Twitter unveils its premium subscription service called Twitter Blue
Available in Canada and Australia, for now.
Twitter is officially introducing its Blue subscription plan, and it has already rolled out for many. Users in Canada and Australia will be among the first users that can opt-in for the plan. However, the pilot run is limited to iOS for now.
For about US$ 3 a month, hardcore Twitter users get minor enhancements that are usually missing from the app. Undo Tweet, Reader Mode, and Bookmark Folder are some of the new additions that’ll give a slightly better experience. You can also change the app’s theme color, something that’s available on the web app for ages.
“This subscription offer is simply meant to add enhanced and complementary features to the already existing Twitter experience for those who want it,” Twitter’s Smita Mittal Gupta wrote in a blog post announcing Blue. Twitter has vehemently said that the service will always be free-to-use, and the current subscription is only for those who need a little edge over the others in terms of functionality.
The social media platform said it is launching the “first iteration” of its subscription service and plans to listen to feedback and build out even more features and perks for subscribers over time.
Twitter is on a massive overhaul spree as multiple companies like Revue, Scroll, and Breaker were acquired. Revue lets users create a newsletter within the app, Scroll tries to bring a better and ad-free news experience, and Breaker looks after podcasts. It has also launched Spaces, a direct competitor of the voice communication app Clubhouse.
It has also announced “dedicated subscription customer support” for its paying users. This means that users who have purchased a Blue subscription will get a prioritized response to tickets and troubleshooting.
Instagram announces collaborative collections feature
Share memes much more easily
Though the platform was generally intended to share photos with your friends, Instagram can have its fair share of memes. However, sharing memes on Instagram can be as tedious as passing links from thread to thread. Today, the platform is introducing a better way to share content with one another.
Announced on Twitter, Instagram is launching collaborative collections. Starting today, users can bookmark posts into a new folder that other users can also see.
Friends who share together, stay together 🤝
You can now save content with friends through collaborative collections.
Find a post you like → tap save icon → create new collaborative collection → name collection and toggle “on” pic.twitter.com/8cMKoOlMFA
— Instagram (@instagram) March 29, 2023
As with saving posts, the feature is accessible through the bookmark icon on the bottom-right corner of the post. However, users can now create a collaborative collection which can be toggled to allow friends to join and see what you saved. Once added to a collection, your friends can add and remove content from the collection themselves.
It’s not a completely public feature, though. If you share an image from a private account, collaborators must also be following that specific account to see the shared post. Likewise, if the post’s creator deletes the post, it also disappears from the collection. Besides the main feed, Instagram users can also create collaborative collections from chats.
Naturally, the feature has other uses besides sharing memes. Users who are collaborating on a project can also share their ideas and inspirations with one another. For example, a family designing their new home can share their ideas for rooms. A group of friends going on a road trip can share destination ideas.
SEE ALSO: Facebook, Instagram verification badge launches in the US
Twitter has a secret VIP list of users to boost
Including Elon Musk himself
Have you noticed something different about your Twitter feed? Since Elon Musk bought the platform, a few accounts are popping up more frequently than most users would want. Apparently, there is a reason for that. Uncovered recently, Twitter has reportedly been boosting a list of VIPs to appear more prominently in everyone’s feed.
In documents obtained by Platformer, Twitter is maintaining a list of VIPs consisting of about 35 users ranging in popularity. The platform is secretly boosting the visibility of posts from these profiles for a while now, according to the report.
It’s no surprise that the list contains Musk himself. Since buying the platform, Musk’s posts have found themselves on the feeds of every Twitter user. In addition to Musk, the list also contains NBA superstar LeBron James, US President Joe Biden, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Ben Shapiro. It also includes odder additions like a Tesla-focused account named @teslaownerssv and Derek Guy, a menswear writer.
It’s certainly a bag of notable personalities from several industries and everywhere on the political spectrum. It’s not just a who’s who curated by Musk himself. According to the report, the list was created to test an algorithm that boosts the visibility of high-profile users whenever they drop off in engagement.
Unfortunately, the list does put Twitter’s push for a more open platform into question, especially if only a select few are getting boosts.
SEE ALSO: Twitter just had its source code leaked
Why is Apple Music Classical a big deal?
It’s a pretty big development
Classical music isn’t for everyone. Though the genre has a rich history going back centuries, the world of music has evolved and branched out into different genres and tastes. That said, there’s been a lot of talk about the recently released Apple Music Classical. And it’s not just for classical music enthusiasts, either. Here’s why Apple Music Classical is an exciting development for anyone who likes music.
Today, Apple released the classical-themed app for the public. After weeks of speculation and confirmation, Apple Music Classical is finally available on the App Store.
All about the metadata
As the name suggests, the app is Apple Music tailored for classical music fans. The catalog contains over 5 million tracks. It also comes with an upgraded algorithm, allowing for more accurate and more specific searches. The name of the game here is metadata.
Today, listeners can typically rely on knowing only the song names, artists, and albums to find their requested track. However, there are a lot more that goes into a song: writers, composers, instruments, recording venues. This issue explodes tenfold for classical music.
For example, simply searching for Beethoven’s ninth symphony on Spotify is largely inadequate. By now, there are hundreds of recordings performed by different orchestras all over the world. Which one should you choose? Apple Music Classical simplifies this by allowing users to search according to composer, orchestra, conductor, soloist, ensemble, and many more.
The algorithm should be useful if implemented into the main app, too. Imagine being able to discover new favorites by searching for specific instruments. How about a rock song that uses a theremin? How about a very specific Rihanna performance recorded live? An advanced algorithm can make searches like these easy.
Listening to classical in 3D
Besides the improved metadata, the new app also offers high-fidelity audio going up to 192Hz/24-bit quality. With Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos, it should sound like you were at a concert yourself. What makes this even better is that it will come with an Apple Music subscription, not as an additional expense.
While lossless music is already available for free in some streaming services, the continuous addition of more hi-fi music wrapped in a better package makes the price of a subscription much more worth it.
Apple Music Classical is now available on the App Store. An Android version is also coming soon.
SEE ALSO: Apple Music is getting a separate app for classical fans
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