Tech Digest daily roundup: Instagram pauses TikTok style makeover


Instagram says it is pausing a rollout of new features on its app following backlash online from users, influencers and celebrities. Among the new features was an increase in recommended video content, in a similar style to rival app TikTok. The display and feeds were criticised as people felt they were not seeing photos from friends and family as much. Meta, Instagram’s parent company, said it wanted to “take the time” to get the changes right. The revamp of Instagram towards more video content is believed to have been ignited by the soaring popularity of competitor TikTok. BBC 

Tech giants Apple and Amazon saw dips in profits but still defied expectations as the US economy teeters on the edge of a recession. Apple, the world’s largest technology company, is dealing with manufacturing headaches and inflation pressures and saw its profit in the last quarter fall by 10%, while revenue was up 2%. The results came after the iPhone maker warned that its revenue would be depressed amid supply chain problems and pandemic-related shutdowns in China factories. Sky News 

A new Status feature has started appearing for some Twitter users that lets them assign one of several pre-written labels to their tweets. A spokesperson for the company confirmed the limited test in a statement given to TechCrunch, while Twitter users have been sharing screenshots of the feature in action. “For a limited time, we are testing a feature that allows you to add a status topic from a predetermined list to your Tweets to provide more context for your followers,” the Twitter spokesperson said. “So whether you are about to drop a hot Tweet thread, share your shower thoughts, or have a bad case of the Mondays, your Tweets can better convey what you are up to.” The Verge

British courts will have the power to award damages in Bitcoin under new proposals to bring the legal system into the crypto era. The Law Commission has told the Government English law needs a new category of property to cover crypto assets, including digital currencies such as Bitcoin and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “Their unique qualities mean that many digital assets do not fit easily into current private property law categories or definitions,” said the commission. Lawyers want a new type of legal property called “data objects” to be created, with judges handed the ability to award damages in these tokens. Telegraph 

Russian regulators have fined chat service WhatsApp and Snapchat for failing to store Russian users’ data on local servers, part of government efforts to control online activity. A Moscow court on Thursday imposed an 18 million ruble ($300,000) fine on chat service WhatsApp and a 1 million ruble penalty on disappearing message platform Snapchat. The fines followed a complaint by Russia’s state communications regulator, Roskomnadzor. The Russian government has been trying for years to establish greater control over the internet and social media. AP News 

BT Group’s sales grew for the first time since 2017 in the first quarter, aided by customer price hikes, new results have revealed.  The group met market expectations with a 1 per cent increase in first-quarter revenue, with its bottom line also bolstered by improved trading in its consumer division and Openreach networks. The company, which on Friday faces a strike by 40,000 workers over pay, revealed core earnings rose by 2 per cent to £1.9billion on revenue of £5.1billion over the period, and said it remained confident about its outlook. ThisisMoney

Chris Price
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