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Airbnb partners with the Olympics in 9-year deal

Just in time for Tokyo 2020

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Airbnb and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed a new deal to support five Olympics and Paralympics for the next nine years, making the platform a Worldwide Olympic Partner. Apart from the 2020 Games in Tokyo, the partnership covers Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan 2026, and Los Angeles 2028.

According to the IOC, the joint effort will be “in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.”

The partnership hopes to minimize construction of new infrastructure for host cities to accommodate not just athletes, staff, and workers, but the surge of tourists as well. This also means generating extra income for new and existing hosts in the local communities during the Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach said that the partnership underpins their strategy to ensure that staging the Olympic Games leaves a legacy for the host community.

Airbnb is also launching a new category of Experiences to be hosted by Olympians themselves. These activities can help provide financial support for athletes while they train, as well as career opportunities even after competing.

Airbnb as a more sustainable option

Airbnb has previously supported Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 as a domestic sponsor. A recent World Economic Forum study found that in Rio, the additional capacity provided through Airbnb was equivalent to 257 hotels. This saved the city unnecessary construction and carbon emissions, while also providing approximately US$ 30 million in direct revenue for hosts. It also generated an estimated total economic activity of US$ 100 million in three weeks.

Similarly, during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang last year, Airbnb hosts earned approximately US$ 2.3 million collectively by providing accommodation to 15,000 visitors who would have required 46 hotels.

Most recently, Airbnb hosts across Japan welcomed more than 650,000 travellers during the Rugby World Cup, and earned more than US$ 70 million collectively.

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Facebook shared user data with at least 5000 developers

When will Facebook understand privacy?

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After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has become synonymous with privacy invasion. You’d ideally expect the social networking company to learn something and change how it operates to protect personal user data. However, the company is back to square one.

A blog post confirms that Facebook shared user data to thousands of developers and continued to receive updates to users’ non-public information.

According to internal policy, if you don’t use the service within a gap of 90 days, it’ll stop having access to your data and no updates will be sent forward. However, this wasn’t practically enforced and developers continued to have unprecedented access.

This is an extremely sensitive flaw since a similar modus operandi was leveraged to funnel data of 50 million users to Cambridge Analytica. Going by Facebook’s announcement, data here includes the user’s email addresses, birthdays, language, gender, and more.

VP of Platform Partnerships Konstantinos Papamiltiadis said that Facebook estimates 5,000 developers continued to receive user information after 90 days of inactivity.

The company hasn’t revealed the number of users affected. Facebook says the issue was fixed after it was discovered but did not state when it was found and how it went undetected for such a long time.

It’s common for people to use Facebook as a sign-in option on third-party apps or websites. These services fetch your details directly from Facebook after your consent. But, if you don’t use the third-party service actively, your data also shouldn’t be shared with it. However, the issue does not plague all Facebook Login apps.

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Spotify launches Premium Duo plan for couples

Premium Duo starts at US$ 12.99

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Spotify offers multiple plans for its premium music streaming service. For a long time, the company offers a premium plan designed for one person. In recent years, it also started offering a family plan for up to 4 family members. Now, the company is expanding its portfolio once again by offering a plan for couples.

The new Premium Duo plan is Spotify’s answer to couples who want a cheaper premium plan. As the name implies, the plan is targeted towards two people. All features of Spotify Premium is here too. Couples can enjoy ad-free listening, unlimited skips, and offline songs along with new features unique to this plan.

Spotify included a Duo Mix playlist, which is unique to this plan. It works just like the Family Mix playlist on the premium family plan. Through this playlist, couples can enjoy the best songs they listen to on repeat. The playlist updates once in a while too.

The plan starts at US$ 12.99 per month, which is US$ 6.99 less than two individual plans. Like all other premium plans, there’s a free trial so couples can try out the plan first before shelling out cash.

With the new Premium Duo, there’s no need to share a single account between two people. Couples can keep listening to their own music, and it won’t affect each other’s accounts.

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LinkedIn launches its digital skills initiative

14 learning paths to choose from

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In this day and age, learning a new skill is important as the economy adjusts to a new normal. The Internet makes learning a new skill easy, with learners simply having to search Google to get started. However, it can be hard to gather the proper resources needed to effectively and efficiently learn a new skill.

To that end, LinkedIn has launched a new global skill initiative. It aims to easily and effortlessly bring digital skills to 25 million people by the end of 2020. To mark the initiative, the company has already launched 10 new learning paths for free.

LinkedIn based these paths on jobs that are in-demand for the economy of today and the future. These jobs also have the greatest number of job openings on LinkedIn, have the highest growth over the years, and pays a livable wage. Plus, most of these jobs rely on skills that can be learned online.

The 10 learning paths from these jobs are as follow:

The company is also launching four learning paths designed for professionals looking to expand on their soft skills. These paths include:

Other job-seeking features

In addition to these new learning paths, LinkedIn will also introduce three new features to help job seekers in these difficult times. The first feature is #OpentoWork, where job seekers can indicate that they are open to a new job through specific photo frames on their profile picture.

There’s also the second feature called offer help. LinkedIn members can indicate in a post that they’re willing to help other members in their network. Members can offer help ranging from connecting other people, reviewing resumes, or providing general job-seeking guidance.

Finally, LinkedIn is launching an interview prep. Through this feature, the company is offering its interview preparation tools including an AI-powered feedback feature for free.

Job seekers and employers can also gain access to some labor market insights from LinkedIn’s economic graph. These insights will help them find new jobs, other employers hiring for a position, and on-demand skills from over 180 regions across the world. It can be accessed through this link.

The current times call for an emphasis on cultivating skills that will be useful under the new normal. LinkedIn’s learning paths are a great way to start on a journey to learning a new skill. There are more learning paths and features that the company is offering which can be accessed by visiting this website.

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