TikTok Announces New Support Programs For Black Business Month

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Social Media Today reports: “As part of Black Business Month, which is celebrated in August, TikTok has announced that it’s now accepting applications for the third round of its ‘Support Black Businesses’ accelerator program, which aims to help Black-owned businesses thrive on the platform via exclusive access to support resources, education, and networking opportunities.”

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Unity And Microsoft Announced Azure Cloud Partnership

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Venture Beat reports: “Unity announced today it is partnering with Microsoft and making Azure its cloud solution to create real-time 3D experiences. Developers can use Azure and the Unity engine together, which will also allegedly make it easier for them to get their games on PC and Xbox. Unity says it is ‘creating native capabilities that unlock our tools for more people than ever.'”

Spotify’s Soundtrap App For Musicians Introduces Live Collaboration And Auto Save

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Tech Crunch reports: “Spotify’s digital audio workstation (DAW) platform Soundtrap is introducing new features for musicians, including live collaboration, auto-save and comments. The firm said the first two features are under an opt-in beta so artists will have to manually enable these features. The company is rolling out the comments feature to all users starting today. This will allow people working on a project to leave notes on different parts of the track for remote collaborates.”

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Snapchat To Let Parents See Who Their Kids Are Chatting With In App

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The Verge reports: “As part of Snap’s child safety efforts, Snapchat is launching a new supervision tool on Tuesday that the company says mimics how parents and teenagers interact in the real world. Snapchat’s new “Family Center” hub allows parents and guardians to keep tabs on who their teens message with on the app without disclosing what it is they’re saying to each other. Both the guardian and the child must accept the Family Center invite before the oversight tools can take effect.”

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Meta Launches New Conversational AI Which Learns From Human Interactions, The Next Stage Of Bot Development

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Social Media Today reports: “While the Messenger Bot revolution never took hold like Meta might have hoped, bots are still widely used, in a range of contexts, with many brands now implementing responder bots in messaging apps to streamline their customer connection process. And this could help further bot use. Today, Meta has released BlenderBot 3, an advanced bot responder dataset, which is able to engage with humans in a more natural way while also utilizing more prompts to guide users along a specific path of inquiry.”

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Muse NFT Album To Be Chart Eligible In The UK

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Digital Music News reports: “Muse is set to become the first music act with a chart-eligible NFT album. British rock group Muse and Warner Music UK have partnered with eco-friendly web3 music marketplace Serenade for the release of Muse’s ninth studio album, Will of the People. The record, set to be released on August 26, features the singles “Won’t Stand Down,” and “Compliance,” and will be available on physical formats (CD, vinyl, and cassette) in addition to download and streaming services.”

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Lyft Creates Media Division To Expand Its Advertising Services

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The Wall Street Journal reports: “Lyft Inc. has formed Lyft Media, a new business unit consolidating and expanding the advertising offerings at the ride-hailing company. The news comes more than two years after Lyft acquired Halo Cars Inc., which makes monitors to run digital ads atop cars, and as Lyft faces an increasingly crowded marketplace for advertising in and around car services.”

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Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort Productions Strikes First-Look Deal With FuboTV

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The Hollywood Reporter reports: “Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort Productions has signed a multiyear first-look deal for unscripted content with the live sports streamer FuboTV, the companies said Monday. Maximum Effort, which maintains its first-look deal with Paramount Pictures, will also launch a linear channel on FuboTV called the Maximum Effort Network, over which the production company will maintain creative control. FuboTV will oversee ad sales for the channel.”

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Axios Sold To Cox Enterprises In $525 Million Deal

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Variety reports: “Axios Media has been acquired by Cox Enterprises in a cash deal said to value the digital news company at $525 million. Media and advertising firm Cox Enterprises had taken a minority stake in Axios in November 2021. The $525 million deal price is about five times Axios’s projected 2022 revenue of more than $100 million, the New York Times reported. Axios had raised $55 million in funding.”

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Valve Is Working On Joy-Con Support For Steam

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The Verge reports: “Valve is working to add support for the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers in Steam. As part of the newest Steam beta, Joy-Cons will be supported either individually or as a matched pair, similar to how you can use them either way for Switch games. If you want to try the feature out, you can opt into the Steam beta — Valve has helpful instructions on the Steam website — though fingers crossed that your Joy-Cons aren’t experiencing any drift.”

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