Latest Tech News


Facebook and Instagram to offer paid authentication services
On February 19, Meta CEO Zuckerberg announced via his personal Facebook account that Meta will begin testing a live Meta Verified subscription service this week, offering a paid, value-added authentication service for Instagram and Facebook accounts. Specifically.

Features: Verified badges, priority promotion, priority customer service, exclusive stickers in Stories and Reels, and 100 “stars” per month (tokens for rewarding on Facebook).

Verification conditions: account is active, 18 years of age or older, submit an ID that matches the name and photo on the account; after verification, you cannot change your nickname, username, birthday or avatar, otherwise you will need to re-verify; verification obtained under the previous verification mechanism will not be revoked.
Pricing: $11.99 per month for web-based purchases and $14.99 per month for iOS inbound purchases.
Service scope: Launching this week in Australia and New Zealand first, then rolling out to other regions.
In terms of features, Meta Verified is quite similar to Twitter Blue, which Twitter has been rushing to launch and tweaking in recent months, with the main difference being stricter requirements for authenticity verification.

Twitter stops offering SMS login verification to free users
On February 18, Twitter announced via its official blog that as of March 20, only paid users of the Twitter Blue subscription service will continue to receive two-factor authentication (2FA) verification codes using SMS, and that free users must switch their verification method to an authentication app or physical security key or the two-factor authentication feature will be turned off.

Twitter explains that this is based on security considerations, as SMS authentication is less secure, and encourages paying users to also consider switching to a more secure authentication method. That statement is true in its own right, but Twitter’s main consideration may still be cost. For example, in a response to Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), Musk claimed that Twitter was being “scammed” by phone companies for $60 million per year for authenticating text messages. 2022, Twitter has publicly disclosed that as of December 2021, only 2.6% of Twitter users had two-factor authentication enabled, but the vast majority of them (74%) chose to to receive a verification code.

Google offers Apple a share of Chrome search revenue for iOS
In addition to paying Apple to be the default search engine for Safari, Google is also giving Apple a share of the search ad revenue generated by its Chrome for iOS browser, The Register reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The information comes from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) Mobile Ecosystem Market Report, published last year for the purposes of an antitrust investigation, but the public version does not mention Chrome for iOS by name.

Experts say Google’s aim may be to curb Apple’s motivation to launch its own search engine, since half of Google’s search traffic is done through Apple devices. As of 2021, Google is paying Apple $15 billion a year. If there is evidence of a previous monopoly agreement between the two companies to divide the market, it would constitute a horizontal monopoly prohibited by law in several countries.

YouTube CEO announces stepping down
In a letter to employees on February 16, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said she has decided to step down as CEO to focus on her family, health and personal projects; Neal Mohan, chief product officer, will take over. Wojcicki helped build Google’s online advertising business, was the first product manager for the AdSense keyword advertising business, and championed the acquisition of YouTube; she also pioneered the Google Doodle feature, a special home page logo that Google displays on anniversaries.

Wojcicki’s departure continues a trend of fewer female executives at Silicon Valley tech companies. In recent years, industry stalwarts such as Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg, former HP CEO Meg Whitman, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty have also left.

In recent years, YouTube has had some difficulty in maintaining advertising revenue and maintaining platform policies. According to its earnings report, YouTube’s ad revenue fell from $8.63 billion to $7.96 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, below industry estimates. Last November, YouTube announced that in order to cater to advertisers, it could disqualify ad placements and shares if an uploaded video featured profanity within the first 15 seconds, or if profanity appeared in most of an account’s videos; YouTube rescinded the policy after strong opposition. In addition, YouTube’s practice of hiding point “stepping” statistics since the end of 2021 has caused widespread discontent among users.

Steam supports transferring games between local devices
On February 18, Valve announced a “Local Network Game Transfer” feature via its official Twitter feed (support page). With this feature, users can transfer installed games directly between PCs on a LAN or from PCs to Steam Deck handhelds without having to download them from the Internet again. By default, only games under the same Steam account can be transferred to each other, but users can also allow devices from any account to transfer to each other.

Earlier this month, Apple held an employee-only AI conference in the theater inside its headquarters, Bloomberg contributor Mark Gurman reports. This is an annual event that Apple hosts, known as “WWDC for AI. In its event materials for employees, Apple allegedly wrote that machine learning is moving faster than ever, but that Apple’s talent level is on the cutting edge. However, no particularly groundbreaking content was shown at the event.