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Late last week, it was reported that Microsoft had dethroned Apple to become the most valuable US company. It was just for a brief moment as Apple quickly got back on its feet. It was earlier reported that Microsoft held a $753.34 billion market capitalization and Apple had $746.82 billion. As at posting this story, Apple’s current market cap is now at $817.6 billion while Microsoft is at $791 billion. Microsoft overtook Amazon late last month. Microsoft’s cloud computing division has been the mainstay for the company’s comeback as revenue went up 24% to post at $8.6 billion. Overall revenue was up 19% to post at $29.1 billion.

Apple hit the $1 trillion mark early this August but lost it after its stock fell since October but it isn’t the only tech company. Most tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google(Alphabet) have had it rough this past couple of months. With regulation threats, loss of trust in social media, low sales of devices coupled with weak demand and imminent interest rate hikes have all had an impact on the market. FAANG, as they are popularly known in silicon valley, lost a market cap of over $1.02 trillion from their recent highs.

In other Apple news, they are cutting down prices of the iPhone XR in Japan. In certain markets, Apple is also resuming iPhone X production. Another report suggested that Apple had cut production orders for both the iPhone XR and the XS due to lower-than-expected demand for the new phones Apple’s change to stop announcing unit sales data for its devices has also worried some investors. In Axios interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended taking billions from Google to make it the default search engine for its iPhones.

Delays downloading your Facebook data

If you’ve been experiencing delays downloading your Facebook data, you’re not alone. Many people are doing so in a prelude to deleting their Facebook accounts. The giant social network said that they’re experiencing a higher volume of Download Your Information requests than usual. This is a troubling sign for Facebook.

Interesting Reads:

Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg Burn Facebook’s Remaining Shreds of Reputation
Sheryl Sandberg Can’t Have It All – The burdens and perils of the pedestal
Lean Out
Time for a New Type of Tech CEO?

Instagram is purging inauthentic activities, redesigns profiles

In a bid to rid its platform off fake likes and followers, Instagram is going to rely on machine learning tools to cut down on users gaming the system. This move is going to affect Instagram influencers who usually buy followers to appease their clients and other users who have low self-esteem. Expect to see low follower counts or likes in the coming weeks if you use services that boost your likes and or followers. Instagram is also advising said users to reset their passwords.

Instagram is also redesigning the profile tab to focus less on follower count with a goal to make it “cleaner to use, express yourself and easily connect with the people you care about on your profile” as Instagram wrote on their blog. The follower count is being moved into a single line below the username, profile pic and bio. Instagram says that the redesign will be tested in various combinations among its users as it continues to experiment based on feedback from users. Some people are not liking it.

Interesting Reads:

The real art — and terror — of Instagram comes in arranging your grid
We Don’t Judge Our Kids by the Likes They Get Online — Or Do We?
The White Instagram Influencers Pretending to Be Black: ‘My Style Is My Own’

Twitter for iOS got a redesign

Twitter made the font of the follower count to appear less prominent similar to the redesign Instagram is getting. The font is now smaller as CEO Jack Dorsey prioritizes “meaningful conversations over numbers like retweets, likes and follows”

LinkedIn launched its own Snapchat Stories

The Stories in what the networking company calls “Student Voices” doesn’t even make sense. LinkedIn has over 46 million college students and new grads and wants to appeal to them with this feature so as to get students sharing their academic experiences like class projects, career fairs and internships that they would want to show off to prospective recruiters as part of their personal brand. The Stories are not ephemeral unlike Snapchats and will confuse people who’ll use this feature to post silly unpolished clips that will likely live on the internet, something their prospective employers are not going to be fond of.

This Week in Black Mirror

Tech stories that are straight up from plots of much every dystopian movie:

A.I. that predicts whether babysitters are safe to hire demonstrates the problems with using algorithms to judge people
Beijing to Judge Every Resident Based on Behavior by End of 2020

Interesting Reads

Was Google Plus Doomed to Fail? One Designer Thinks So.
Amazon’s Website Has Tons Of Errors. Somehow It Doesn’t Matter
Tech giants offer empty apologies because users can’t quit – “Sorry” means nothing since so does “We’re deleting”

Distract

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