Apps

TikTok announces a $200 million fund to pay creators

If you can’t convince the government, lure the people!

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TikTok is one of the largest video-based social networks and incumbents like Instagram are scrambling to join the trend. However, not everything is fine for TikTok since it’s now banned in India and the US is inching closer towards a similar proposition.

Amid the uncertainty, TikTok has announced a US$ 200 million fund that’ll help top creators on the platform earn. Officially called the TikTok Creator Fund, it aims to help adults make a living from the platform. A monetary benefit will directly lure users and encourage them to be more active on the platform.

Eligible users must live in the United States and “consistently” post original videos that comply with TikTok guidelines. The app will start accepting applications starting August. Details about the payout are unclear though.

Direct payout will make it easy for creators to earn because most rely on third-party deals to monetize their following at the moment. This process is cumbersome and works for creators who already have a sizeable audience.

Luring users in

With this announcement, TikTok is directly luring the users instead of trying to get cozy with lawmakers. Companies can usually lobby to law makers. However, TikTok doesn’t have that option anymore.

The recent security law in Hong Kong, border conflict with India, and lack of transparency about Coronavirus have put the Chinese company in a very difficult position.

Multiple reports and findings have indicated that the app could pose a privacy risk. The company has exhausted all strategical and diplomatic options.

Owned by China’s ByteDance, TikTok has tried its best to regain confidence by appointing an American CEO. They also hinted at possible corporate restructuring.

The company has a very short window to make its mark because rivals like Instagram are catching up quickly. Reels is Instagram’s alternative for TikTok and it has gained a lot of traction in India where TikTok isn’t available anymore.

Apps

Waze now supports Apple Music

Link those accounts

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Music always goes well with driving. However, because driving demands both hands on the wheel, controlling music playback isn’t always the most seamless experiences. Thankfully, a lot of navigation apps are expanding their support towards the most popular music streaming platforms right now. Today, Waze has announced that the app now supports dual functionality with Apple Music.

Of course, Apple Music isn’t the most popular platform today. Still, expanding support is always a win. With the new update, Waze users can now control their Apple Music content straight from the navigation app.

It does need a bit of setup, of course. Users will have to link their Waze account to their Apple Music account through the Audio Player setting on the app. Besides Apple Music, Waze also supports Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

Though the streaming platform is already a staple especially for Apple users, Apple Music is doing more to create a viable plan against other streaming giants today, including a cheaper Siri-only plan that rids the need for an app interface. The service also increased the price of its student plan in several countries recently.

Both Apple Music and Waze are available for download on the App Store and on the Play Store.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music increases subscription price for students

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Apple Music increases subscription price for students

In the Philippines and Singapore

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In the Philippines, Spotify is still king. However, the platform’s dominance isn’t enough to deter other music streaming services from setting up shop in the country. Much like Spotify, these other platforms are ever-changing and prone to price changes. If, for example, you use Apple Music as a student, you’re likely affected by a recent increase in the country.

In South Africa, Twitter user @LVDNoff took to the platform to reveal an email from Apple detailing a price increase for Apple Music’s student plan. “Apple is raising the price of this subscription from US$ 1.49 per month to US$ 1.99 per month,” the email read. Though it’s not a huge increase, a few extra cents can put a larger dent in a student’s allowance. Unfortunately, the email didn’t reveal why an increase was tacked on. It also doesn’t reveal if regular subscriptions might see similar increases.

MacRumors, who first reported about the tweet, uncovered something else about the price hike, too. South Africa isn’t the only country getting an increase. According to the publication’s findings, the following countries are also seeing higher student prices: Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Africa.

The report doesn’t indicate specific increases for each country. However, Apple Music’s website currently shows a subscription worth PhP 75 per month. When the service first launched in 2018, students paid only PhP 69 per month.

SEE ALSO: Apple launches the Apple Music Voice Plan

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Spotify lets you blend your music tastes with K-Pop stars

Mix and match with BTS

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Last year, Spotify introduced an all-new feature for music discovery. Blend takes your and your friend’s music preferences and melds them into one shared playlist. The feature can ultimately bring two people closer together by introducing one to the other’s music. Now, Blend is getting a major update: a K-Pop expansion.

And no, it doesn’t just mean a sudden infusion of K-Pop songs for your Blend playlists. Users, especially K-Pop fans, can now blend their music preferences with those of popular K-Pop groups, including BTS, AB6IX, ENHYPHEN, NMIXX, Stray Kids, and TOMORROW X TOGETHER.

As always, using the feature on these groups will create a playlist combining your songs with their favorite artists. You won’t just get a helping of their songs; you’ll get the songs of the ones they like.

Further, you’ll get a share card saying how much your preferences match up to theirs. Users can share these cards directly to social media platform. Use them as badges of honor to proclaim how alike you are with your favorite group.

Blending with artists isn’t totally new, though. Earlier this year, Spotify also unleashed the feature to cover Western artists like Charli XCX, Lauv, and Megan Thee Stallion, among others. Expanding this feature taps into a huge market that Spotify has, the K-Pop fanbase.

SEE ALSO: Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance

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