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1. Facebook hits 2.5B users in Q4 but shares sink from slow profits

In its latest quarterly earnings report, Facebook said it now reaches 2.5 billion monthly users, up 2% from Q3 2019. And it brought in $21.08 billion in revenue, up 25% year-over-year.

But profits aren’t growing as quickly as Wall Street would like. One big source of those expenses? Headcount grew 26% year-over-year to 44,942, and Facebook now has over 1,000 engineers working on privacy.

2. Avast shuts down marketing analytics subsidiary Jumpshot amid controversy over selling user data

It was recently revealed that the Czech-based cybersecurity specialist was cultivating another controversial revenue stream: harvesting and selling user data, some of it amassed by way of its security tools.

3. Study of YouTube comments finds evidence of radicalization effect

The study, carried out by researchers at Switzerland’s Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, found evidence that users who engaged with “Alt-lite”/”Intellectual Dark Web” right-wing content migrated to commenting on the most fringe far-right content.

4. Microsoft shares rise after it beats revenue, profit expectations, Azure posts 62% growth

Microsoft reported its fiscal 2020 second quarter (calendar Q4 2019) results yesterday, including revenue of $36.9 billion (up 14%), net income of $11.6 billion (up 38%) and diluted earnings per share of $1.51.

5. Snapchat launches Bitmoji TV: zany 4-min cartoons of your avatar

Snapchat is betting that narcissism will drive viewership for its new weekly videos that put you and your friends’ customizable Bitmoji avatars into a flurry of silly animated situations. Bitmoji TV will premiere on Saturday morning.

6. Practice Fusion, once backed by top VCs, pushed doctors to prescribe opioids in kickback scheme

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Practice Fusion solicited and received pay from an (unnamed for now) major opioid company in exchange for using its EHR software to influence doctors in the act of prescribing opioid pain medications.

7. Where top VCs are investing in travel, tourism and hospitality tech

To get a temperature check on the state of the travel market, the outlook for fundraising and which sub-sectors might present the most attractive opportunities for startups today, we asked five leading VCs at firms spanning early to growth stages to share what’s exciting them most and where they see opportunity in travel, tourism and hospitality tech. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

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