Apps

Netflix is testing a human-crafted playlist feature

Available only for iOS users for now

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After years of watching gritty mystery shows and laugh-out-loud comedies, Netflix still thinks that I might enjoy 2007’s romantic hit, One More Chance.

Content algorithms are far from perfect. At best, algorithm-assisted curation points towards currently trending titles you might want to catch up on. At worst, unappreciated suggestions usually clutter up feeds. Still, streaming services often rely on algorithms to fill up their users’ content menus.

Now, streaming is about to get an assist from its human creators. Recently, Disney announced its upcoming streaming service, Disney+. Besides a whole array of interesting features, the platform touts a more robust human-assisted curation system. Rather than relying on automatic playlists, Disney+ will have curated lists from professional experts. The decision is an interesting change from the streaming landscape’s usual systems.

Almost immediately after Disney’s announcement, Netflix has created a similar feature of its own. Spotted by an eagle-eyed Twitter user, the streaming giant is testing the addition of human-crafted Collections in its iOS app. The new feature will offer up expert suggestions based on a theme.

Currently, Netflix categorizes its suggestions based on theme. In comparison, the Collections feature will include more specific categories, themes, and moods. For example, a list called “Let’s Keep It Light” will suggest an easy-to-watch fare of light-hearted titles. Another one called “Women Who Rule the Screen” will include, as the name suggests, the best female-led titles.

Right now, Netflix is still testing the feature exclusively for its iOS app. As such, the company has not confirmed a wider release in the future. Given the feature’s new addition to the streaming industry, Netflix likely wants better testing results before a wide release.

If anything, human intervention is a welcome change to today’s AI-driven landscape. Maybe now, Netflix can stop suggesting old romances to me.

SEE ALSO: Watching Netflix in Asia just got a lot cheaper

Apps

Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash

Much-awaited partnership

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GCash Grab

Grab Philippines and GCash have finally struck a partnership deal that will make payments on the superapp even easier and more convenient.

Starting February, users will be able to add GCash as a direct payment method on the Grab app, making cashless transactions on food and grocery deliveries, car transport, and other services cashless.

Prior to the collaboration, GCash users could only send money from their account to their GrabPay wallet, and vice-versa, causing a bit of hassle switching in between apps on one’s phone screen.

The partnership also means there will be no more transaction fees unlike before when Grab users have to cash in using their credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts.

Grab customers may also avail of GCash exclusive deals, and even get treats when they pay using the e-wallet.

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Twitter is teasing an ad-free subscription tier

Will cost more than Twitter Blue

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The days of a completely free Twitter are over. Back in 2021, the platform introduced Twitter Blue, a premium subscription service to introduce more features for paying users. Last year, new owner Elon Musk revamped the subscription and made the paid features more exclusive. Musk is not done. A future update will likely add a tier to eliminate all ads on the platform.

Ads and sponsored posts are persistent problems for all social media platforms as of late. Though already asking users to pay, Twitter Blue only cuts down ads for paying users by only half. As the company tries to get sponsors back on the platform, wading through a sea of ads will likely continue.

Musk, however, realizes the problem and is now dangling a carrot at those who want to get rid of ads for good. As a way to curb them, the platform’s owner teased an upcoming higher-priced subscription tier which will allegedly block out all ads.

The billionaire has not announced how much a tier might cost. Currently, the regular Twitter Blue subscription already costs US$ 8 per month. Additionally, he has not revealed if there are more plans on the docket for curbing ads.

Since acquiring the company late last year, Musk has introduced a lot of changes to the platform, often to controversial appeal. Cutting down on ads is certainly a welcome change but only depending on how much it will ask from users.

SEE ALSO: Twitter might sell usernames in online auctions

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WhatsApp now allows users to talk to themselves

Can migrate through all devices

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An unread notification triggers our inner FOMO. Once you see that red ping or that card, it’s almost impossible to ignore. Some users, to replace a traditional notepad, even message themselves on messaging apps to act as an impromptu bulletin board. Now, joining in the list of apps that allow users to do that, WhatsApp is letting users talk to themselves on the app.

Available today, WhatsApp has introduced a feature allowing users to message themselves from the list of contacts on the app. As with any other message, users can mark their conversation as unread and pin it on top of every other thread.

Compared to other developments from WhatsApp as of late, a conversation with yourself isn’t as groundbreaking, especially since other apps already offer the same function. However, the new feature does open a lot of possibilities for users.

Besides the aforementioned self-pinging system, users can also have a notepad that essentially migrates from device to device. As long as you have a WhatsApp account logged on in every device you can take with you, you can read your notes everywhere and on any device.

WhatsApp isn’t the only app to offer such a feature. Users can also do the same on Meta’s other apps including Messenger and Instagram’s private messaging feature.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp has launched Communities

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