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Global Tech Roundup: Facebook is now a trillion-dollar company

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The first week of July has been a fund filled one. From VC fundraising to initial public offerings (IPOs) and startup acquisitions, the whole tech industry was stocked with impressive news.

Below we have curated some of the major stories around the globe you might have missed.

Facebook hits $1 trillion market cap

Facebook has surpassed the $1 trillion market capitalization mark for the first time ever. The social network giant hit $355.64 per share and a market cap of around $1.008 trillion by close of trade on Monday, 28th June.

The social media company’s stock rose by over 4% after a federal court dismissed an antitrust lawsuit against the social media company. The judge found the FTC did not provide enough evidence that Facebook holds a monopoly power.

Global Tech Roundup: Facebook is now a Trillion Dollar company

The Federal Trade Commission’s 2020 antitrust lawsuit had alleged Facebook used illegal anticompetitive practices to maintain a monopoly in social networking.

Facebook held its initial public offering in May 2012, debuting with a market cap of $104 billion. Now it’s worth over $ 1 trillion.

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With the latest milestone, the company becomes the fifth US company to surpass $1 trillion in market value, joining Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

Duolingo files to go public

Popular language learning app, Duolingo has officially filed to go public. The company was last valued at about $2.4 billion so the IPO is expected to raise its valuation over that number especially after it reported a 129% revenue growth in 2020.

Co-founded by the inventor of CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA, Luis von Ahn, and Severin Hacker, the language learning company has seen significant growth since its establishment. It has raised $183.3 million in venture capital investment.

Global Tech Roundup: Facebook is now a Trillion Dollar company

In its S-1 filing, the company provided a placeholder $100 million figure for the funds it expects to raise. It is expected that Duolingo will kick off the Q3 2021 IPO season.

Duolingo plans to list on the NASDAQ stock exchange using the ticker symbol, DUOL.

TikTok increases max video length to 3 minutes

TikTok is expanding to allow for longer videos. The company has announced that it will roll out the option to create videos of up to 3 minutes in length.

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This is up from the 60 seconds in max length, after initially expanding from 15-second clips.

TikTok said it decided to expand its max video length based on feedback it heard from its creator community.

“For some kinds of content, creators wanted more time and flexibility when filming — like when they were filming cooking demos, beauty tutorials, educational content and comedic sketches,” the company explained

SpaceX lands first stage onshore for first time in 2021

This week, SpaceX launched 88 satellites into orbit. This is the 20th Falcon 9 launch in 2021 and the first launch this year to feature the first stage returning to land onshore, rather than on a drone ship at sea.

The first stage booster separated at around 3:34 PM ET and returned to Cape Canaveral and successfully landed around eight minutes after liftoff.

Global Tech Roundup: Facebook is now a Trillion Dollar company

As this was SpaceX’s 20th launch this year (and 127th mission to date), the company will probably surpass last year’s record of 26 launches.

The load included 85 satellites for external customers, as well as three Starlink satellites. The Transporter launches are part of the company’s rideshare business model. 

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Discord acquires augmented reality startup Ubiquity6

Gaming chat app giant, Discord has acquired augmented reality startup Ubiquity6 for an undisclosed sum.

The AR startup had raised $37.5 million from a series of top investors including Benchmark, First Round, Kleiner Perkins and Google’s Gradient Ventures.

Global Tech Roundup: Facebook is now a Trillion Dollar company

Established in 2017, Ubiquity6’s aim was to build an app that would be the central way mobile phone users would browse augmented reality content.

In late 2019, the startup launched Displayland, which aimed to gamify the process of 3D scanning physical environments with a smartphone’s camera.

However, mass adoption was hampered by a mobile AR market. Recently the company pivoted from augmented reality to building a desktop platform that allowed users to play simple online party games together remotely.

You can check out other news that happened during the week here. Have a nice weekend!!

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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Facebook Owner Meta Launches New Platform, Safety Hub to Protect Women in India

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Meta (formerly Facebook) on Thursday announced a slew of steps to protect woman users on its platform, including the launch of StopNCII.org in India that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

Meta has also launched the Women’s Safety Hub, which will be available in Hindi and 11 other Indian languages, that will enable more women users in India to access information about tools and resources that can help them make the most of their social media experience, while staying safe online.

This initiative by Meta will ensure women do not face a language barrier in accessing information Karuna Nain, director (global safety policy) at Meta Platforms, told reporters here.

“Safety is an integral part of Meta’s commitment to building and offering a safe online experience across the platforms and over the years the company has introduced several industry leading initiatives to protect users online.

“Furthering our effort to bolster the safety of users, we are bringing in a number of initiatives to ensure online safety of women on our platforms,” she added.

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StopNCII.org is a platform that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

“It gives victims control. People can come to this platform proactively, hash their intimate videos and images, share their hashes back with the platform and participating companies,” Nain said.

She explained that the platform doesn’t receive any photos and videos, and instead what they get is the hash or unique digital fingerprint/unique identifier that tells the company that this is a known piece of content that is violating. “We can proactively keep a lookout for that content on our platforms and once it”s uploaded, our review team check what”s really going on and take appropriate action if it violates our policies,” she added.

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In partnership with UK Revenge Porn Helpline, StopNCII.org builds on Meta’s NCII Pilot, an emergency programme that allows potential victims to proactively hash their intimate images so they can”t be proliferated on its platforms.

The first-of-its-kind platform, has partnered with global organisations to support the victims of NCII. In India, the platform has partnered with organisations such as Social Media Matters, Centre for Social Research, and Red Dot Foundation.

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Nain added that the company is hopeful that this becomes an industrywide initiative, so that victims can just come to this one central place to get help and support and not have to go to each and every tech platform, one by one to get help and support.

Also, Bishakha Datta (executive editor of Point of View) and Jyoti Vadehra from Centre for Social Research are the first Indian members in Meta”s Global Women”s Safety Expert Advisors. The group comprises 12 other non-profit leaders, activists, and academic experts from different parts of the world and consults Meta in the development of new policies, products and programmes to better support women on its apps.

“We are confident that with our ever-growing safety measures, women will be able to enjoy a social experience which will enable them to learn, engage and grow without any challenges.

“India is an important market for us and bringing Bishakha and Jyoti onboard to our Women”s Safety Expert Advisory Group will go a long way in further enhancing our efforts to make our platforms safer for women in India,” Nain said.

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Facebook Adds New Trend Insights in Creator Studio, Which Could Help Shape Your Posting Strategy

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Facebook’s looking to provide more content insight within Creator Studio with the rollout of a new ‘Inspiration Hub’ element, which highlights trending content and hashtags within categories related to your business Page.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, when it becomes available to you, you’ll be able to access the new Inspiration Hub from the Home tab in Creator Studio.

At the right side of the screen, you can see the first of the new insights, with trending hashtags and videos from the last 24 hours, posted by Pages similar to yours, displayed above a ‘See more’ prompt.

When you tap through to the new hub, you’ll have a range of additional filters to check out trending content from across Facebook, including Page category, content type, region, and more.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

That could be hugely valuable in learning what Facebook users are responding to, and what people within your target market are engaging with in the app.

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The Hub also includes insights into trending hashtags, within your chosen timeframe, which may further assist in tapping into trending discussions.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

How valuable hashtags are on Facebook is still up for debate, but you’ll also note that you can filter the displayed results by platform, so you can additionally display Instagram hashtag trends as well, which could be very valuable in maximizing your reach.

Much of this type of info has been available within CrowdTangle, Facebook’s analytics platform for journalists, for some time, but not everyone can access CrowdTangle data, which could make this an even more valuable proposition for many marketers.

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Of course, overall performance really relates to your own creative, and thinking through the action that you want your audience to take when reading your posts. But in terms of detecting new content trends, including hashtag usage, caption length, videos versus image posts, and more, there’s a lot that could be gleaned from these tools and filters.

It’s a significant analytics addition – we’ve asked Facebook for more info on the rollout of the new option, and whether it’s already beyond test mode, etc. We’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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