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Tinder petitions for an interracial couple emoji

Love is universal and technology is for everyone

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When Unicode released 161 new emoji early this year, we all thought of it as a step towards embracing diversity. We have people of color, redheads, and same-sex couples added to the official emoji catalog. But we’ve been missing one — interracial couples.

Tinder launched a campaign called #RepresentLove last February 27, in collaboration with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Emojination founder Jennifer 8. Lee, with the goal of petitioning Unicode to introduce an interracial couple emoji.

Image by Tinder

In a recent study, Tinder and other popular dating apps may be responsible for an increase in interracial marriages. The research showed that online dating and interracial relationships go hand in hand. It may be true since dating apps are now a platform for us to meet anyone, anywhere in the world. In one swipe, we can connect with someone even from a completely different background.

Why is Tinder petitioning?

Tinder stated that the study inspired them to be at the forefront of creating change. They surveyed their users to find out how they think, feel, and connect.

The results were announced alongside the campaign, with vague information on numbers such as “72 percent believe Tinder is the most racially diverse dating app,” “77 percent of Tinder users say they’re more open-minded about who they date,” and “66 percent of global respondents who dated someone of a different race said it enabled them to experience places they weren’t previously aware of.”

I’m cynical when it comes to numbers, but I appreciate the effort to promote diversity. Our times are changing, and we’re becoming more accepting with the differences in racial and ethnic backgrounds. The tech world might still have a long way to overcome these boundaries but this campaign is a big leap into making technology for everyone.

The campaign website acknowledged the long process which starts from Unicode Consortium (the governing body of all things emoji) accepting the petition. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other platforms will modify their emoji once the proposal has been approved.

If you believe in Tinder’s outcry and that love is universal, let’s stand together with Tinder and #RepresentLove. The petition already garnered 10,000 signatures as of writing.

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TikTok will launch a Spotify competitor

Will release in December

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Illustration by MJ Jucutan

For quite a while now, TikTok has captured the short-form social media landscape. Whereas the past had the incredibly popular Vine, the world now has ByteDance’s equally popular platform. However, unlike Vine, TikTok looks like it’s here to stay. And, because of TikTok’s success, ByteDance can already expand beyond its niche.

Reportedly, ByteDance is currently negotiating content deals with major music labels including Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music. The deal supposedly relates to an upcoming, still-unnamed music streaming service. The developer is already amassing a workable cache of songs to include.

Besides the music content, the service will also include a smaller short video archive. The short videos will play over the interface while users search for more music. Additionally, users can sync the music to the videos.

According to the same report, ByteDance will launch the service as early as next month. It will come out first in smaller markets — like India and Indonesia — before a wider worldwide release.

Of course, the service’s popularity is still in question. TikTok is currently considered a security threat in the US.

As for price, the service will cost less than the world’s most popular option, Spotify. However, this alleged price compares Spotify’s current US price of US$ 10. (As such, this doesn’t mean much since Spotify costs less depending on region and package.)

SEE ALSO: Spotify extends free trial to 3 months

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WT:Social is a social network without ads and fake news

It’s created by the co-founder of Wikipedia

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In this digital age, fake news and ads have proliferated on the internet. Their proliferation has a big impact on society. That’s why Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launched WT:Social, an alternative social networking platform to Facebook and Twitter.

WT:Social is an abbreviation of Wikitribune Social. It aims to provide users with quality headlines by eliminating fake news. It does this by providing a news feed gathered from different “subwikis”. These “subwikis” act as communities where users can join and post news articles. Users can also report misleading headlines and fake news. In the future, the platform will also implement an “upvote” button.

The whole platform seems inspired by Reddit. Unlike Reddit though, a private company doesn’t own WT:Social. It operates through donations, which is also how Wikipedia operates. Through donations, the company promises to sell no personal data — a clear dig at major tech companies like Google and Facebook.

“We will never sell your data. Our platform survives on the generosity of individual donors to ensure privacy is protected and your social space is ad-free,” the platform states on its website.

Privacy-conscious users looking for an alternative to Facebook and Twitter may find WT:Social useful. They can now sign-up through this link, but there is currently a waitlist for new members.

With 80,000 members and counting, Jimmy Wales expect more users in the future. A privacy-focused social networking site focused on eliminating fake news is what the world needs right now, considering that fake news has the power to influence an election, and even generate a scandal.

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YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now available in PH

Offers a personalized music experience

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YouTube officially introduces its new music streaming app in the Philippines — YouTube Music.

In a nutshell, it is a reimagined, made-for-music app and web player that has official songs, albums, thousands of playlists, and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalog of remixes, live performances, covers, and music videos.

While all this is available for free in the ad-supported version of YouTube Music, a paid service called YouTube Music Premium is also available. This allows you to play songs and videos in the background while you toggle between apps, write a text message, or lock your phone during a run.

YouTube Music Premium also offers offline downloads and an ad-free experience starting at PhP 129 per month.

According to the company, YouTube Music not only has official songs, albums, and live performances, but it also has those hard-to-find music that one can only find on YouTube.

Another thing that makes it stand out is the ability to look for certain songs just by typing in parts of the lyrics. It’s useful for those times that you don’t know the title and know only a short part of its chorus.

The app also allows you to switch between music videos and songs with just a tap. YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers can enjoy a seamless transition between a song and its music video seamlessly.

It’s also noteworthy that subscribers of Google Play Music will get YouTube Music Premium membership as part of their subscription each month with no changes to the existing subscription.

Additionally, users may also opt for YouTube Premium which already includes membership to YouTube Music Premium for PhP 159 per month.

If you want to save more on subscriptions, you may sign up for a YouTube Family Plan where you can share a paid subscription with up to five other family members living in the same household for PhP 199 per month.

For additional info and complete rates, you may visit their website.

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