Tik Tok Outpaces 2 Billion Downloads: Everything You Need To Know

Tik-Tokkers, rejoice! The app has officially exceeded 2 billion downloads, according to an analytical report Sensor Tower.

The ByteDance social video app accumulated a whopping 315 million downloads across the App Store and Google Play in Q1 2020 – the highest number of downloads for any app in a quarter. Of the 2 billion downloads, more than 1.5 billion come from Google Play while the App Store accounts for 495.2 million downloads. 

Senior Tower credits Tik Tok’s surge to the coronavirus pandemic, as mobile phone have become the ultimate weapon to dwell against quarantine’s boredom. 

India takes the lead with the highest number of lifetime installs with 611 million downloads, translating to 30.3 percent of the total. Following the South Asian country is China with 196.6 million downloads for its local version called Douyin. The figure translates to 9.7 percent of total downloads, however Sensor Tower notes that the number doesn’t include the country’s third-party Android store downloads. At number three is the United States with 165 million downloads, translating to 8.2 percent.

Spotify Reaches Peak Streaming Revenues Amidst Global Challenges

Leading streaming service Spotify has reached $2 billion in revenue for Q1 2020, tapping analysts’ forecasts. Consequently, the streaming company welcomed a decisive net-sum profit of $1 million, while other businesses remain at loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In light of global challenges lingering across the entire world, chances are we’re all in a better mood of listening to artists we love and cherish for. And on that note, Spotify’s monthly users have peaked to 286 million, while paid users are at 130 million and ad-supported monthly active users are at 163 million.

According to TechCrunch, the spike falls in line with the boost in media streaming services amid the pandemic. However, while numbers soar, other areas decrease. 

Spotify reports that streaming shows low consumption in areas heavily affected by the pandemic, such as Italy and Spain. Furthermore, listening patterns vary with more frequency. 

“Despite the global uncertainty around COVID-19 in Q1, our business met or exceeded our forecast for all major metrics,” Spotify revealed to shareholders. “For Q2 and the remainder of the year, our outlook for most of our key performance indicators has remained unchanged with the exception of revenue where a slowdown in advertising and significant changes in currency rates are having an impact.”

Visit Spotify to stay in the know.

Louis Vuitton Crafts Gowns For Paris’ Frontline Hospital Workers

Louis Vuitton has subverted its Parisian RTW atelier unit to craft gowns for frontline hospital workers, with an aim to render help due to covid-19 pandemic.

The move paves alongside Louis Vuitton’s latest strategy that saw the maison producing tons of non-surgical face masks, in support to those in need during the battle against Covid-19. Louis Vuitton has subverted its Rue Du Pont Neuf headquarters into an industrial unit to produce gowns for six staff at six Parisian hospitals of the “Assistance Publique” – Hôpitaux de Paris” operation (AP-HP), which takes care of covid-19 patients.

Louis Vuitton has remarked that 20 volunteers have been recruited to undertake the task of producing gowns. The gowns are crafted with AP-HP fabrics and patterns, and will be gifted to the following hospitals: Hôpital Antoine-Béclère in Clamart; Hôpital Bicêtre in Kremlin-Bicêtre; Hôpital Paul-Brousse in Villejuif; Hôpital Ambroise-Paré in Boulogne-Billancourt; Hôpital Raymond-Poincaré in Garches, and Hôpital Sainte-Périne in Paris’ 16th arrondissement.

Touching on the topic, Louis Vuitton’s CEO and Chairman said: “We are proud to be able to help healthcare professionals at our level and put our know-how at the disposal of the Hôpitaux de Paris to create gowns for medical staff. I would like to thank the artisans of our atelier who voluntarily participate in this civic act and who have been bravely applying themselves since this morning to equip healthcare workers in hospitals who are in need of gowns.”

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Covid-19 Holds A Knock-On Effect On The iPhone 12 Release

Apple is allegedly delaying production of the iPhone 12 by a month, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And while that doesn’t essentially imply a push-back in the release date, it’s likely that the new handset will be in much shorter supply down the track. 

The current pandemic has inevitably caused grievous disruptions to the global supply chains, and according to “people familiar with changes”, disruptions will impact accessibility later in the year. 

Thanks to mass manufacturing over the summer months, Apple is usually able to unveil its new iPhone in September and start distributing devices before the end of the month. Insiders have indicated that the brunt of the pandemic will be seen later in the year with a more restricted supply of the flagship model. 

Setbacks aside, the new iPhone is still one of the most anticipated announcements of the year from the company. 

High-level Art Gets Auctioned On eBay

eBay has joined forces with the Help a Life Foundation on a special auction featuring high-level artworks by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and more. Comprising a plethora of photographs and paintings, the sale will be directed to the benefit of the foundation that houses an education for adolescent orphaned girls in Debre Markos, Ethiopia.

One of the key highlights is Picasso’s Le Musicien de Rue, a lithographic print that was published in Paris back in 1956. The artwork is one of only 2,500 prints. Moreover, Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Can print is up for grab. The work was first published in 1988 by the Belgium-based Galerie Ronny van de Velde. 

The auction is up until May 6. Visit eBay for Charity’s website for more information.

“Writing The Future: Jean-Michel Basquiat And The Hip Hop Generation” Goes Virtual

Comprising works By Basquiat, RAMMELLZEE, Futura and more.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has decided to postpone the physical launch of its greatly anticipated “Writing The Future: Jean-Michael Basquiat and The Hip-Hop Generation”. The exhibition was initially bound to take place from April 5 to August 2, 2020. Instead, MFA Boston will launch a virtual version in weeks to come.

A recent statement saw MFA Boston remarking: “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation’ tells the story of artists who overcame great barriers to bring the world entirely new forms of cultural expression. Now more than ever, it is an exhibition that is urgently needed—one that promises to bring our museums and communities of all ages and backgrounds together at a moment in which new modes of access to art, culture, and ideas will pave the way to our shared future.”

The show will display exclusive, rare works by Jean-Michel Basquiat alongside Keith Haring, Futura, RAMMELLZEE among others. Overall, the exhibition will offer insights into Basquiat before he rose to fame, epitomising his socio-political issues that influenced his iconic works, and showcasing the relationship with fellow artists that helped define New York City’s downtown art and the hip-hop scene in the ‘80s. One of the highlighted, collaborative works to go on display is the United (Fun Fridge) that comprises a slew of hand tags by Basquiat, Haring, Futura, Eric Haze, Kenny Scharf and others. 

Visit MFA Boston’s website for more updates on the exhibition. 

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Apple And Google Join Forces In A Tech-Savvy Rejoinder Against Covid-19

As the current global circumstance continues being disrupted by the turmoil of the pandemic, Apple and Google have joined forces in developing a technology that tracks and reduces the spread of Covid-19.

A recent statement saw both companies remarking: “All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.”

Bluetooth will alert users if they have been in contact with someone who has been infected by the virus. The companies aren’t designing an app for this purpose, but rather they’re drawing a framework that could be later evolved into an app for ioS10 or Android.

The release of this feature is still yet to be revealed.  

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H&M Borrows €980 Million To Boost Liquidty Amidst Crisis

As retailers are lurching from global effects caused by the pandemic, H&M took precautionary measures by borrowing €980 million to strengthen its liquidity buffer over the course of the pandemic. 

According to Reuters, H&M’s 12-month bank facility comes with a six-month extension option, topping the retailer’s €700 million facility from 2017, which matures in 2024.

“The H&M group’s liquidity remains good,” H&M said in a statement. “The group is continuing its work to set up a combination of different financing solutions.”

Being the world’s second largest retailer, H&M is slowly but surely gearing up for a loss marked for he first time in decades. The company plans to raise additional funds and launch other initiatives in aid of these times.

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Facebook Creates “Quiet Mode” Feature To Improve Users’ Balance On The App

Facebook has reportedly added a new feature to its app, “Quiet Mode” to give a better equilibrium to the platform and its users.

According to The Verge, the new function will stop “most” of the app’s push notifications with the exemption of legally required information such as privacy updates. When users launch the app while on Quiet Mode, they will receive a reminder by Facebook stating the feature is still turned on. Quiet Mode is available to switch on/off both manually and on schedule, providing its users the freedom to abandon the app whenever they feel like it.

In a Covid-19 information report, Facebook stated that “As we all adjust to new routines and staying home, setting boundaries for how you spend your time online can be helpful. Whether it’s to help you focus on your family and friends, sleep without distraction or manage how you spend your time at home, we have tools that can help you find the right balance for how you use Facebook.” 

The new feature is fully available for iOS users and will launch in May on Android. 

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Nike Launches New Features To Spotlight Its Products’ Sustainability

In celebration of World Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, sportswear household Nike launched a new feature to help consumers to identify its sustainable designs. Aside from adding a new ta on its website under “Shop Sustainable Materials” that applies a direct filter, Nike will now also display its Sunburst badge on both its product walls in-store and on product display pages online, meaning that a product is made from at least 50 percent sustainable materials. From items meeting this threshold, here will be a new feature called “How This Was Made,” giving customers more insight into where things were sourced and how the product was produced. 

“Earth Day, long credited with launching the modern environmental movement, is more than an annual observance for Nike,” the brand writes. “It is fuel to continue building on decades of advancing sustainability and setting bold goals for the future. From creating innovative ways to recycle shoes nearly 30 years ago to recent measures that address climate change, Nike has long been committed to helping protect the planet to create a better future for sport. After all, there is no finish line.”

Head over to Nike’s website to get in the know with more information.