; Apple Had Secret Deal With China; WhatsApp Beefs Up Disappearing Messages; Instagram Unveils Tools for Teens & Parents

Twitter has bought Slack competitor Quill and effectively shut it down. 9to5mac.com reports that Quill users will have a few days to export team messages before December 11th..when the server gets wiped. They are providing support to help export those messages, but Direct Messages won’t be exportable. In a cryptic close to the announcement, Quill said ‘We can’t with to show you what we’ll be working on next.’

Samsung is reorganizing internally, and is now combining and narrowing down. Previously, 3 divisions had CEOs, and they will now be cut down to two: Device solutions, which is the semiconductor business, and the new SET division, which includes mobile, TVs, and consumer electronics. According to theverge.com, Samsung has also appointed heads of their North American offices for those two divisions, in an effort to streamline what has been a sprawling organizational structure. 

Apple apparently cut a secret deal with China 5 years ago, pledging to put money into helping developing the Chinese economy. Appleinsider.com says Tom Cook personally lobbied to get the deal done. Cook signed an agreement with the Chinese government in 2016, pumping $275 million into the economy there. The deal has been kept under wraps all this time by both Apple and the Chinese government…with Apple not wanting to be seen as groveling to the government there. As part of the agreement, Apple pledged to work with Chinese manufacturers to create “the most advanced manufacturing technologies” and “support the training of high-quality Chinese talents.” This was accompanied by promises to increase its use of Chinese suppliers for device components, to work with Chinese software firms and invest in tech companies, and to work with Chinese universities on new technologies. 

In a move to expand flexibility in making messages disappear, WhatsApp will now let users turn on disappearing messages by default for all new conversations. Bgr.com reports that you can set the length of time before the messages disappear, too. You will also have the option to set this as default for group messages. WhatsApp has added 24 hours and 90 days to the options to make messages go ‘poof!’

In a likely related move by another Meta (Facebook) owned messaging platform, Instagram has bowed tools for teens and parents…convieniently announced right before a Senate hearing. Cnet.com notes that parents or guardians will be able to set limits on how much time teens are spending on the app, with an option to notify parents if a teen reports someone on Instagram. The new controls will be active by March 2022. In addition, Instagram is launching its ‘Take a Break’ feature, which nudges teens to get off the app after they have been scrolling for a period of time. The Senate hearing is tomorrow. 



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