Alex Heath, The Information

Alex Heath

The Information

Los Angeles, CA, United States

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Past articles by Alex:

Zuckerberg’s Plan to Repair Facebook’s Image: More Zuckerberg

During a companywide Q&A with Facebook employees last Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg turned to a question about a recent uptick in posts on his Facebook page, including a joke he made referencing the actor Vin Diesel a few days prior. He acknowledged that his public persona has been “really ... → Read More

With New TikTok CEO, ByteDance Roots Itself Firmly in Asia

TikTok said Friday that it had tapped Shouzi Chew as its new CEO, installing a lieutenant from its parent company, ByteDance, to oversee one of its most important and challenging businesses. The move is a big departure from the hiring of former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, the flashy U.S. ... → Read More

Social App IRL in Talks to Raise Funds at $1 Billion Valuation

Group messaging app IRL is in talks to raise more than $50 million at a $1 billion valuation, 10 times the level of its last round, according to two people familiar with the matter. The funding for IRL, which has caught on quickly in recent months among teenagers in the U.S., follows a ... → Read More

Anduril Raising New Round That Will Double Valuation to Over $4 Billion

Anduril Industries, a defense technology startup aiming to take on large U.S. contractors like Lockheed Martin Corp., is raising a new round of funding that will more than double the firm’s valuation to between $4 billion and $5 billion, two people familiar with the talks said. The Irvine, ... → Read More

Snap Acquires Screenshop App to Fuel Shopping Push

Snap is planning a bigger push into online shopping with a new feature in the Snapchat app that will recommend clothes users can buy based on photos they upload to the messaging app, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. And last fall, the company secretly acquired a startup once ... → Read More

Snap Plans Hardware Push With AR Spectacles, Drone

Snap is readying a new push into hardware with a more advanced version of its Spectacles smart glasses that feature displays capable of augmented reality effects, according to two people with direct knowledge of the device. It has also revived a years-long effort to build a drone. Unlike past ... → Read More

Instacart Eyes Fourth-Quarter Public Listing, International Expansion

Grocery-delivery app Instacart has been among the biggest beneficiaries of Americans being stuck at home during the pandemic. But its executives don’t want future buyers of its stock to worry about what happens when that ends. The company, which hopes to become a major challenger to Amazon by ... → Read More

As Twitter’s Stock Soars, Employee Bonuses Drop

Twitter has told its employees that they will receive a sliver of their corporate bonus target for 2020—just 7%—after the company missed its internal revenue and profit goals amid the pandemic, according to two people with direct knowledge of the decision. The austerity measure underscores how ... → Read More

New Apple Mixed-Reality Headset Details: Swappable Headbands, Eye-Tracking

A mixed-reality headset Apple is developing will be equipped with more than a dozen cameras for tracking hand movements and showing video of the real world to people wearing it, along with ultra-high-resolution 8K displays and advanced technology for eye tracking, according to a person with ... → Read More

Facebook Preps Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple

A long-simmering public dispute between Facebook and Apple has neared a boiling point. With the aid of outside legal counsel, Facebook for months has been preparingan antitrust lawsuit against Apple that would allege the iPhone-maker abused its power in the smartphone market by forcing app ... → Read More

Briefing: Clubhouse Confirms New Funding, Will Launch Paid Features —

The audio-based social network Clubhouse said Sunday that it raised a new round of funding from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, money it will use to introduce paid features and set up a grant program to pay popular users. The announcement comes two days after The Information reported that the buzzy startup, which remains accessible only on iPhones and through an invite system, → Read More

Following Trump Ban, Facebook Tells Employees to Avoid Wearing Company-Branded Apparel

Facebook on Monday told employees to avoid wearing or carrying company-branded clothing and other items in public following the company’s suspension last week of President Donald Trump’s account and its more recent crackdown on content mentioning “Stop the Steal,” an online movement that falsely ... → Read More

What the Google Ads Antitrust Lawsuit Doesn’t Say

Antitrust lawsuits are meant to make their targets look bad, and the Texas attorney general’s long-anticipated case filed on Wednesday against Google for allegedly using advertising technology to muscle out competitors is no exception. There are the “Star Wars”–related code names Google used to ... → Read More

Briefing: Facebook Joins Epic Games in Antitrust Fight Against Apple —

Facebook said it will help Epic Games in its antitrust lawsuit against Apple, producing internal documents that show how the iPhone-maker’s policies have “adversely impacted Facebook and the people and businesses who use our services.” Officially joining Epic’s cause, which seeks to force Apple to loosen its grip on mobile app distribution, ups the tension between Facebook and Apple at a time → Read More

The Facebook Lawyer Trying to Prevent Election Chaos

After vowing for four years that it would move quickly to curb misinformation around a heated U.S. general election, Facebook faced a critical moment late in the evening Tuesday. Knowing that ballot counting would drag on into the week, and with President Donald Trump already spreading doubt ... → Read More

Snapchat’s Indian Users Rise 150% as Growth Stalls in Home Market

Snapchat, which once faced a boycott in India, has more than doubled its users there in the last year as it has benefited from “changes in the competitive landscape” and a stream of deals with local celebrities, media companies and mobile carriers, said a senior executive. The messaging app’s ... → Read More

Facebook Opens New Fight With Apple Over Messaging

Facebook executives have sharply ramped up their criticism of Apple in recent months, contesting the iPhone maker’s restrictions on gaming apps and ad targeting, as well as its cut of in-app purchases. Now, emboldened by Apple software changes that suggest it is starting to bend, Facebook wants ... → Read More

Apple Said to Delay iOS Change Roiling Mobile Ad Market —

Apple has told some developers that it plans to delay the enforcement of a controversial change to its next mobile operating system that would upend how ads are targeted on iPhones and iPads, according to people familiar with the matter.The change in iOS 14, the next version of Apple’s mobile ... → Read More

Facebook, Snap Held Talks to Buy TikTok Rival Dubsmash —

Facebook and Snap recently held talks to buy Dubsmash, a lip-syncing video app that has surged in popularity alongside a crop of other TikTok competitors.Dubsmash was approached by both Facebook and Snap about a deal in recent weeks, according to a person familiar with the matter. The ... → Read More

Briefing: Facebook Withstands Revenue Hit From Boycott as User Growth Surges —

Facebook indicated that an advertising boycott has not significantly cut into sales, reporting quarterly results that also showed its resilience to a pandemic-related advertising downturn last quarter. The social network grew its revenue by 11% year-over-year in the second quarter to $18.7 billion, well above the more anemic 4% growth that Wall Street analysts expected. Daily users of the main → Read More