Hey, it’s a new week and another opportunity to stay updated with exciting stories making rounds and causing major global trends in the tech space.
One of the major stories dominating the global tech scene this week is the $44bn acquisition of Twitter by Tesla founder Elon Musk. Unsurprisingly, the billionaire founder has remained in the headlines with his controversial personality and intentions for the platform.
According to Musk, verified Twitter users are set to pay $8 for their verification badge starting next week.
While in a different clime, Amazon Web Service has launched its second African office in Lagos, Nigeria. These and more make up our global tech roundup for the week.
If you missed these pieces of information, or perhaps some key details are unclear, sit back and read as we have curated all of the best bits for your review.
Summary of the Bulletin.
- Twitter verification badge holders are to start paying an $8 monthly charge from next week
- AWS has launched its 2nd African office in Lagos
- Meta shareholders rage at ‘tone-deaf’ Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse push
- WhatsApp finally launches Communities and other new features
- 9 Nigerian startups made the 2022 Techstars Toronto accelerator Winter cohort
Read also: Google to adopt crypto as payment token in 2023 as Microsoft unveils 3 surface computers
Twitter’s ‘blue tick’ users to pay $8 monthly
In confirmation of his earlier statement alleging that Twitter was not profitable, and his intention to make it so, Elon Musk has reportedly made it known that verified tweeps would start paying $8 from next week.
After taking charge fully on Thursday last week, reports emerged that verified account owners would be charged $20 monthly to keep their verified status on the platform running. This was a shocker to many, who were surprised that the supposedly ‘free speech’ advocate would charge people to use the free platform.
But after supposedly carrying out a ‘revamping process‘ and making considerations based on purchasing power parity of countries, Musk has come out to place a charge of $8 on the verification badge for Twitter. Although met with wide criticisms, the billionaire seems to have his mind made up.
In his word, “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”
According to another Bloomberg report, top profile figure like the White House is undecisive about what to do next with this new rule and if it needs to pay also to retain its verification badge on Twitter.
While Elon Musk may think this is a brilliant idea, some Twitter users who already own the verification badge are baffled by this choice and have pledged never to pay. They see this as an expensive and irrational act for Twitter, which hasn’t done this in 16 years. Some people think this would jeopardize the legitimacy of the platform.
Quite a price for ‘free’ speech, don’t you think?
AWS launches second African office in Lagos
There is no doubt that the Nigerian tech ecosystem is one of the biggest and most attractive in Africa, with the inflow of investments it continually gets.
First, Amazon Prime launched the video streaming platform for the Nigerian market months ago to leverage and compete with Netflix. This time, the company has decided to have its presence in the country.
This week, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company, announced that it would open its first office in Lagos, Nigeria. Technext reports that the new Lagos office is part of AWS’s support for the growing number of customers and partners in Nigeria.
“We are excited to open our first AWS office in Nigeria. Lagos offers a highly skilled and creative talent pool, and the area is home to many fast-growing startups and notable Nigerian enterprises leading the way in digital innovation,” said Amrote Abdella, Regional Manager of Sub -Saharan Africa at AWS.
“We look forward to fostering the country’s pioneering spirit and helping our customers accelerate their digital transformation as they deliver innovative new products and services to the Nigerian community”, she adds.
This represents a new feat for Nigeria, which offers one of the largest markets to services provided by Amazon.
Zuckerberg faces new rage from shareholders
In what may seem like troubled waters for Facebook (now Meta) founder Mark Zuckerberg, shareholders of the company are becoming furious with his adamant attitude towards investing in the Metaverse initiative, which they consider a struggling one.
After stating last week that losses for its Reality Labs subsidiary, which is creating the metaverse, would “increase dramatically” next year. At the same time, overall capital spending would soar to as much as $39 billion, and the company further alarmed investors about its growing frustration.
The disclosures, alongside another dismal quarterly report, led shareholders to vent their anger in post-earnings meetings with top Meta executives, the Financial Times reported. One source familiar with the talks said there was a palpable “sense of frustration” over Meta’s rampant spending.
Zuckerberg has doubled down on his metaverse ambitions despite Meta’s stock plunging more than 72% since January. Early reviews of Meta’s “Horizon Worlds” metaverse have been largely negative.
We are probably witnessing another ‘Facebook story’, and the investors are not buying into that idea.
WhatsApp launches ‘Communities’…finally
Messaging platform WhatsApp has announced the launch of its discussion group feature, Communities, and other new features; in-chat poll creation, 32-person voice/video calls, and a larger group option of up to 1024 users.
The Communities feature entered beta testing after its conception earlier this year. This feature aims to make groups communicate better by enabling sub-groups and providing an opportunity for more users to interact and connect.
Also, multiple groups and conversations can now be connected and grouped under one umbrella, providing a more organised conversation pattern on the messaging platform.
Other features like in-chat polls, 32-person video calls, and a larger group option of 1024 users will also be particularly helpful for the new feature, “Communities”, especially as it was created for a wider array of individuals.
Read also: WhatsApp finally launches Communities and other new features
9 Nigerian startups make Techstars Toronto Winter cohort
This week, the Nigerian tech ecosystem recorded another feat, as it emerged as the only African country in the list of startups admitted into the Techstars Toronto 2022 Winter cohort.
We reported that 9 of the 12 startups selected for the Techstars Toronto Accelerator 2022 Winter cohort are Nigerian startups domiciled locally or internationally. The number of companies participating in the Winter 2022 class is the same as last year (12), but the number of African startups increased to 9.
Techstars Toronto provides early-stage startups with access to financial, human, and intellectual resources to spur the success of their business. Upon acceptance, companies admitted into the program get an investment worth more than $100,000.
The 9 startups are Fez Delivery Co, GIGXPad, Glover technologies, Klas, Simpu, Raenest, Renda, LaborHack and MAMy Wear.
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