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In this week’s What’s Appening, we have a long, hard look at Twitter. Like everyone else, we have been partly mesmerized and partly exasperated by Elon Musk’s tenure as chief of the platform. But the latest shenanigans smack of hypocrisy. We cover the latest in Twitter updates, and muse over how Musk has walked back on his own promises. Elsewhere, we have news on Apple finally budging on its third-party app store rules. There’s a report of a cool innovation from Google, which can help ‘translate’ your doctor’s notes. Our Stat of the Week looks at the man who won the World Cup, and broke Instagram’s record for likes. And What’s dAppening looks at some new NFT projects, including the launch of JUKE, developed by our very own team here at 3Advance.  

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Takes 🎬

🤡🌍 Twitter – Craziest Week Yet Feeds Real Concerns for Platform

In our final (regular) newsletter of 2022, we’re ending on the same note that’s been played many times already this year, because, well, it’s important. We’ll admit it. We had some high hopes for Elon Musk’s Twitter. We love Tesla. We love Space X… And we loved Twitter. Perhaps Musk could revitalize the platform, and give it a shake-up it desperately needed. In the early days (Musk took over less than two months ago, but it feels like a lifetime), Musk made some valid points about free speech, although they were somewhat idealistic. But as Paul has pointed out in the latest What’s Appening video episode, Musk’s personal actions have veered into laughable hypocrisy. The most widely-covered story was the suspension of a bunch of serious journalists for what seemed like minor infractions. Then came the statute that users would no longer be able to post profile links to other social media accounts, including Mastodon (the decentralized Twitter rival), Instagram, Facebook, and Truth Social. Huh. In what has been a common theme of late, Musk then reversed the decision, probably because some of Twitter’s most respected users (and friends of Musk) called him out on what a stupid idea it was. But was the damage already done when Musk-admirers like Y-Combinator’s Paul Graham were getting suspended? Finally, this week we got the sideshow of Musk putting up a poll of whether he should step down as Twitter chief. As you might know, Musk has been using polls and honoring the results as a kind of vox popli to show that Twitter is a democracy. Except this time, the vote went against him, with the majority saying he should stand down. He hasn’t, of course, and he is now suggesting that he lost the vote due to bots – a problem he claimed to have fixed last week! Now, he has hinted that these polls could be honored if those voting are paying subscribers – so it’s paid entry to Musk’s vaunted Town Square of Free Speech. Look, this is his platform. He owns it, and he can run it like his personal fiefdom. But he cannot wrap himself in words like free speech, democracy, and fairness when some Twitter users, including himself, are “more equal” than others. #BrokenTwitter Read more here.

🍏👩‍⚖️ Apple – Seismic Changes in the App Store Loom As Apple Appeases EU

Stubborn is the word that we usually associate with Apple when it comes to its App Store. Doesn’t matter if it’s government regulators or tech rivals who call for change: the company seems to stick to its guns on its walled garden approach. But in a dramatic reversal of policy, Apple has reportedly decided to allow third-party app stores on iPad and iPhone. Why the change of heart? In short – The European Union. It seems like Apple will allow the side-loading of third-party apps, allowing those apps to have access to its devices’ software, for the first time to comply with the new laws coming into effect in 2024 in the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). Apple and other tech companies will have no choice but to comply with the DMA in full by 2022. This, along with the replacement of the iPhone lightning cable with the universally loved USB-C. In other regulatory news, we would point you to the growing momentum in Congress behind a US TikTok ban. You know the deal by now, as many lawmakers believe the wildly popular app is used as a spying tool by China. We have heard the ban threat before, but the folks on Capitol Hill sound very serious about this. #AppleUTurn Read more here.  

👓🧑‍⚕️Google – Prototype App Can Read Doctors’ Bad Handwriting

We have all seen the memes and old jokes – nobody can read a doctor’s handwriting. However, maybe Google can decipher the code on your handwritten prescription. The company unveiled a prototype application to do just that, analyzing the script of terrible handwriting and picking out the important parts, i.e., the drugs and the doses. The app was showcased at Google for India, now one of the company’s most important annual events in one of its most important markets. It was part of a range of new linguistic initiatives that it showcased at the event. As we noted before in other Google product launches this year, which heavily pushed translation services, the company is pushing the theme of understanding each other at the heart of its business. #GoogleMyPrescription Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week: 65+ Million Likes

⚽🏆 World Cup – Lionel Messi’s Instagram Post Breaks Record for Most Likes

Most non-French soccer fans were very pleased to see the little magician Lionel Messi finally lift the World Cup trophy on Sunday. And social media was buzzing over one of the best finals in living memory. Messi’s Instagram post, showing him lifting that famous trophy, actually broke records, reaching over 65 million likes by this afternoon, surpassing a previous record held by a picture of an egg (🥚🤷‍♂️). Insta wasn’t alone in getting the World Cup buzz, though, as Twitter reported huge WC-related traffic, and Meta’s WhatsApp claimed it was pinging 25 million messages per second during the Final. #CongratsArgentina Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

A dApp is a decentralized app. Here’s the latest in web3, NFTs and blockchain apps.

🦜🎥 NFTs – A Bunch of New Projects Arrive to End the Year

While the NFT industry has also had a tough year, it feels to us like the sector is ending 2022 on a high note. We have to start by mentioning the roll-out of Trump NFTs, the collection launched on Polygon. These cheesy, cheap NFTs were ridiculed, and rightly so, we’d say. But so are many other real-world collectibles and “presidential” memorabilia sold near and far. With a total supply of 45,000 sold out in less than a day, and with the $99 floor price more than doubling since then, the market admittedly exists. Elsewhere, Starbucks Odyssey is slowly rolling out to its American customer base, showing huge potential not only for Starbucks rewards, but for the entire landscape – ushering in a new era of easily tradable rewards (hint: not just for cappuccinos and lattes). On to Reddit – users just minted a record 1.3 million Recap 2022 NFTs in just five days! Reddit has led the way in social media NFT adoption, breaking down many of the barriers to onboard users from Web 2 to web3. In short, despite the Crypto-winter, NFTs are the future, whether we like it or not. Which we do. Not least, because we’ve joined in the game too… Keep reading to learn more.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

And… 🚀 We’re live! The first NFT project 3Advance has been directly involved with has been made public, with the first drop of exclusive NFTs released just this week! 🎉🎬

One of our most promising clients, JUKE, has launched the beta drop of its officially licensed Collectibles. The project is kicking off with Dynamic Poster Frames of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, featuring original artwork from award-winning artist Akiko Stehrenberger (and some brilliant animations from 3A partner, General Motion). This is JUKE’s first public step in becoming the Web3 leader in TV and Film! It’s been a joy – and a lot of hard work too – taking this journey with the JUKE team, and we are excited to keep building with them in the future. You can check out the fantastic Ace Ventura digital collectibles here, where you can sign-up to claim your very own Ace Ventura Dynamic Poster Frame for $20.  

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