NewsBytes Briefing: Clubhouse officially comes to Android, and more
Clubhouse sure has played its exclusivity card to the ragged end. But like all things new and intriguing, the novelty of the audio-only social media platform has worn off, which has manifested in a 10-fold drop in downloads of the iOS app. Not surprisingly, Clubhouse was forced to eat the proverbial Android pie and trade the walled iOS garden for the Google Play Store.
Here's your chance to join Twitter's coveted blue tick gang
Speaking of exclusivity, Twitter's much-coveted blue tick signifying verified accounts is finally returning after a three-year hiatus. The badge, which is usually associated with celebrities and public figures, will have even more layered categories identifying government officials, journalists, athletes, activists, and famous personalities. Interestingly, Twitter will also be taking the badge away from users that are no longer cool enough for the elite club.
Swiggy intends to vaccinate half-a-Maldives worth of delivery partners
Swiggy has begun vaccinating its delivery personnel and plans to cover all of them. That's more than two lakh riders, or nearly half the population of Maldives. It's a Herculean task and Swiggy will not only pay for their vaccination, but also cover for the loss-of-pay associated with taking time off for the two jabs. That's a great gesture to protect its frontline workers.
Snapchat locks-and-loads new features to take on Instagram
Snap Inc. has equally big plans of taking on its arch nemesis Instagram. The company has earmarked a slew of feature updates to Snapchat, some of which introduce a powerful video editor for Spotlight content creators and others blur the lines between real and virtual shopping with augmented reality. Snapchat looks ready to dive into the rest of 2021 with all guns blazing.
Google starts first-ever retail outlet even as COVID-19 rages on
If you can learn one positive trait from Google, it has to be its optimism. The internet giant already bought office spaces left and right in its eagerness to move away from telecommuting. But even as everyone increasingly relies on Jeff Bezos to deliver their smartphones, Google has opened its first-ever brick-and-mortar store to sell its Pixel phones and other hardware products.