Over again Google has attempted to introduce many products as social networks in competition with other tech companies like Google Plus in 2011 which was created to compete with Facebook and Twitter- this was shut down in 2018 due to a series of negative reviews and data breaches. Same as with YouTube which has been presented as a social network many times but most people still don’t consider the platform anything other than a video sharing platform.
In spite of the fact, it has an overwhelming number of views for brand-related content from user-generated content. More than 84 percent tune-in at least once a month to get a daily dose of news from their favorite channels and then log out. Now, Google is tethering towards pushing YouTube, the thriving video-sharing community to house a new feature known as “shorts” to rival TikTok. However, this isn’t the first time that YouTube has developed its own version of a popular feature on another social platform: it brought over its version of Instagram Stories to the platform. There have been many social media platform adoptions from MySpace in 2005, to Facebook in 2008, then Instagram, and a brief interlude of Snapchat in 2014.
In 2020, the newest contender is TikTok, a mix of music lip-syncing and micro-video content platform. The video-sharing platform, TikTok, has taken the world by storm becoming the rave of the moment beyond China where the idea was birthed as Douyin, a rival to musical.ly, which was later acquired and merged under a single name.
The platform is extremely popular with the generation z: content creators and regular users seem to be drawn to its short entertainment model. This year, TikTok has surpassed Facebook and WhatsApp as the world’s most downloaded non-gaming app taking first position on Google Play store, with over 1.5 billion downloads worldwide. Its reach spans over 400 million active daily users in China with over 800 million active users worldwide in 154 countries.
Unlike other apps, TikTok’s content is amateur and ranges from food to fashion, pranks to pets and dance challenges. Most of the video content have users lip-syncing to music or sharing something about their day, and recently housed the popular “switchchallenge,” “nakedchallenge” and “Don’trushchallenge.” TikTok primarily shows video content that is just 15 seconds in length. While there is an option to share videos up to one minute long, but not longer than that. The catch of the Tiktok’s content is how the shortness of the videos gives users 15 minutes of fame, for videos with music or without music lasting for a minute while garnering millions of views and followers.
However, the biggest reason to TikTok’s unexpected massive popularity even beyond China could be how it offers micro entertainment and distraction for a few minutes during the day. The platform is prefect for many who are bored and in desperate need of silly fun especially during this compulsory lockdown to help people practice social distancing.
YouTube really hasn’t had much competition since it’s started. Of course, other user-generated platforms like Vimeo, DailyMotion and Veoh have been around, but they never seriously threatened the video giant. However, since TikTok exploded in popularity, some content creators have made a transition from YouTube over to the platform. So, as a way to reclaim some of its creators, YouTube is looking to launch its own rival feature “Shorts” which it hopes will keep more people on the platform. The new feature ‘short’ will be launched within the regular YouTube app and will include a feed of brief videos posted by users.
YouTube’s new feature would have a few advantages over TikTok. For instance, it already has extensive music licensing agreements in place, which means that there would be a lot more music to choose from for Shorts clips. YouTube also has a much larger daily user base by a factor of about 5, so influencers might find it better to stay on the platform to reach more potential viewers. Even better is the monetization system YouTube has in place that influencers already take advantage of but then it is easier to roll out a feature than it is to get people to adopt it. TikTok is the trend now and it should be interesting to watch how YouTube can rival it overtime.
Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude exports resume as ExxonMobil lifts force majeure
ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil exports as production resumes.
ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil export terminal, as crude exports resume for the first time in almost six weeks after a fire at the terminal halted operations.
This is according to a company spokesman yesterday, who confirmed the company had lifted force majeure on Qua Iboe crude loadings.
Qua Iboe production started to ramp up to normal levels of 200,000 b/d in the past week, according to sources, with the release of both the February and March loading programs.
The VLCC Dalia was also in the process of loading a 1-million-barrel stem at the Qua terminal since January 21, 2021, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. This will be the first export of Qua Iboe since December 15, 2020, after a fire hit the facility and injured two workers.
The company has been under pressure since the closure and prices have taken a hit as a result of the disruption. S&P Global Platts last assessed the grade at a discount to Dated Brent of 50 cents/b, down from a premium against the benchmark in December.
Bonny Light, a mainstay Nigerian crude which typically trades at roughly the same level as Qua Iboe, was last assessed 30 cents/b higher.
What they are saying
One trader said: “If you get a cargo of Qua now it could be 50 cents to a dollar below Bonny even – a January cargo is completely out of cycle and the reliability issues mean people won’t touch it.”
Another trader stated that: “[The return of Qua Iboe] is not what West African crude assessments (WAF) differentials needed.”
What you should know
- Qua Iboe is one of Nigeria’s largest export grades, and is very popular among global refiners, with India, the US, Canada, Italy, Spain, Indonesia, and the Netherlands being key buyers.
- Qua Iboe is light sweet crude, which has a gravity of 36 API and sulfur content of 0.13%. The crude, produced from fields 20-40 miles off the coast of southeast Nigeria, is brought to shore at the Qua Iboe terminal via a seabed pipeline system.
- Indian demand has steadied following a buying spree late last year, and European demand has been hit by renewed coronavirus lockdowns in the region.
- Prices for Nigerian crude have suffered in recent weeks, even with lower supply due to the outage.
- February and March loading programs have been issued for Qua Iboe averaging 169,643 b/d and 153,226 b/d respectively.
- Production of this key grade ranged between 180,000-220,000 b/d in 2020, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.
CBN says revised new cheque book to become fully operational from April 1, 2021
The CN has announced plans to discontinue the use of old cheque books with effect from March 31, 2021.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has in a circular to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), accredited Cheque Printers/Personalisers, and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), stated that the revised cheque book will become fully operational from April 1, 2021.
The apex bank has directed all DMBs to enlighten their customers on the revised cheque book, introduced across all banks as full enforcement of its usage will commence on the stated date.
The disclosure is contained in a circular that was issued by the CBN and signed by its Director Banking Services, Mr Sam Okojere.
The CBN in the circular noted that the clarification became necessary as some stakeholders had been interpreting the circular differently from the intended purpose.
The CBN in the circular stated, ‘’Please refer to our circular dated 9th December, 2020, referenced BKS/DIR/CIR/GEN/02/042 on the above subject.
It has come to our notice that some stakeholders interpret the circular differently from the intended purpose. Consequently, it has become imperative for the CBN to issue the following clarifications;
- The parallel run, in which old and new cheques are allowed to co-exist, will end on 31st March 2021, and thus only new cheques would be allowed in the clearing system from 1st April 2021.
- Full enforcement of the second edition of the Nigeria Cheque Standard (NCS) and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) Version 2.0 will commence April 1, 2021 and the NCS/NICPAS 2.0. Sanction grid will be fully operational on April 1, 2021.
- All deposit money banks are (therefore) directed to actively enlighten their customers and ensure necessary provisions are put in place for a smooth migration to the New standard.
- The extension of full implementation date from Jan. 1 to April 1, 2021 is due to outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it had on the Nigeria Cheque Standard (NCS) and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) Version. 2.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that in an earlier circular issued on the revised cheque book, the CBN had put the cut-off date for the parallel run of the old and new cheques at August 31, 2020.
- This was further extended to December 31, 2020, with only new cheques intended to be allowed in the clearing system from January 1, 2021, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it had on the project.
- This further adjustment of the deadline gives room for more sensitization by the deposit money banks to their customers, taking into consideration the disruptions that have happened in the economy.
Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for best carbon capture technology
Elon Musk has announced a donation of $100 million prize money for the best technology that can capture carbon dioxide.
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Thursday took to Twitter to promise a $100 million prize for the development of the “best” carbon capture technology.
Elon Musk wrote in a tweet, “Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” details next week.
Carbon capture technology is designed to prevent the release of CO2 generated through conventional power generation and industrial production processes by injecting the CO2 into suitable underground storage reservoirs.
According to Reuters, “Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.”
Since the tweet was shared, it has garnered thousands of responses from people because of the jaw-dropping cash prize. A lot of people have started sharing their carbon capture ideas.
The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.
Newly-sworn-in U.S. President, Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change. On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Besides Tesla, Elon also heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.