Over the years Facebook has grown from a humble online social networking platform to one of the biggest technological companies in the world. The world’s famous social media platform boasts of a whopping 2.6 billion users. Facebook also owns the text messaging app Whatsapp and the picture sharing platform Instagram.
Since Facebook has a huge database of users, news publications and creators have been asking the tech giant to pay them for their content on social media. In what can be called as the first step towards meeting these demands, Facebook announced it would be expanding its dedicated news tab section to other countries including India, the UK, Germany, France and Brazil.
Facebook News is a separate section on the world’s most popular social platform which will help users find and read news articles from participating news publications. Facebook rolled out the new section in the United States of America (USA) in June 2020. The launch won’t happen immediately, Facebook said in a blog post. Instead, the expansion would happen within the next six months to a year.
Facebook also said it has 200 publications lined up for the news tab and it includes some of the big names like Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Bloomberg and ABC News. The social media giant will reportedly pay some publishers $1 million to $3 million a year to feature their stories, according to Bloomberg. At the moment, Facebook has not disclosed the names of local Indian publications that are willing to partner with the social media company on this initiative.
Facebook news is different from the instant articles feature which is currently available on the platform. However, in the case of Facebook News, whenever a user opens a news article it will take the reader directly to publishers’ sites. Facebook users can read the entire story for free. However, if publication houses are charging for news on their website, Facebook users can still read one free article following which a user will be asked to subscribe to the publication house.
Over the years, Facebook and Google have been drawing a lot of flak from news creators for not paying them for their content which is getting shared on their platforms by more than a billion users. Australian regulators recently drafted legislation that would allow publishers in the country to negotiate compensation with both Facebook and Google sharing or displaying their stories on their respective platforms.
Facebook hopes to change the existing dynamics and hopefully pave the way for other social media platforms to follow its path in creating a profitable environment for news creators and publications.
Sonu Sood’s Startup Pravasi Rojgar Secures 250 Crores Funding
Actor Sonu Sood has been in the limelight since the last six months and has become a kind of messiah for the migrant workers in India. It all began when the Indian Government imposed a strict nationwide lockdown in order to check the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This led to an exodus of migrant labourers from cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai to leave for their hometowns in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Since public transportation was also not operating, these migrant labourers decided to walk to their hometowns. This led to a lot of accidents on roads, deaths due to hunger and lack of proper basic resources.
Sonu Sood stepped in to help the migrant workers by arranging private buses and food and ensured these workers returned safely to their homes. Sonu Sood also arranged for private flights to rescue Indians stranded in countries like Dubai and Philippines. Sood helped thousands of people in need by reaching out to them on social media and offline.
In the face of all this adversity, Sonu Sood saw an opportunity and it led to the birth of Pravasirojgar, a startup which aims at getting jobs for the migrant workers. Pravasirojgar aims to provide jobs and career progression to applicants through upskilling services, financial, healthcare and social security services. The job search platform secured a Rs. 250 crore funding from the Temasek Holdings backed, Goodworker.
Launched in a partnership with the edtech startup Schoolnet India, in July this year, Pravasi Rojgar helps migrants to find skill based jobs across sectors and has 10 lakh job seekers and employers including Amazon, Max Healthcare, Portea, Sodexo, Urban Company etc. Goodworker provides blue collar workers with a digital and verifiable profile to make their job search easier and also to make their credentials authentic which will make employers more likely to hire the workers.
Sonu Sood at the launch of Pravasi Rojgar said “I came in touch with a lot of migrant workers during the lockdown and they all had one concern, how to get a job after the lockdown and support their families. With the blessing of these workers and their families and other well-wishers, I tried to get the right-minded people and partner with Schoolnet for Pravasirojgar.com (sic.)”
We sincerely hope Sonu Sood continues to keep doing the good work he is doing for migrant workers. Sonu Sood has gone on to prove how opportunity can be found in the toughest of situations and also contribute to the upliftment of the needy.
Indian Actresses Who Have Made Recent Investments In Startups
Any startup which begins with an idea will look to nurture it and develop it into a viable product. This is followed by lots of testing with focus groups, until a final version of the product is ready. However, most startups are more often than not bootstrapped and therefore run on a very stringent budget. Therefore, startups often look to attract an investor for a fresh influx of money and also to scale up. While there are many venture capital firms which are always on the lookout for exciting startups, Indian movie celebrities are also known to invest in promising startups.
In this article, we give you a list of leading Indian actresses who have invested in startups recently.
1) Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone is one of the most alluring actresses of this generation. Deepika invested in the popular yoghurt company Epigamia last year. Her latest investment is into the learning and communication platform Frontrow. The actress was joined by marquee investors like Lightspeed and Elevation Capital to invest $3.2 million in the startup. Frontrow’s learning platform focuses on creative arts and sports and that is what attracted Padukone’s investment in this startup.
2) Kajal Aggarwal
Kajal Aggarwal picked up a stake recently in the gaming platform called Okie Gaming. Kajal will be helping the startup in its promotions, marketing and PR and to attract new users to the platform. Aggarwal picked up a 15% equity stake for an undisclosed amount of money.
3) Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif
Alia Bhatt invested an undisclosed amount in the beauty and cosmetic startup Nykaa. Earlier in May 2020, Nykaa raised Rs. 100 crore ($13 million) from Steadview Capital, one of its existing investors. Katrina Kaif also invested in Nykaa and also has her own line of products called Kay Beauty.
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4) Aishwarya Rai Bacchan
Aishwarya has been ruling the Indian movie industry since a long time, but has taken a step back from the limelight after her marriage to Abhishek Bachchan. However, the actress has not been idle and has instead redirected her efforts to invest in promising ventures. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan along with her mother Vrinda became angel investors in 2019. They invested in Ambee, an environmental intelligence startup, which monitors air quality by gathering data– and have already installed over 100 sensors in Bengaluru.
5) Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra invested in the social networking and dating application Bumble in 2018 which was before Bumble had a presence in India. While Bumble’s parent company MagicLabs was acquired by American based Blackstone, it is not confirmed whether Priyanka Chopra’s stake was bought out. Priyanka Chopra continues to be involved with Bumble for their branding assignments.
6) Shilpa Shetty
Shilpa Shetty invested Rs. 1.6 crores in the fast moving consumer goods company Mamaearth which produces and sells skincare, haircare and babycare products.
While this is just the list of actresses who have made recent investments in startups, there are a lot of movie celebrities who have invested in startups across the globe. The startup ecosystem in India can take heart from the fact that movie stars are willing to align their brand with startups. The future most definitely holds exciting prospects to see into what startups celebrities will be investing.
Google’s Hum To Search Feature Is Here To Make Searching For Songs Easier
When Shazam was released for the first time, the entire smartphone community breathed a sigh of relief because the app let users search for songs by making the app listen to what is being played in your surroundings. Since then finding new songs and genres has become easier as searching for songs at your favourite clubs or at a friend’s party is now at one’s fingertips. But, what if you only know a piece of music or a tune which is stuck in your head and no way to identify the song.
Google is making it possible to try to find a song with its new feature called ‘hum to search.’ The feature can listen to humming, whistling or singing to identify songs. ‘Hum to search’ is triggered when you ask Google “what is this song?” and then proceed to perform bits of the tune to the best of your ability. Google will then present a list of songs according to a percentage match score which comes closest to your performance.
Google’s machine learning algorithm converts the audio input into a numbers based sequence which it then matches with other song melodies and tries to find the closest matching tune. The model was trained with several sources with actual people singing, humming and whistling in addition to real studio recordings. Google’s algorithms can also strip away musical instruments, as well as the timbre and tone of the singer’s voice in order so it only relies on the actual numeric sequence in the song matching process.
The ‘hum to search’ option is live and currently supports more than twenty languages. While the feature might seem minor in terms of utility it makes up for improving the quality of life on a major level. Google has once again proved to the world as to why it is the best company out there with their ‘hum to search’ feature.
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