February 8, 2023

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Meta lays off thousands, FTX collapses and Twitter has a very weird week • TechCrunch

Hello friends! Welcome back to Week in Review, the newsletter where we round up the top TechCrunch headlines from the past seven days. Get it in your inbox every Saturday morning by subscribing here.

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Twitter had a week that was so weird it could easily make up this entire newsletter, so let’s stick to bullet points:

Last week Elon fired a large part of the company. According to reports, this week some of those released were asked to come back. Twitter started giving blue verified ticks to anyone who paid $8. Things quickly got messy. Twitter introduced a new, second tick for “official” accounts. And then got rid of them. And then… brought her back? On Friday morning, after fake “verified” accounts surfaced for everything from businesses to athletes to politicians, Twitter paused the $8 verification badge program. A number of executives resigned — to the point that the resignations pricked the ears of the FTC. Elon is said to have told the Twitter staff “Insolvency not excluded” for the company.

FTX Collapses: Once one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, FTX practically exploded this week. For a brief moment, it looked like competitor Binance would step in to take over FTX, only Binance would take one look at FTX’s books and back out almost immediately. Meanwhile, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has resigned and the company has filed for bankruptcy.

Layoffs at Meta: Meta – the parent company behind Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp – laid off 13% of its workforce this week. With a global workforce of around 87,000 employees, that means more than 11,000 job cuts.

Gmail won’t let you go back to the old Gmail: Don’t like the new look Gmail has been rolling out with since July? Bad news. While users could previously revert to the old design, this week the Gmail team announced that the new design will become the “default experience” for everyone within a few weeks.

Google Finds Exploits in Samsung Phones: “Google claims to have evidence that a commercial surveillance vendor is exploiting three zero-day vulnerabilities found in recent Samsung smartphones,” writes Zack Whittaker. “The chained vulnerabilities allow an attacker to gain read and write privileges to the kernel as a root user and ultimately expose a device’s data.”

Audio Summary

Looking for a new podcast to listen to on your commute? Here’s what’s been happening on TC Podcasts lately:

The Chain Reaction crew broke down FTX’s absurd collapse as it happened. Equity (featuring a guest appearance from TC’s Becca Szkutak) covered the seemingly endless layoffs we’re seeing at tech companies big and small, and what the collapse of FTX means for the company and companies like it. Darrell was joined by TC Senior Reporter Dom-Madori Davis on The TechCrunch Podcast to talk about “the coalition of VCs fighting for reproductive rights” and round up the biggest tech stories of the week.


Not a TechCrunch+ member yet? This is what the members behind the paywall watched the most:

How ButcherBox made $600 million in sales: How did ButcherBox grow from a humble Kickstarter to $600 million in sales in just a few years? Haje outlines the company’s path to date.

The Exchange: In his increasingly popular daily newsletter, Alex Wilhelm asks himself: Has every software company ever misjudged?