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TikTok Developing US-Based Clone of Core Algorithm Amid Legal Challenges

5-minute read to stay updated on Tech.

INSIGHT

TikTok is creating a U.S specific version of its recommendation algorithm, potentially enabling it to operate independently from its Chinese parent, ByteDance. This move is a response to U.S. legislative pressures, despite no current plans to divest its U.S. assets. The initiative involves separating millions of lines of code to eliminate information linked to Chinese users.

💡 Insight: TikTok's initiative to clone its core algorithm in the U.S. is a strategic maneuver to appease regulatory fears and possibly preempt forced divestiture. This move highlights the growing trend of tech giants localizing data and operational structures to circumvent geopolitical tensions and regulatory challenges.

Perplexity AI has introduced a feature that converts searches into detailed, shareable webpages, joining the likes of Arc browser and purportedly Apple in offering AI-powered summary tools. Perplexity Pages will help users create visually appealing reports, articles or guides which can be shaped to different audience types. Pages can be edited, added to, and published, and are searchable via Google. The feature is rolling out to a limited number of users initially.

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Meta Platforms Inc., Facebook's parent company, has successfully revamped its social network to win back younger users and counter TikTok's competition. The overhaul included broader post and video content beyond users' networks. This strategic shift led to a resurgence in Facebook's user base in the U.S. and Canada, a vital market for its core advertising business. Remarkably, it witnessed user growth amongst 18-to-29-year-olds, a group that had previously declined over the years.

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According to The Information, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman reportedly contemplates restructuring the AI firm into a traditional, for-profit company. Currently defined as a "capped-profit" company, OpenAI's operations straddle the border between for-profit and non-profit categories. This potential transition occurs amid accusations from OpenAI's former board member Helen Toner, who claims Altman was deceptive in his communication and concealed his financial interests in the company.

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Anthropic's AI chatbot Claude has added a function-calling feature called "Tool Use,” allowing for the creation of task-specific AI assistants. This feature gives Claude the ability to perform several tasks, such as reading emails and answering customer queries. Claude's new functionalities are accessible through APIs and require basic coding knowledge. It can also analyze user data for personalized recommendations.

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BRIEF

Despite a 51% increase in operating profit to reach $265 million in 2023, Swedish fintech Trustly is delaying its IPO for another year or two, according to CEO Johan Tjarnberg. The firm's open banking technology, which allows direct payments to merchants via their bank accounts, witnessed exponential growth, particularly in the U.S. market. Trustly is seeking to demonstrate further market traction in user and merchant adoption before going public.

Dell Technologies has surpassed first-quarter revenue estimates, ending a six-quarter decline fuelled by a surge in demand for high-performance computing and large-scale data centres. The boost is associated with increased adoption of AI, and the company's unveiling of AI-enabled PCs and a new server supporting Nvidia's latest chips. The firm's AI-optimised server shipments more than doubled to $1.7 billion. Despite the earnings beat, the compani’s stock took a 5% dive in extended trading.

Swedish fintech Klarna recorded a 29% YoY revenue growth and swung to a profit in Q1, due to reduced operational costs, in part thanks to the implementation of AI. The buy-now-pay-later firm's revenue in the now-largest US market grew by 38% YoY, through expansions with Uber, Expedia, and Hotels.com. Klarna is reportedly ready for an IPO after successful restructuring and eliminating early shareholders' preferential rights.

Digital payment frauds in India have soared over 400%, reaching 14.57 billion rupees ($175 million) during the year ended March 2024, says an RBI report. The spike coincides with the country's boom in digital payments, particularly via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Despite increased risks, digital payments, including cards and internet transactions, account for 10.4% of the total fraud amount.

Google is initiating the rollout of Manifest V3, a controversial Chrome extension specification that could impact ad blockers, starting from June 3. Despite concerns it could curtail ad blocker effectiveness, Google asserts this move enhances security by removing support for remotely hosted code. 85% of ""actively maintained"" extensions have updated to this spec, including major ad blockers.

Apple, following European Union's Digital Markets Act, is set to finalize APIs enabling rival banking and wallet apps to leverage NFC. UK firm Curve is prepped to launch its wallet service, suggesting it could save banks “millions of euros"" currently routed to Apple. However, with Apple denying rivals access to NFC's Secure Element, alternative payment systems may be slower and clumsier.

Discord plans to revamp its focus to gaming, justifying the move by its high gamer user base, with over 90% of the 200 million active monthly users playing games. Key features will be reworked and further developments aim to enhance the experience on different platforms, engaging users post-gameplay. Capital issues and regulatory pressure amplify the need for an effective gaming strategy.

In April, the Blue Chip Growth Fund from Fidelity increased the value of its position in tech tycoon Elon Musk's X by 4.4%, reaching $5.51 million. Despite this uptick, the fund has decreased its position value by 72% since Musk's takeover in 2022. X continues to face challenges in attracting advertisers.

QUICK

PagerDuty Q1 Earnings: Meets Revenue Expectation, Accelerates Customer Growth - PagerDuty's Q1 revenue increased by 7.7% YoY to $111.2 million, matching estimates. Q2 revenue is projected at $116.5 million, while a slight rise in customer number of 81 was reported.

SentinelOne Beats Q1 Estimates Amidst Record Revenue Growth - SentinelOne saw a 39.7% YoY increase in Q1 CY2024 revenue, which reached $186.4 million. Despite beating estimates, the cybersecurity firm's full-year revenue guidance disappointed, resulting in an 8% after-hours stock drop.

Asana Beats Q1 Estimates, Boosting Revenue by 13.1% Year-On-Year - Asana delivered better-than-expected Q1 CY2024 results, with its revenue rising 13.1% YoY to $172.4 million. Expected next quarter's revenue is around $177.5 million, aligning with analyst estimates.

MongoDB Q1 Sales Beat Expectations, Stocks Plunge Amid Future Revenue Concerns - MongoDB's Q1 revenues rose 22.3% YoY to $450.6 million, exceeding estimates, but its Q2 guidance fell short, leading to a 23.4% stock drop.

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