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Spotify explores ad skipping for free users

Soon, you’ll be able to stream ad-free

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Isn’t it kind of annoying when you’re right in the middle of a kickass playlist and an ad breaks your groove? Bet you wish you could just skip the ads that interject your jam. Well, in what is probably a very unexpected move, Spotify has decided to let free users skip ads as much as they want.

Called Active Media, this move is an experiment that tests their hypothesis that users won’t skip all the ads, just the ones that don’t pique their interest. Spotify hopes to learn more about its user habits on the app, and later on improve the ad distribution to listeners.

Because advertisers won’t need to pay for skipped ads, this guarantees a dip in ad revenue in the short run, but perhaps a more curated ad experience for users will make it worthwhile.

This experiment is currently being run in Australia, but hopefully it’ll be sufficient enough to get expanded on a more global scale. I think it would be a win-win for everyone involved.

Apps

App that removes ‘China apps’ now trending

TikTok could be the most affected

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An Android app going by the name “Remove China Apps” is trending on the Google Play Store in India. The app says it can identify apps that are made in China and help you uninstall them. It has already crossed five million downloads and is currently at the top spot of Google Play’s top free apps list.

Not just India, but other countries like Australia are also actively downloading the app according to App Annie. The app is fairly easy to use. You just need to install it and it’ll show you all the China-made apps installed on your phone, for example, TikTok.

The app was launched on May 17 by an Indian developer going by the name OneTouch AppLabs. It had crossed one million downloads within 1o days of launch. It holds a rating of 4.9 out of 5. Obviously, much of this has to do with the nationalistic notion attached to it.

India went into a complete lockdown when Coronavirus threatened to ravage the country. While the country prioritized life over the economy, a two-month lockdown has drastically hit the economy and experts suggest it could dip into a recession soon. To revive the economy, the Indian Prime Minister urged everyone to support locally sourced products and reduce dependence on imports.

While India is actively fighting the virus, China has escalated border skirmishes in the north. It’s no wonder that the many have developed anti-China sentiments radically and a few developers are taking advantage of the situation. Furthermore, TikTok clones like “Mitron TV” have popped-up as local alternatives of the Bytedance controlled social platform.

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Microsoft replaces journalists with AI for its news service

Part of the company’s push towards using AI for its services

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These days, we often hear of AI or artificial intelligence and computers taking over the jobs of people. The latest company to join the party is Microsoft. The Redmond-based company is now replacing its hired journalists with AI to curate news for MSN and Microsoft News.

The move comes after a company-wide reshuffling this month. Microsoft is slowly building its artificial intelligence capabilities like other Silicon Valley companies. As such, MSN and Microsoft News will increasingly rely on AI for news curation and recommendation. This doesn’t mean, however, that Microsoft will stop dependence on human curators and editors. Currently, it employs more than 800 editors around the world.

The layoffs are not only affecting those based in the US. There are also reports that Microsoft is also letting go of people in the UK as part of the broader push towards AI.

Microsoft is no stranger towards using its own AI for its services. As a matter of fact, it is already using AI to scan news content and process it. It is also using AI to suggest photos that a human editor can pair with another one. The company has also been pushing for the use of AI to news publishers and journalists.

Source: The Verge

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Twitter adds draft, schedule tweets on the web

Sending tweets just got more flexible

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Photo by Yucel Moran on Unsplash

Sending tweets just got more flexible. Twitter is now adding an option for users to draft a tweet which they can continue later. Plus, there is now an option to schedule when a tweet should be posted.

Users don’t have to do anything to take advantage of these new features. Twitter has enabled these features just recently to everyone after experimenting with them in November.

For users who want to draft a tweet, they simply have to click “X” on the tweet window. A prompt to save the tweet will appear. Clicking “Save” will send the tweet to the “Unsent Tweet” where users can see a list of their drafted tweets.

It is important to note that drafted tweets will sync only on the web version of Twitter. There’s no option yet to see web version drafted tweets on the mobile app.

Meanwhile, those who wanted to schedule their tweets can do so by clicking on the new calendar icon on the bottom left of the tweet window. By doing so, a schedule option will appear, and users can change the date and time of the tweet’s post schedule.

Twitter Support prepared a little video for those who prefer to watch these new features in action:

These new features are surely a welcome addition to the platform. Perhaps, users who wanted to clarify their thoughts first before tweeting should greatly benefit from this feature. Now, if only Twitter would give its users an option to edit tweets. It’s still a pipe dream, but with new changes being introduced to the platform, it’s not impossible.

Source: The Verge

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