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Spotify’s Evolution: From Music Streaming to Social Networking

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Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

Spotify is no longer just a streaming app; it’s becoming a social network. The recent launch of comments on podcasts marks another step in Spotify’s transformation into a social platform. This new feature allows podcasters to directly engage with their listeners within the app, complementing other interactive elements like polls and Q&As. Alongside the app’s 2023 revamp—which introduced a TikTok-like discovery feed, artist profiles for selling merchandise and concert tickets, and the ability to post stories—Spotify is evolving into a comprehensive social network centered around audio.

With the addition of comments on podcast episodes, the possibility of extending this feature to music artists seems likely. Such an expansion could enhance fan engagement, considering the typically larger and more active fanbases around musicians compared to podcasts.

When asked about the potential for comments on artists’ pages, Spotify’s VP of Podcast Product, Maya Prohovnik, hinted at the possibility. While she didn’t confirm any plans, she acknowledged the idea, stating, “I can see a world where we extend [support for comments] to other formats on Spotify, but we always want to do whatever is right for the format, and those types of creators and artists.”

The concept of integrating social networking into a music app isn’t new. Apple’s attempt with iTunes’ social network Ping in 2010, and later with Connect, failed to gain traction. Despite these setbacks, Apple continues to incorporate social features in Apple Music, such as recommending friends based on device contacts.

Spotify, on the other hand, has subtly and progressively introduced features that enhance social interaction for creators and fans alike. The app’s redesign last year added in-app video feeds across its Home pages for Music, Podcasts, and Audiobooks. This move was influenced by Gen Z’s favorite social network, TikTok, reflecting Spotify’s commitment to improving user experience by learning from industry trends.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek acknowledged TikTok’s impact during the company’s Q1 2024 earnings call. He noted that TikTok and similar platforms had “improved the user experience” and emphasized that Spotify is learning from these trends to enhance its products.

Over the past year, Spotify has introduced new ways for artists to connect with fans, including Spotify Clips, which allows artists to add 30-second videos to their profiles and album pages. The Countdown Pages feature lets artists build anticipation for new releases, while the annual Spotify Wrapped campaign includes video messages from artists. Users can follow creators and friends, collaborate on playlists, and stay updated on the latest music and events. Spotify has also tested a Community feature to show real-time streaming activity.

With the addition of comments, Spotify aims to create an app where users are actively engaged, sharing their thoughts and opinions as they would on traditional social networks. These features are transforming Spotify from a simple music streaming service into a competitive social network, vying for users’ time and, eventually, advertising dollars.

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Nigerians paid N721bn in cash bribes to govt officials in 2023 – NBS

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Nigerians paid a staggering N721 billion in cash bribes to public officials in 2023.

The survey, titled “Corruption in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” released on Thursday, July 11, revealed that over 95 percent of these bribes were in monetary form.

According to the report, there has been a decline in Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption efforts during the period under review.

The report stated, “Overall, it is estimated that a total of roughly N721 billion ($1.26 billion) was paid in cash bribes to public officials in Nigeria in 2023, corresponding to 0.35 percent of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.”

The report further revealed that bribes paid in a public official’s office and on the street accounted for approximately 35 percent and 36 percent of all bribes respectively while, 11 percent of bribes were paid in respondents’ own homes, while 7 percent occurred in public buildings such as restaurants, malls, or stations.

The report highlighted that healthcare professionals and public utility officers were the most frequent recipients of bribes, accounting for 30 percent and 24 percent of encounters respectively. Police officers followed closely with a contact rate of 20 percent

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Vice President Trump, President Putin Of Ukraine – Biden Goofs At NATO Summit

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

U.S. President Joe Biden had a series of verbal slip-ups on Thursday alongside the NATO summit in Washington, an unfortunate development for the 81-year-old as he tries to move past concerns that he is too old to run for re-election.

Verbal gaffes are not unusual in the long political career of Biden, who overcame a childhood stutter, but there is closer attention on him amid the fallout from his dismal debate performance against Republican candidate Donald Trump last month.

Trump, who is 78, and also has faced concerns about his age, frequently made false claims during the debate and often rambles during campaign speeches.

Below is a summary of Biden’s mistakes on Thursday.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY CALLS ZELENSKIY ‘PUTIN’

Biden mistakenly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as “President Putin”.

“And now I want to hand it over to the president of Ukraine, who has as much courage as he has determination, ladies and gentlemen, President Putin,” Biden said at the NATO summit, drawing gasps from those in the room.

“Going to beat President Putin, President Zelenskiy. I am so focused on beating Putin,” Biden said while correcting himself.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY REFERS TO HARRIS AS TRUMP
During a news conference on Thursday evening, Biden mixed up the name of his vice president, Kamala Harris, and his rival Trump.

“Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if she was not qualified to be president. So start there,” Biden said as he responded to a question from Reuters about his confidence in Harris.

BIDEN FUMBLES ‘CHIEFS OF STAFF’
Biden also struggled at the news conference to find the words “chiefs of staff,” mistakenly referring to the group of the country’s top uniformed military leaders as “commander in chief,” the title he holds as president.

“And so our military is working on following the advice of my commander in chief my, my, my, the chiefs of staff, of the military as well as the secretary of defense and our intelligence people.”

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