Global tech roundup: Elon Musk becomes Twitter’s biggest shareholder, Bet9ja confirms hack

Afeez Odunoye
*Elon Musk becomes Twitter’s biggest shareholder | *Instagram is cutting influencer payment for short videos | *Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway takes 11% stake in HP | *Hackers attack Bet9ja website, demand 5 billion naira

TGIF! The weekend is upon us: for fun times, rest from work and play catch up on trending tech stories from across the world. We call it the Global Tech Roundup.

Here’s the serving for the week

Elon Musk becomes Twitter’s biggest shareholder

Days after hinting about starting his own social media platform, Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems to have backtracked with the news of his emergence as Twitter’s largest shareholder.

Global Tech roundup
Twitter named Musk a member of its Board of Directors on Tuesday.

Musk, 50, came into the spotlight Monday with the acquisition of $3 billion worth of Twitter shares. The acquisition represents a 9.2% stake in the social media platform for the South Africa-born entrepreneur.

With the acquisition, Musk has toppled former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on the list of shareholders. Dorsey holds 2.25% of the company’s outstanding stock.

Twitter’s top four stakeholders now comprise Musk (9.2%), Vanguard (8.8%), Morgan Stanley (8.4%), and Blackrock (6.5%).

Per The Guardian, the company’s shares soared by more than a quarter in pre-market trading on the back of the news, adding about $8 billion to its $31.5 billion value, before easing back to 21% up in early trading. Following the stock price jump, Musk’s shares are now worth more than $3.5bn.

Despite his outspoken nature, Musk has been predominantly silent on the acquisition. He simply tweeted, ”Oh hi lol” in response to the move.

Analysts believe the shareholding move could inspire Musk, who joined Twitter’s board on Tuesday, to take an active interest in the microblogging site which could lead to a buyout.

Instagram is cutting influencer payment for short videos

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO pictured with Instagram logo.

Instagram has announced it is cutting down on the payments to makers of short videos. The announcement is based on a change in strategy as the Meta-owned social networking service competes with TikTok for influencers and traffic.

The platform pays influencers based on the views received on clips called Reels. The money is capped at a maximum per month.

However, some creators said payments for Reels have been down for the past few weeks by as much as 70%. The threshold for getting paid is over 10 times higher per FInancial Times.

With the Reels system, influencers get personalised payouts with specific targets for views, with money capped at a maximum fee per month.

One user who could be paid a maximum of $35,000 said their personal target for views jumped from 58mn to 359mn. Influencers didn’t get reasons for the revised payouts, and the move comes despite the company publicly admitting an increasing switch to video.

Instagram introduced the programme last year, partly to take on the popularity of TikTok, the short-form video app that Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg blamed for stealing attention from its social media apps including Facebook.

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway takes 11% stake in HP

Billionaire Warren Buffet’s investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway has taken an 11% stake in tech hardware maker, HP.

The stake, valued at about $4.2 billion, makes Berkshire the company’s largest shareholder per data from Refinitiv and Bloomberg. It also puts Berkshire’s HP shares at 121 million.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway CEO

Berkshire’s HP move comes off the back of renewed interest in the US stock market. In his annual letter to shareholders published February 26, CEO Buffett had complained about the lack of ”appealing investments”.

All of that changed in March. The Nebraska-based conglomerate pulled an $11.6 billion takeover of insurer Alleghany and acquired Occidental Petroleum stock worth more than $7.5 billion. The 121 million HP shares is Berkshire’s third multi-billion dollar investment in roughly a month.

HP’s stock rose to a record high – $41.46 – after Berkshire’s move. Analysts believe the stake ”makes sense”.

Hackers attack Bet9ja website, demand 5 billion naira

Popular betting site, Bet9ja, was hacked by yet to be identified hackers. Punch Newspaper reports them to be Russian hackers.

Sports pundits who frequently use the betting platform said the hack was noticed in Wednesday as they could not access the site.

This is coming after the United States said it secretly removed malware from computer networks around the world in recent weeks, in its bid to pre-empt Russian cyber attacks.

Bet9ja first announced that it was having issues with its website on Wednesday on its verified Twitter handle. According to the company, its customers were not able to login into their accounts.

On Thursday, the firm announced that it had become a victim of a cyber-attack. Bet9ja said, “The Bet9ja betting platform, just like so many market-leading global organisations, has recently become a victim of a sophisticated criminal cyber-attack, which is restricting our customers from having access to the platform.

“We are working tirelessly with our IT team, independent forensics, and cybercrime experts to resolve this, we take this matter extremely seriously. Our priority is protecting our customers and you have our assurances that your accounts will not be compromised, and all your funds are safe.

“We apologise for this situation and once back online, we will reward our loyal customers with a truly sensational bonanza of promotions.”

That’s all for now. See you next Friday!

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