YouTube suspends ads on Logan Pauls channels after recent pattern of behavior in videos

More problems and controversy for Logan Paul, the YouTube star who caused a strong public backlash when he posted a video of a suicide victim in Japan. Google’s video platform today announced that it would be pulling advertising temporarily from his video channel in response to a “recent pattern of behavior” from him.

This is in addition to Paul’s suspensions from YouTube’s Preferred Ad program and its Originals series, both of which have been in place since January; and comes days after YouTube’s CEO promised stronger enforcement of YouTube’s policies use a mix of technology and 10,000 human curators.

Since coming online again after a one-month break from the service in the wake of the Japanese video, in addition to the usual( asinine) content of his videos, Paul has tasered a rat, indicated swallowing Tide Pods, and, according to YouTube, intentionally tried to monetize a video that clearly infringed its guidelines for advertiser-friendly content( we’re asking if we can get a specific reference to which video this might be — they all seem fairly offensive to me, so it’s hard to tell ).

“After careful consideration, we have decided to temporarily suspend ads on Logan Paul’s YouTube channels, ” a spokesperson said to TechCrunch in an emailed statement elaborating on the Tweet. “This is not a decision we attained gently, however, we believe he has exhibited a pattern of behavior in his videos that induces his channel not only unsuitable for advertisers, but also potentially damaging to the broader inventor community.”

Yesterday, during a series of “Fake News” hearings in the U.S. led by a Parliamentary committee from the UK, YouTube’s global head of policy Juniper Downs said that the company had detected no evidence of videos that pointed to Russian interference in the Brexit vote in the UK, but the platform continues to face a lot of controversy over how it vets content on its site, and how that content subsequently is used unscrupulously for financial gain.( YouTube notably was criticised for taking too long to react to the Japanese video that started all of Paul’s ache .)

This is a contagion problem for YouTube: not only do situations like his damage public perception of the service — and potentially have an impact on viewership — but it could impact how much the most premium brands choose to invest on ads on the platform.

Interestingly, as YouTube continues work on ways of improving the situation with a mix of both machine learning and human approaches, it appears to be starting to reach beyond even the content of YouTube itself.

The Tide Pod suggestion came on Twitter — Paul wrote that he would swallow one Tide Pod for each retweet — and appears to have since been deleted.

Generally, YouTube reserves the right to hide ads on videos and watch pages — including ads from certain advertisers or certain formats.

When a person builds especially serious or repeated violations, YouTube might choose to disable ads from the whole channel or suspend the person from its Partner program, which is aimed at channels that reached 4,000 watch hours in 12 months and 1,000 subscribers, and lets the creators make money from a special tier of ads and via the YouTube Red subscription service.( This is essentially where Paul has fallen today .)

Since YouTube is wary of getting into the censorship game, it’s leaving an exit road open to people who choose to post controversial things anyway. Posters can turn off ads on individual videos. From what we understand, Paul’s channel and videos will get reevaluated in coming weeks to see if they meet guidelines.

It’s not clear at all how much Paul has made from his YouTube videos. One calculate sets his YouTube ad revenue at between $ 40,000 and $630,000 per month, while another puts it at $270,000 per month( or around $3.25 million/ year ). To note, he’d already been removed from the Preferred program and the Originals program, so that would have already dented his YouTube income.

And you have to ask whether suspending ads genuinely fixes “the worlds biggest” content issues on the platform. While an advertising suspension might entail a loss of some revenue for the inventor, it’s not really a perfect solution.

Logan Paul, as one example, continues to push his own merchandise in his videos, and as a high-profile figure who has not lost his whole fan base, he will still get millions of views( and maybe more now because of this ). In other terms, the originally contravening content( and a viable business model) is still out there, even if it doesn’t have a YouTube monetizing element attributed to it.

On the other hand, SocialBlade, one of the services analytics on YouTube inventors , notes that Paul’s opinions have dropped 41 percent, and subscribers are down 29 percentage in the last month, so maybe there is a god.

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Ubers new CEO could probably win at 10 dimensional chess

The courtroom has been cleared, the illuminations are off in the spillover room on the 19 th floor and the initial takes are in on the Uber vs. Waymo trial.

Uber will give Alphabet, the mother company of both Waymo and the search giant Google, some $244 million worth of stock, and agree to ensure that no Waymo intellectual property will make its way into Uber autonomous vehicles.

While Uber has settled, this is hardly a Waymo victory. Indeed, the only person who comes out of this looking like a winner is Uber’s new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi.

For some reporters, Khosrowshahi’s decision to settle was a foregone conclusion, but that was before the trial began and the strategies( such as they were) of the opposing sides became clear.

Once the trial was underway, Waymo’s victory began to look less and less like a foregone conclusion.

Uber’s former chief executive Travis Kalanick and Anthony Levandowski, the incredibly talented and unbelievably ambitious technologist whose decision to leave Google’s self-driving car program for Uber set off the lawsuit in the first place, both came out of the proceedings appearing appropriately terrible( they acted terribly ).

But Waymo did not appear to be making headway with its actual charge that any of the ( very likely ) allegedly misappropriated technology wound up in Uber’s autonomous vehicle systems.

Beyond the facts of the case, there was possibilities for Alphabet’s own executive team to come off looking less-than-stellar when Uber presented its defense.

By determining the case now, Khosrowshahi looks nothing short of magnanimous. His predecessor has been publicly humbled, along with the former employee whose employ triggered the case, executives at Alphabet are spared from having to take the stand and answer for whatever mistakes they may have made in handling Levandowski( and his departure) and Uber is merely paying $244 million to get out from under the lawsuit.( I know $244 million isn’t chump change, but compared to how bad things were potentially looking at the outset of the trial, the payout is a bargain .)

With the settlement, Khosrowshahi takes another long stride in moving past the mistakes that have bedeviled Uber almost since its inception — and surely since it became the ridesharing juggernaut that wanted to be uber alles under Kalanick’s increasingly tone-deaf leadership.

Read the last lines of Khosrowshahi’s statement and you’ll watch what I mean 😛 TAGEND

While I cannot erase the past, I can perpetrate, on behalf of the members of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will advise our actions going forward. I’ve told Alphabet that the unbelievable people at Uber ATG are focused on ensuring that our developing represent the very best of Uber’s innovation and experience in self-driving technology.

As we change the way we operate and put integrity at the core of every decision we induce, we look forward to the great race to constructed the future. We believe that race should be fair–and one whose ultimate wins are people, cities and our environment.

And the reconciliation between the two firms builds good business sense, as well. Uber had a longer way to go with its autonomous vehicle program than it wanted to admit( something that trial documents build very clear) if it was going to catch up with Waymo. Now, there’s at the least the health risks partnership down the road. And as both companies assure Amazon in their rearview mirror, a decision to be best frenemies makes even more sense.

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Google moves into Shenzhen in latest China expansion

A month after announcing plans to open its first AI lab in China, Google is expanding again through a move into Shenzhen.

The U.S. tech giant has opened an office in the Chinese city, which borders Hong Kong and known for being a global hardware hub, according to an internal email obtained by TechCrunch. This isn’t a fully-blown Google campus, instead the company has taken up space within a serviced office starting this week.

“We have many important our customers and partners in Shenzhen. We’re setting up this e-suite office to be able to communicate and work with them better, ” a spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement confirming the news.

Here’s the short email that was sent to staff 😛 TAGEND

Hello China Googlers,

I hope your 2018 is off to a great start! I want to give you all a heads up about a new workspace we’ve opened in Shenzhen. As you may know, we have a number of Googlers in China who travel to the Shenzhen area for business on a regular basis. We’ve heard a lot of feedback that there was a need for a space to run from while in the area–so, after a few months of scouting, we recently signed a rental for a serviced office in Shenzhen. The space opened the coming week and is now up and running. We’re hopeful this will provide Googlers with a comfy base to work from in the area.

Shenzhen is home to Tencent, the $ 500 billion firm behind WeChat, and mobile giants Huawei and ZTE, while the likes of Alibaba and Baidu are also present. The city has a thriving maker community, which includes global hardware accelerator program HAX.

There’s much to dig into around the search giant’s upcoming China-based AI lab, which taps into China’s growing AI talent pool and could signal a move to developing China-focused products. That, plus the re-launch of Google Translate app in China last year, devoted fuel to the idea that the firm is’ back’ in China. The Shenzhen presence is a more subtle development, a nod to the importance of the city for Google’s business.

The Shenzhen office is likely to be used by a number of teams that already expend a lot of time in the city. Google decided that something more permanent was preferable to working out of hotels or public spaces. The firm’s China-based sales team, its hardware squad and those in logistics, sourcing, supply are most likely to make use of it.

Further down the line it seems possible that Google might opt for an office space that is more permanent — and more Googly — but for now we understand that there’s no timeline for that.

The Shenzhen base also reflects Google’s position following its $1.1 billion bargain to acquire a large chunk of HTC’s smartphone business. As a report from The Information recently noted, Google has also ramped up its hardware efforts in China. Its headcount for its Shanghai-based hardware engineering jump to more than 100 from just 20 one year ago, the publication said.

“I expect Google to make its Home products and more in Shenzhen. No doubt the government had staff visiting frequently, ” Benjamin Joffe, General Partner at HAX, told TechCrunch.

“Considering the push they had at CES and the fact that they are expanding the product line there will probably be more Googlers to join the ranks of Apple, Amazon and other companies’ staff in the watering holes and eateries of Shenzhen, in Nanshan or Futian, ” he added.

Recapping the first TechCrunch China event in Shenzhen

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Alphabet launches new cybersecurity company, Chronicle, out of its X moonshot factory

Alphabet, the company you probably still incorrectly refer to as “Google, ” today announced the launch of Chronicle, a new cybersecurity company that aims to give companies a better opportunity at seeing and fighting off hackers. Chronicle is graduating out of Alphabet’s X moonshot group and is now a standalone company under the Alphabet umbrella, just like Google.

Stephen Gillett, who joined X from Google Ventures and was previously the COO of Symantec, will be the new company’s CEO.

To get started, Chronicle will offer two services: a security intelligence and analytics platform for enterprises, and VirusTotal, the online malware and virus scanner that Google acquired in 2012.

Gillett writes that members of the general notion behind Chronicle is to eliminate a company’s security blind spots and allow businesses to get a better picture of their security posture. “We want to 10 x the velocity and impact of security teams’ work by making it much easier, faster and more cost-effective in order to be allowed to capture and analyze security signals that had already been been too difficult and expensive to determine, ” writes Gillett. “We are building our intelligence and analytics platform to solve this problem.”

X’s Captain of Moonshots Astro Teller also notes that “the information that security teams need to identify and investigate assaults is right there in an organization’s existing security tools and IT systems, but it’s hidden in enormous volumes of data and therefore can’t easily be seen, understood, or used.”

What exactly this new platform will look like remains to be seen, though. Gillett notes that it will run on Alphabet’s infrastructure and use machine learning and advanced search capabilities to help business analyze their security data. Chronicle also says that it will offer its services in the cloud so that they can “grow with an organization’s needs and don’t add yet another piece of security software to implement and manage.”

Chronicle isn’t precisely the first company to take this approach, so it’ll be interesting to see how it is different from its competitors, which includes various log analytics firms and the likes of IBM.

While Alphabet admits that it doesn’t have many details to share at the moment, the company does say that the service is currently being alpha tested by a number of Fortune 500 companies.

Chronicle will host a press bellow later today and we will update this post as we learn more about the service .

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Rupert Murdoch wants Facebook to pay for the news

Rupert Murdoch, the executive heads chairman of News Corporation, today issued a statement calling for Facebook and Google to subsidize the news traveling through their platforms.

In the statement, Murdoch calls on Facebook to pay a carriage fee, as cable companies do with pay TV, to trusted publishers that are posting their content on the social media platform 😛 TAGEND

I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism.

The time has come to consider a different road. If Facebook wants to recognize’ trusted’ publishers then it is appropriate to pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model will be approved by cable companies. The publishers are plainly enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not to be properly rewarded for those services.

This comes fresh on the heels of a change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, which prioritizes posts from friends and family over those from publishers and content providers. Facebook said that the change was meant to increase well-being among users, offering a more proactive route to build a community and positive sentiment across the network.

But Wall Street didn’t react well to the change, which Facebook predicted would decrease time spent on the network, which ultimately will decrease the time users expend looking at advertisements.

As part of the announcement, Facebook’s News Feed chief Adam Mosseri didn’t have many concrete suggestions for publishers worried about decreased visibility on the world’s biggest social media platform, simply saying publishers should try “experimenting … and ensure … what content gets more remarks, more likes, more reshares.”

This also follows an ongoing situation around news credibility on social networks like Facebook. The spread of fake news across the internet, most noticeably on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, may very well have changed the course of the 2016 election. Whether it was triggered and spread by foreign performers like Russia or domestic political groups, it has forced Facebook to try to remedy the situation over the past year.

Facebook’s original entry into the world of media, the launch of Instant Articles in 2015, has spurred voracious intake of news on the platform. Pew says that around two-thirds of U.S. adults get their news from social media sites, with 20 percentage saying they do so often.

This has disenfranchised many publishers who require a direct connection with readers to preserve credibility. If all articles appear the same, and many “readers” are looking at an entirely different “front page” on Facebook, establishing the one and only truth of any matter becomes more difficult.

And let’s not forget that the media industry is in its own, continued transformation as century-old print publishings try to move digital.

Murdoch, one of the most successful people in news media, doesn’t ensure much progress with new business models such as subscriptions and pay walls, but does see an opportunity in making the tubes pay.

An unrealistic proposal

However, on closer inspection his suggestion is disingenuous. To publicly issue a carefully scripted statement with questionable insinuations( Facebook is equated to a cable provider) and very few details is more mud-slinging than muckraking. We’re not saying Facebook shouldn’t be paying somebody something, but this isn’t a realistic answer and I don’t believe Murdoch really believes it is either.

Carriage fees are pretty simple. Your cable provider pays a fee per subscriber to networks like ESPN and AMC in order to carry their programming; these fees differ from under a dollar for specialty or less popular networks( AMC, FX) to more than$ 6( ESPN, by far the most expensive ). The notion is that you as a subscriber are paying for access to these channels, and then paying for the convenience of having them delivered to your Tv by the cable company. The $40 -5 0 is truly only routed through the cable companies for convenience( yours and theirs ).

But while that stimulates sense for a cable provider with millions of subscribers in a single region of the U.S ., all paying $50 or more for the privilege of watching live Tv, it’s a poor match for the likes of Facebook.

Facebook’s “viewers, ” only off the top of my head 😛 TAGEND

are all over the world in different regions and jurisdictions

don’t opt what they assure( nor does Facebook, arguably)

pay nothing

are already monetized indirectly by both Facebook and publishers

YouTube tightens the rules around creator monetization and partnerships

In an effort to regain advertisers’ trust, Google is announcing what it says are “tough but necessary” a modification to YouTube monetization.

For one thing, it’s setting a higher bar for the YouTube Partner Program, which is what allows publishers to make money through advertising. Previously, they needed 10,000 total views to join the program. Starting today, channels also need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past year.( For now, those are just requirements to join the program, but Google says it will also start applying them to current partners on February 20.)

This might assure marketers that their ads are less likely to run on random, fly-by-night channels, but as Google’s Paul Muret writes, “Of course, size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for advertising.”

So in addition, he said 😛 TAGEND

We will closely monitor signals like community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure they comply with our policies. Both new and existing YPP channels will be automatically assessed under this strict criteria and if we find a channel repeatedly or egregiously violates our community guidelines, we will remove that channel from YPP. As always, if the account has been issued three community guidelines strikes, we will remove that user’s accounts and channels from YouTube.

Muret also described changes planned for the more exclusive Google Preferred program, which is supposed to be limited to the best and most popular content. Vlogger Logan Paul was part of Google Preferred until the controversy over his “suicide forest” video get him kicked out last week — a story that suggests some of the limitations to Google’s approach.

Moving forward, Muret said the program will offer “not only … the most popular content on YouTube, but also the most vetted.” That means everything in Google Preferred should be manually curated, with ads only operating “on videos that have been verified to gratify our ad-friendly guidelines.”( Looks like all those new content moderators will be busy .)

Lastly, Muret said YouTube will be introducing a new “three-tier suitability system” in the next few months, is targeted at giving marketers more control over the trade-off between running ads in safer environments versus reaching more viewers.

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As David Lettermans first Netflix guest, Barack Obama warns against the bubble of social media

David Letterman seems to be taking the title of his new Netflix present very seriously: On the very first episode of My Next Guest Requires No Introduction With David Letterman , he’s joined by former U.S. President Barack Obama.

The episode has plenty of funny moments, like Obama ribbing Letterman about his nearly Biblical beard. But they cover substantive political topics, too — not only during the course of its onstage interview, but also in Letterman’s stroll across Selma’s famous Edmund Pettus Bridge with Congressman John Lewis.

In fact, Letterman seems to be treating the new display as an opportunity to move a little bit away from his usual sardonic style and offer more depth and seriousness. He aimed the interview by telling Obama, “Without a question of a doubt, you are the first chairman I really and truly respect.”

On the tech front, Obama repeated some of the points he made in a recent BBC interview with the U.K.’s Prince Harry. After being asked about threats to our republic, Obama warned against “getting all your information off algorithm being sent through a phone.”

He noted that he owes much of his own political success to social media, which helped him build “what objective up being the best available political campaign, probably in modern political history.” So he initially had “a very optimistic feeling” about the technology, but he said, “I is considered that what we missed was the degree to which people who are in power … special interest, foreign governments, etc ., can in fact manipulate that and propagandize.”

Obama then recounted a science experimentation( “not a big scientific experiment, but only an experiment that somebody did during the revolution that was taking place in Egypt”) where a liberal, a conservative and a “quote-unquote moderate” were asked to search for “Egypt, ” and Google presented each of them with very different results.

“Whatever your biases were, that’s where you were being sent, and that get more strengthened over hour, ” he said. “That’s what’s happening with these Facebook pages where more and more people are getting their news from. At a certain phase you merely live in a bubble, and that’s part of why our politics is so polarized right now.”

Appropriately for a legislator who was so closely associated with hope, Obama also offered some optimism: “I think it is a solvable problem, but I think it’s one that we have to expend a lot of day thinking about.”

It seems that Facebook and the other big platforms are at least trying to address the issue. Yesterday, for example, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network is likely to be prioritizing “meaningful social interactions” over news and publisher content.

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Google CEO: I dont regret firing James Damore

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he still believes that it was appropriate to fire James Damore . “I don’t regret it, ” said Pichai, in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Ari Melber.

“It was the right decision, ” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, echoed onstage.

It’s been almost six months since the company rejected the engineer, who authored a controversial memo about purported gender differences. In a 10 -page rant, Damore made a series of claims arguing against Google’s diversity initiatives, some of which he incorrectly characterized as confirmed by science .~ ATAGEND

The decision to oust Damore received a lot of kudo — and also a lot of condemnation. And now, Damore is threatening a class action lawsuit,alleging discrimination against what he labels as conservative positions.( As a corporation, Google is within its legal rights to fire an “at-will” employee for just about anything, as long as they aren’t discriminating against a protected class .)

The last thing we do when we make decisions like this is look at it with a political lens, ” Pichai insisted. Ultimately, the company decided it was important for Google to “create a culture that is more supportive and inclusive of” women.

Wojcicki echoed that “if something transgresses our code of conduct, we should be able to take an action.” She said Damore’s writing struck a chord because she has dedicated her career to technology and has encouraged other women to follow suit.

His remarks “just seemed to set us back in so far in so many ways.”

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Google and Salesforce unveil first elements of partnership

Last fall at Dreamforce, Google and Salesforce announced partnership agreements. Today, the two companies unveiled the first pieces of that agreement.

For starters, Google Analytics 360 users can now import data regarding the Salesforce CRM tool such as results and opportunities, among other pieces. This could allow marketers to have a more complete position of the customer journey from first contact to sale and build a better understanding of how that fits together for a successful outcome. Of course, Salesforce has its own marketing data from Marketing Cloud and it has its own analytics products including Salesforce Wave and Einstein Analytics.

This allows companies employing Google’s analytics products to mix and match data between the two systems. Clients tend to use multiple products and that’s why these kinds of partnerships develop — to make it easier to get a big picture view across product sets.

The companies are taking it one step with further with this initial piece of existing cooperation by also providing connectors from Salesforce data to Google BigQuery, Google’s data warehouse service, where users to be able to combination this data with other enterprise datasets.

Finally, the companies are building a connection between Salesforce and Google’s ad pipeline to connect the best prospects with the right ad at the right time to push the sale to completion. In the company blog post announcing the partnership details, Google had this to say about the advertising connection 😛 TAGEND

“Marketers can use the tools in AdWords and DoubleClick Search to optimize their bidding on search ads based on the goal of actual marketings( offline conversions tracked in Salesforce) rather than just basic website leadings. Or they can create an audience listing in Analytics 360 of qualified results from Sales Cloud and use AdWords or DoubleClick Bid Manager so their showing ads reach people with similar characteristics.”

This is a case where blending the two types of information across sources could provide insights and abilities that wouldn’t have been possible from either source alone. It also enables those companies to compete with its competitors in this space, says Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“This partnership offering gives customers another option in the market and is targeted towards the traditional Adobe- Microsoft buyer, ” he said. Adobe has been a big player in this space with its analytics, advertising and marketing tools. Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016 for $26.2 billion, which devotes it access to a wealth of data to share with its CRM tools.

“The goal is to bring online and offline interactions together with the power of cloud analytics so that[ marketing] campaigns can be executed without the integration and manual gaps most marketers face today, ” Wang explained.

This is just the first step in a much broader partnership between the two companies and they promise much deeper consolidation over the coming year including bring back product specific data, lead conversion likelihood and lifetime client value.

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Googles Project Fi now caps data bills at $60

Google’s Project Fi cell service never played the “unlimited data” game that most carriers in the U.S. like to play( and which is never truly unlimited ). Instead, Google simply offered data at $10/ GB/ month and would give you a rebate for any data you paid for but didn’t use. Now, however, it’s taking its own stab at what is essentially an unlimited data plan. With its new’ bill protection’ feature, Project Fi users who use more than 6 GB of data in any dedicated month will never pay more than $60 for that( plus the standard $20 for unlimited talk and text ).

Update : A Google spokesperson told us that the company also changed how the data billing for Fi works now. You now pay for the data “youre using” at the end of the month, so there’s no need for rebates anymore. We have amended this post to reflect that .

So now, you will simply pay for the data you use, but once you hit 6 GB of data, your overall costs for the month won’t go beyond that $60 limit.

Because no unlimited plan is ever unlimited, Google, too, will slow your data velocities once you make 15 GB of data. The company says only 1 percent of current Fi users actually use that much, but then that number may go up once you don’t have to pay $150 for using that much data. If you go over 15 GB, you can always opt to pay $10/ GB to get faster speeds again( or, in Google’s word, “ opt out of slower speeds” ).

The bill protection feature includes international data( which is always included) and also applies to data-only plans for laptops, tablets and cars.

If you are on a group plan, the bill protection kickings in at different levels, depending on how many people are on your plan.

Google never positioned Fi as the cheapest carrier and indeed, you’ll find better “unlimited” plans with other carriers. Instead, Google always argued that Fi was a fairer plan that let you pay for what you actually use( though, yeah, you’re paying for unlimited calls and you probably don’t make a lot of those …). With the ability to use three networks( T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular ), Google also argues that its networks gives you access to more cell towers and 4G LTE than its competitors.

To utilize Project Fi, you’ll require a phone that supports switching between the various networks. Currently, supported telephones include Google’s own Pixel 2 and Pixel lines, as well as the Android One Moto X4( as well as some of the more recent Nexus telephones ).

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