Industry leaders advance platforms and product offerings as tech grows

Emerging Tech Roundup — October 7

The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.

This week in tech: TikTok furthers in-app commerce offerings, new EU law makes a large impact on Apple products, Spotify acquires Kinzen to tighten up platform safety, Apple considers a shift in production location, Facebook rolls out new in-feed features, TikTok launches still photo posts, and VR helps students learn English with more confidence.

(TechCrunch, October 3)

TikTok is in the early stages of working with TalkShopLive to allow creators to sell goods within the app. This launch is specific to the U.S. as of now, and will likely involve users selling their products via videos on the app. Detailed plans for the feature have not been released yet, but it’s likely that TikTok will integrate it with its existing shopping-related app features, Shop feed and Shopify integrations.

(MacRumors, October 4)

The European Parliament has passed a law requiring “all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port.” The law requires manufacturers to make the switch by the end of 2024, which includes Apple’s iPhone. The law was created mainly to reduce waste and increase sustainability.

(Spotify Newsroom, October 5)

Spotify is working with Kinzen, a content moderation service, to enhance protection from hate speech and other harmful content within its streaming service. Though there are not many details released on how Kinzen and Spotify plan to add to their current method of filtering content, launched in 2020, Spotify has shared that its goal for the acquisition is to “better understand the abuse landscape and identify emerging threats on the platform.”

(Nikkei Asia, October 5)

Apple has allegedly been conversing with its suppliers in an effort to diversify the countries it works with, and shifting the production of AirPods and Beats to India may be the first change. India is expected to rise in production offering capabilities over the next few years substantially, as it is planning to invest $30B in its electronic supply chain. India is a big player in the market of headset production as well, proving to be a great potential option for Apple to diversify and improve products.

(Facebook News, October 5)

Meta is exploring new ways to curate news feeds, and this approach leaves fine-tuning of content in the hands of users. Facebook now has “Show more” and “Show less” buttons attached to each post. Pressing “Show more” will increase the post’s ranking score, presenting users with additional and similar content, whereas pressing “Show less” will do the opposite.

(Engadget, October 6)

TikTok has rolled out a new update through which users can post a series of photos, captioned up to 2,200 characters. The new feature, dubbed “Photo Mode”, will present still-photo posts on the For You Page, mixed in with the conventional video posts. Photo Mode will also allow users to feature music in posts.

(BBC, October 6)

English Language Development educator Carlos Oyarbide was determined to find an alternative approach to traditional teaching in South Central LA. Mr. Oyarbide soon found VR to be a method of teaching that cut out distractions for his students and lessened the embarrassment of learning a new language. Though he kept the traditional methods of teaching in his curriculum, sprinkling VR learning in the mix helped students learn with less intimidation and in turn, more room to take risks and grow in practice.

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