On this week’s Technext Global news roundup, Google has announced the launch of its first ever Google African cloud region in South Africa, while Twitter has rolled out its ‘Edit’ button for users in the US.
If you missed this and other global tech stories this week, don’t worry, as we have got you covered with the roundup of the news making waves in the tech space.
Here is the summary of the news:
- Google launches First African Google cloud region
- Twitter rolls out edit buttons for its Twitter Blue users in the US
- Amazon to support upcoming tech startups with $150m
- Google is redefining search engine
- Musk to settle twitter dispute out of court
Google launches first African cloud region in South Africa
Google has announced its intent to establish a new Google Cloud region in South Africa, the very first on the continent.
The news, which came at the second Google for Africa event, is the latest example of how Google is delivering on the $1bn investment commitment made last year by the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.
The new Cloud Region will help users, developers, businesses and educational institutions across Africa to move more information and tools online, improve access options for customers and in turn, create jobs, Technext reports.
Google also announced that Equiano now runs through Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa, which is expected to deliver faster, lower-cost internet to the continent by connecting St. Helena, Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa with Europe.
Other announcements by Google include:
- Google announced the launch of voice typing support for nine more African languages in Gboard, the Google keyboard (isiNdebele, isiXhosa, Kinyarwanda, Northern Sotho, Swati, Sesotho, Tswana, Tshivenda and Xitsonga). 24 new languages are now supported on Google Translate, including Lingala, which is used by more than 45 million people across Central Africa.
- To make Maps more useful, Google has also refreshed Street View in Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Nigeria with nearly three hundred thousand kilometres of imagery. This helps people virtually explore and navigate neighbourhoods on Google Maps.
- They are also extending the service to Rwanda, meaning that Street View will now be available in 11 African countries.
- Google also announced the launch of Google Warmups, a machine-learning-powered tool that helps job-seeking candidates to maximize their career opportunities by enabling them to undertake mock job interview questions, with a view to improving their interview performance for the real-life application process.
Twitter’s edit button finally reaches US subscribers
Subscribers to popular social media platform in other parts of the world except the US may finally get their hopes up on getting the edit button they have been clamoring for, as the edit button finally reached subscribers in the US yesterday.
This is coming after twitter announced some few days ago that its new ‘Edit’ button would launch to its paying subscribers in select market. The company disclosed that the service would start to roll out to its American audience via its Twitter Blue subscription.
The edit button, a very much anticipated demand from Twitter’s user base, enables users to make changes to their tweets for up to 30 minutes after posting them. This feature can be used to, among other things, add hashtags, explain or rectify a mistake in a tweet, amend a small typo, and more.
Amazon to strengthen tech startups with $150 million fund
According to the release, the initiative will contribute to funds that support pre-seed and seed-stage businesses founded by Black, Latino, Indigenous, women, and LGBTQIA+ founders.
Over the course of the following year, it is hoped that the funds would assist more than 10 funds and, as a result, more than 200 businesses. There are still six spots available, as grantees thus far include Techstar’s $8 million pre-seed vehicle, Collide Capital, Share Ventures, and Energy Impact Partners.
Although similar, the Catalytic Capital is different from Amazon’s earlier investment in underrepresented founders like the AWS Accelerator and Black Business Accelerator. The difference being that the Catalytic Capital is focused on the people backing entrepreneurs also and not just backing entrepreneurs alone.
In addition, Amazon established a $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund in 2020 to invest in green products and services that will help the business meet its goal of being carbon-neutral by 2040.
TikTok to launch e-commerce business in the US
TikTok is set to diversify and enter into the e-commerce market in the U.S with their latest move.
The company is due to enter a partnership with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to launch its live shopping platform in North America by outsourcing its operation, the Financial Times reported last weekend citing two people familiar with the operations.
The companies are still finalizing the arrangements, the FT report said, adding that no contracts have been signed so far. TikTok did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment while a representative for TalkShopLive declined to comment.
Bytedance-owned TikTok’s live shopping platform TikTok Shop is available in Asian markets including Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. It was launched in the U.K. last year, according to the report.
TikTok Shop allows users to buy products through links on the app during live broadcasts, and the Los Angeles based TalkShopLive app works on a similar concept. TalkShopLive describes itself as a “live streaming, social buying and selling platform”, on its website.
Musk wants to avoid court fracas
There seems to be an headway in the Musk-Twitter acquisition deal, after the former finally proposes to buy the social media platform on the original proposed terms of $54.20 per share.
After months of feuds and disagreements on the value of Twitter subscribers and accounts that are supposedly not owned by real individuals, Musk is now ready to buy Twitter Inc. for the original offer price, potentially avoiding a courtroom fight over one of the most contentious acquisitions in recent history, Bloomberg reports.
Musk made the proposal in a letter to Twitter, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. Shares in Twitter climbed as much as 18% on the news, and is now halted.
Musk’s proposal to match the original deal terms means Twitter is facing a future under the leadership of a mercurial billionaire who has spent months publicly criticizing its management and questioning its value. It also means that his claims — about how many of Twitter’s users are bots, for instance — are not likely to be scrutinized in a courtroom.
Musk had been trying for months to back out of his contract to acquire Twitter, signed in April. Musk began showing signs of buyer’s remorse shortly after the deal was announced, alleging that Twitter had misled him about the size of its user base and the prevalence of automated accounts known as bots.
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