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Instagram actively testing Reels to take on TikTok

Short 15-second videos

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Short videos under 15 seconds have gained massive popularity thanks to platforms like TikTok. Facebook-owned Instagram has been eyeing this space for a while and has reportedly expanded testing its Reels feature in India.

According to Business Insider, the Reels feature is being actively tested in India. This only after just a few days after TikTok was banned in the country. Furthermore, Instagram has confirmed it’ll be launching the new feature in more than 50 countries within weeks. Amid TikTok’s uncertainty, Reels has immense potential to be a worthy alternative.

The app will let the user record 15-second videos, add background soundtrack, as well as include a range of effects.

TikTok has come under immense pressure globally due to its poor data collection policies. The app was recently caught snooping around the user’s clipboard after Apple updated iOS’s privacy features. US lawmakers are worried about user data being collected.

However, Facebook itself is no saint when it comes to handling private user data. The company has a history of mishaps and the platform hasn’t learned anything from its mistakes.

The feature is currently active in Brazil and acts as an extension to Stories. You can find it in Instagram’s camera section, just beside the Boomerang and Super Zoom option.

The company had previously launched a separate app called Lasso. However, it was phased out and Reels was integrated into the Instagram app.

The sudden ban of TikTok has created a vacuum in India and it’s obvious Facebook wants to quickly bridge the gap by providing an alternate service.

Facebook and Instagram recently partnered with Saregama music label in India to provide access to a music library. The Indian government has also launched an app challenge that aims to encourage domestic developers and companies to take advantage of the recent ban.

Apps

Netflix is working on its first PC game

It’s a AAA title

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Though off to a relatively slow start, Netflix is now a gaming company as well. As of late, the platform included a variety of mobile games in its catalog of content. Every Netflix subscriber can play any of the games. Now, Netflix is working on something else entirely: a game for the PC.

Spotted by Mobilegamer.biz, Netflix has recently posted new job openings for a game director, an art director, and a technical director. All three listings describe a “brand-new AAA PC game” as a project. One listing even describes “one of Netflix’s first generation of internally developed original games.”

Currently, Netflix taps into other game studios to produce titles for them. Aside from a few independent developers, the platform even partnered with Ubisoft for mobile titles. (One of which will be based on the Assassin’s Creed franchise.)

With the listings in place, the company is expanding its efforts to developing its own titles. Right now, the unnamed project doesn’t feature a lot of details. While the project is still looking for a creative director, it’s likely that the plot isn’t finalized either.

Throughout the past year, the company has bled for subscribers. Since then, they have tried various strategies, including potential punishments for account sharing and cheaper subscription tiers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix will now let you kick people from your account

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TikTok is now under investigation by the European Union

For transferring data to China

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TikTok has now found its way under the microscope of the European Union. The collective is now investigating the platform for allegedly shipping off its citizens’ data to Chinese servers.

In a letter shared by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr (via Engadget), the current president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed ongoing investigations concerning TikTok in several countries in the European Union.

For one, Ireland is currently investigating how the platform transfers data to China and how it processes the data of minors. The Netherlands is also investigating the same data transfers and TikTok’s advertising towards minors.

For a while now, the European Union has persistently investigated various tech companies to review their compliance with the continent’s General Data Protection Regulation, which presents a stricter view on data privacy. Various companies have already found themselves on the receiving end of penalties brought down by EU courts.

An investigation on TikTok has been a long time coming. For years, the United States has doggedly hounded TikTok for the same violation of shipping user data to Chinese servers. The company continues to face threats of a ban on foreign soil.

Though an investigation in Europe is just another fight the company must face, it’s nothing to shrug off. Lately, the European Union’s ruling on charging standards is forcing Apple to finally ship their devices with USB-C, instead of the proprietary Lightning cable. The Union, especially when completely united across all the included countries, can very well make an impact on the tech industry.

SEE ALSO: TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook

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Ford elevates automobile experience through FordPass

Start, stop, lock, and unlock using your mobile device!

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Ford is inching closer to becoming a technology company with its array of innovative features packed in its automobiles.

During the 25th anniversary celebration of Ford in the Philippines, the company marked the advent of FordPass in the country. It’s a mobile application that allows access to vehicle-specific content and support, making it a smart all-in-one platform for connectivity and security.

Vehicles equipped with FordPass Connect — or a cellular model containing an eSim that enables the vehicle to connect to the internet — can utilize remote control functions. For instance, Ford vehicle owners can remotely start, stop, lock, and unlock their automobiles, as well as check the fuel level through their smartphones.

There’s also a vehicle locator feature that allows Ford owners to find their vehicles in crowded parking areas. The feature is extremely useful for those who always forget where they parked their cars.

next-gen ford everest

How to install FordPass?

To install FordPass, simply download the app via the App Store and Google Play Store. Select the FordPass icon on the homescreen, select “Philippines” and create your account.

After you enter your details, you can request a code for a one-time pin (OTP) to be sent via SMS. Registration will be complete when you received an SMS confirmation.

FordPass is available on mobile devices running Android 7.0 and above, and iOS 14.0 and above.

How to add a Ford Vehicle on FordPass?

If you have the next-generation Ford Ranger and next-generation Ford Everest (all models), you can add your vehicle to your FordPass app.

Click the drop-down on top of the screen and select ‘Add Vehicle’. It will prompt you to enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) and you’ll have to wait for confirmation. Once done, you can enter a nickname for your Ford Vehicle. Then, activate it.

FordPass is accessible to Ford owners starting December 2, 2022.

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