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Google x Maliyo Games, Instagram and YouTube’s new features, and Clubhouse leaves beta

Good day, 

Today, I’m discussing:

  • Google x Maliyo Games partnership
  • New features on Instagram and YouTube
  • Clubhouse killing invite-only feature 

Google x Maliyo partners to train 500 game developers  

Google has partnered with Nigeria-based gaming studio, Maliyo to organise the GameUpAfrica Bootcamp to give Africans an opportunity to be a part of the booming gaming industry. 

The programme would involve training mobile game developers. Open to Kenyans, Nigerians, and Ghanaians, applications began on July 19 and will close on August 2, 2021. 

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Gaming has evolved from a simple way to pass the time to one of the most profitable industries in the world. 

For context: In September 2013, on launch day, Grand Theft Auto V made $800 million. According to Fast Company, this is more sales in 24 hours than any movie or musical album in history. 

Mobile gaming: Per Business Wire, the mobile gaming market was worth $98 billion globally in 2020 and is expected to grow to $272 billion by 2030. 

Interestingly, people play more games on mobile than personal computers (PC) and consoles. According to Kevuru games, 59.9% of games were played on mobile in 2020, while 28.70% and 16.11% were played on PC and console, respectively. 

While nothing beats gaming on a 60”, 4K display TV— at least for me — smartphones are mobile, hence their lead. 

To know more about the GameUpAfrica Bootcamp, check out this article

New features on Instagram and YouTube

Instagram is giving users more control over the kind of content they consume on the app. 

On July 20, 2021, the company announced in a blog post that it was launching Sensitive Content Control. The feature will help users control the content they want to see on the content discovery page, Explore. 

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What does this mean? Essentially, Instagram is giving you the option to decide which kind of content you want to see while you scroll through the ‘Explore’ page. Not a puppy person? No more doggy pictures jumping out of your timeline. 

According to Instagram, sensitive content isn’t content that breaks the rules but could upset some users.

More control: Back in May 2021, Facebook and Instagram allowed users to remove the Like count on their posts to give them more power over their experience on the apps. 

While Instagram is giving more power, YouTube wants to help creators make more money. 

On July 20, 2021, YouTube announced it is rolling out a beta version of its new feature, Super Thanks.

What’s that? Well, YouTube says in its blog post that it’s a way for fans to show appreciation to their favourite creators on the platform. 

How does it work? While you’re watching a video — live or not — you can purchase a Super Thanks that ranges between $2 to $50 to show your appreciation. 

You can make payments through Google Pay, the same way you pay for apps on the Play Store. 

Still in beta: According to YouTube, “Super Thanks is currently in beta and with today’s expansion, is now available to thousands of monetising creators. The feature is available to creators and viewers in 68 countries on desktop and mobile devices.” 

Clubhouse no longer requires an invite

Photo by Dmitry Mashkin on Unsplash

On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, live-audio chat platform Clubhouse announced in a blog post that it is no longer in beta testing and the app is no longer invite-only. 

For the past 16 months, Clubhouse was exclusive to invites only. Before now, you needed someone already invited to the platform with your phone number to send you an invite.  Business Insider says some people even started a business out of selling invites 

While this exclusivity made it even more appealing, it was a way to control the rise in the number of app users.

In its blog, Clubhouse said the invite system was essential to its history. By adding people in waves, it has been able to “grow Clubhouse in a measured way, and (mostly 😬 ) keep things from breaking” 

Breaking the barriers: The invite system wasn’t the only thing that made Clubhouse exclusive. Until May 2021, it was only available to iPhone users. 

As competition mounts from Twitter and Facebook, the app seems to be shedding its exclusivity to accommodate more users. 

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Have an awesome day!

Writer and tech enthusiast

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