Global Tech Roundup: TikTok for Movies, Quibi is Shutting Down after 6 Months

PARK CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 24: Jeffrey Katzenberg demonstrates Quibi’s Turnstyle technology at Sundance 2020 on January 24, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Quibi)

Hi Guys! It’s the end of another busy week in the world of tech. From the expansion of Facebook’s unique dating feature to the beta testing of Tesla Full Self-Driving’ car, there were several interesting stories during the week.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the major stories around the globe you might have missed.

Quibi is shutting down in December

Quibi, a video streaming app founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman earlier this year is shutting down. During its lifetime the startup raised nearly $2 billion in funding from big corporations like Alibaba, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, among others.

Quibi’s model was to produce mobile-first short-sized(6-10 mins) videos content packed with Hollywood star power. Not long after its launching, the startup began to be plagued by growth issues.

In its first few months, Quibi was downloaded 3.5 million times and had 1.5 million active users. Although it wasn’t too shabby, the company had to adjust its original projections to reach 7 million users and $250 million in subscriber revenue in its first year.

This was however not enough to save the company and Katzenberg blamed the coronavirus pandemic for a lacklustre launch in May. She explained that “an app designed for on-the-go viewing didn’t have much appeal when people were largely stuck at home. And whatever the reason, none of Quibi’s shows ever became a breakout hit.”

Facebook’s Oversight Board Begins Work

Facebook’s Content Oversight Board has started reviewing cases about what content stays or is removed from the platform.

The international group of 20 includes former journalists, U.S. appeals court judges, digital rights activists, the ex-prime minister of Denmark and one member from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

According to Facebook, anyone who has appealed an eligible content moderation decision on Facebook or Instagram and has already gone through the normal appeals process will get a special ID that they can take to the Oversight Board website to submit their case.

The board will then decide which cases to consider, pulling from a combination of user-appealed cases and cases that Facebook will send its way.

HBO Max hits 57 million subscribers worldwide

HBO Max has hit 57 million global subscribers according to its third quarter report released by AT&T. The report shows that new HBO Max activations more than doubled from second-quarter levels, reaching 8.6 million in Q3.

In total, 28.7 million customers were eligible to stream their HBO Max subscription in the US by the end of the quarter. In comparison, Netflix had a total of 73.08 million subscribers in the US during the quarter.

Apart from growth in subscribers, consumer engagement on the new platform was doing well, up nearly 60% from HBO Now levels.

Suggested read: Uber and Lyft Push for Prop 22 after Appeal Court Classified Californian Drivers as Employees

Snapchat can now read food and wine labels

Apart from just looking great and taking pictures, Snapchat has added a multipurpose use that allows it to tell you surface nutritional info and tasting notes of packaged foods and wine when you scan its label.

To use it, simply point the camera at a barcode and Snapchat will display some basic nutritional details as well as an analysis of its relative “health” benefits provided by nutrition app Yuka.

Snapchat will tell you about the bottle of wine you're holding.

Besides food and wine, you can also use the camera to identify plants and dog breeds, solve math equations, look up Amazon products etc.

Facebook Dating is now live in Europe

Facebook Dating is now rolling out in Europe. This is coming a year after it was launched in the US. Since the dating service launched in 2018, it has created 1.5 billion matches in the 20 countries where it’s available.

Its latest expansion makes it now live in over 50 markets. Facebook Dating’s “mirror the way people meet in real life — through the experiences they have in common. 

Facebook is also rolling out Virtual Dates for the service, giving you a way to video chat with a match without having to leave the platform.

The service is now live in over 50 markets.

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

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