1- Twitter Rebrands as “X” Under Elon Musk’s Ownership, Changing Iconic Bird Logo
Twitter has undergone a significant rebranding as it officially transitions to “X” after being acquired by Elon Musk. The iconic bird logo has been replaced with an “X” emblem, symbolizing the uniqueness and imperfections in individuals. Musk teased the change with a video of a flickering “X” and further confirmed it during a Twitter Spaces audio chat. The rebranding aims to push the social media platform in new directions, focusing on unlimited interactivity, audio, video, messaging, payments/banking, and creating a global marketplace for ideas and services. The move is part of Musk’s vision to develop Twitter into an “everything app” similar to WeChat. As Twitter faces competition from Meta’s Threads app, the company seeks to embrace AI-powered innovations and connectivity to connect users worldwide.
2- Meta’s Threads Reaches 100 Million Sign-Ups, Outpacing ChatGPT as Fastest-Growing Platform
Meta Platforms’ new Twitter competitor, Threads, achieved an impressive milestone by surpassing 100 million sign-ups within just five days of its launch, beating ChatGPT to become the fastest-growing online platform to reach this figure. Threads’ rapid user growth and celebrity adoption have garnered significant attention and posed a potential threat to Twitter. Despite its similarities to Twitter, Threads has yet to incorporate features like direct messaging, hashtags, and keyword search functions, limiting its appeal to advertisers. Meta plans to focus on light subjects like sports, music, fashion, and design, distancing itself from political content that is prevalent on Twitter.
3- OpenAI Releases ChatGPT App for Android, Expanding Access to AI Chatbot
OpenAI has released the ChatGPT app for Android in select countries, including the U.S., India, Bangladesh, and Brazil. Other users can pre-order the app on Google Play, with more countries to be added soon. The app provides a chatbot experience optimized for mobile, allowing users to interact as if messaging a friend. It syncs with existing OpenAI accounts, granting access to past conversations across devices. The app offers both a free account option and a subscription (ChatGPT Plus) for advanced features and access to the GPT-4 model via in-app purchase.
4- State, Commerce Departments, and Microsoft confirm breach by Chinese hackers, according to U.S. authorities
Chinese state-linked hackers have gained unauthorized access to around 25 organizations, including two U.S. government agencies, through a breach that started in May. Microsoft reported the intrusion, naming the hacking group Storm-0558, and stated that they primarily targeted entities in Western Europe. The U.S. government took swift action to prevent further breaches, but China denies involvement.
5- TikTok is preparing to introduce an e-commerce program aimed at bringing Chinese products to the U.S. market.
TikTok plans to launch a program in August to help Chinese merchants sell goods globally, starting with the United States. The “full service” program will offer a suite of services, including storage and shipping, to assist Chinese merchants in selling their products in the U.S. The program is already being tested in markets like Britain, and TikTok aims to expand it to other regions in the future. However, the company will prioritize working with Chinese businesses first due to established export rules in China.
6- Google states: Chatbot Bard now has Image Capabilities and Customizable Responses
Google is introducing new features to its chatbot Bard in an effort to maintain its competitive edge against rivals like Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Anthropic in the generative AI space. Bard now includes image capabilities through Google Lens integration, allowing users to upload images and request information or captions. Additionally, users can customize the tone and style of Bard’s responses, choose from different response lengths, and even listen to Bard’s responses in audio format, supporting over 40 languages. After addressing privacy concerns, Google is also expanding Bard’s availability to more languages and regions, including Europe.
7- Meta’s Threads Experiences Drop in User Engagement After Record Sign-Ups
Threads, the text-based social media platform by Meta (formerly Facebook), reported a record 100 million sign-ups in just five days after its launch. However, Sensor Tower and Similarweb data indicates a decrease in user engagement since its launch. Threads’ daily active users decreased by around 20% from its peak, and the time spent by users decreased by 50%. Though backed by Meta and integrated with Instagram, Threads faces challenges in carving a space in users’ social network routine, as it competes with Twitter and other established platforms. Meta aims to improve Threads’ experience and features in the coming months to sustain growth.
8- Amazon’s Cloud Division Draws Thousands of Customers with AI Tools, Including Amazon Bedrock
Amazon.com’s cloud division has seen substantial interest in its AI services, competing with Microsoft and Google in the artificial intelligence space. Amazon Bedrock, a service allowing businesses to build applications with various AI models, has attracted organizations like Sony, Ryanair, and Sun Life. The company aims to transform every organization into an AI company and recently introduced new AI tools, including a program for creating conversational customer-service agents and a healthcare system for generating clinical notes. The disclosure of thousands of Bedrock users indicates Amazon’s success in attracting interest with its range of AI models, competitive pricing, and status as the largest cloud provider by revenue.
9- Indonesia Launches National Crypto Asset Exchange for Investor Protection
Indonesia has introduced a national crypto asset exchange and clearing house to enhance regulatory oversight and protect crypto investors. While the country prohibits using cryptocurrencies for payments, it allows investment in digital assets. The exchange aims to monitor the booming sector during the regulatory oversight transition and will list licensed crypto companies. PT Bursa Komoditi Nusantara will operate the exchange, PT Kliring Berjangka Indonesia will handle transaction clearing, and PT Tennet Depository Indonesia will manage crypto asset storage.
10- Shopify Introduces Business Credit Card for Merchants with Stripe and Visa Partnership
Shopify has introduced Shopify Credit, a business credit card exclusively for its merchants. Powered by Stripe and issued by Celtic Bank, the card offers 3% cash back on the merchant’s top spend category and 1% on other categories. Eligibility is based on sales performance, and no fees, including late or foreign transaction fees, will be charged for the card. This move aligns with Shopify’s efforts to bridge fintech and commerce.