The BBC writes about the youngest ever paid Fortnite player. Aged just 8, Joseph Deen signed with the Californian esports team, Team 33, in December last year. They invited him to their headquarters to give him a $33,000 (£23,600) signing-on bonus, and high-speed computer system. “I felt amazing when I got offered the contract,” Joseph told the BBC. “I’ve thought about being a professional gamer a lot, but no-one took me seriously until Team 33 came along.” Joseph, who’s also from California, has been playing Fortnite since he was four years old and was first noticed by the fledgling esports team 18 months ago.
Volvo’s entire car lineup will be fully electric by 2030, the Chinese-owned company said on Tuesday, joining a growing number of carmakers planning to phase out fossil-fuel engines by the end of this decade. “I am totally convinced there will be no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine,” Volvo Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson told reporters when asked about future demand for electric vehicles. “We are convinced that an electric car is more attractive for customers.” The Swedish carmaker said 50% of its global sales should be fully-electric cars by 2025 and the other half hybrid models. Full story on Reuters.
YouTube has started rolling out its new feature, Shorts – a platform for short videos, shot in portrait orientation – in an obvious attempt to curb TikTok and its growing influence online. Those in the United States have started receiving the feature, and the global rollout is expected soon. YouTube’s Shorts were getting over 3.5 billion views while in early beta, so it is no wonder the short videos are now getting to more and more users. Just for comparison, TikTok is reaching 1 billion monthly active users. See full story on GSM Arena.
eBay and Adevinta have said they will sell their UK second-hand selling sites in order to get regulatory approval for their $9.2bn (£6.63bn) mega-merger. The pair have offered to divest eBay’s Gumtree UK business and Adevtina’s Shpock as it bids to appease the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The UK antitrust watchdog launched a probe into the deal in December to determine if it would result in a “substantial lessening of competition” in any market in the UK. The CMA said it will publish a decision on the deal “shortly”. See Telegraph.
Looks like Clubhouse has a big rival, reckons ShinyShiny. Instagram has launched Live Rooms, allowing users to go live with up to three other people on the platform. Previously, you could go live with only one other person in a stream. Instagram hopes that by doubling up, Live will open up more creative opportunities — starting a talk show, hosting a jam session or co-creating with other artists. Writing in a blog post, Instagram explained: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen people on Instagram embrace Live in different ways. In the past year, special moments have happened on Live, including informational talks about science and COVID-19 guidelines, interviews with celebrities and record-breaking rap battles.”
Twitter is expanding its use of warning labels, targeting tweets that contain misleading details about coronavirus vaccines. The decision has been made to strengthen the social network’s existing COVID-19 guidance, which has led to the removal of more than 8,400 tweets and challenged 11.5 million accounts worldwide. Labels providing additional context are already attached to tweets with disputed information about the pandemic. However, this is the first time the firm has focused on posts about vaccines specifically. See Sky News.