SRAX Recap: Twitter rolls out site redesign, T-Mobile partners with Taco Bell, Spotify introduces Disney Hub

In this week’s digital news, Twitter launches the redesign of Twitter.com, T-Mobile announces its upcoming pop-up event, Spotify attempts to increase family membership sales, and more. 

Twitter rolls out its redesigned site to everyone

Twitter fanatics rejoice, the new Twitter.com is officially here. That’s right, after months of waiting Twitter finally announced the global release of its redesigned site earlier this week. Of course, the new website comes with a few new bells and whistles. Now, users will experience faster web browsing along with more customizable features that make conversations easier to follow. Twitter also revealed that the redesigned site aims to appear and feel more consistent with what’s used on mobile devices. Therefore, making features such as Explore, Bookmarks, Lists, Direct Messages, and your Profile easier to access without having to switch between tabs or windows.

In addition, Twitter also made changes that allow users to switch between their different accounts directly from the side navigation. The company will also add its “Dim” and true dark mode “Lights Out” themes. Along with various color options to make profiles feel more personal. For those who have yet to see the redesign, it’s only a matter of time before you will get a chance to experience it. 

looking at social media on phone and laptop
Via Pexels

T-Mobile hopes to reel you in with free Taco Bell

T-Mobile recently announced its upcoming pop-up event “T-MoBell.” The event will offer customers a chance to consider switching phone providers while enjoying free food. But not just any free food, free Taco Bell. People can find the T-MoBell pop-up stores at the main T-Mobile locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and NYC. Attendees can grab free tacos and special T-MoBell themed Frozen drinks. In addition to, of course, getting their hands on free branded merch such as socks and stick-on phone wallets. Not to mention a few celebrity guest appearances at the different locations.

One report revealed The Bachelor’s Colton Underwood will be attending in Chicago. Forewarning though, the event will only run for two days: July 23rd – 25th. However, those unable to attend the event can enter T-Mobile’s giveaway on Twitter starting July 23rd. Prizes include a $500 Taco Bell gift card, Powerbeats Pro earbuds, and Megaboom 3 speakers. Although T-MoBell is a blatant attempt to get people to switch carriers or upgrade their phones, at least they get free Taco Bell out of it. 

Spotify partners with Disney on a new streaming hub

Spotify recently announced a partnership with Disney as well as its new premium feature, “Disney Hub.” Disney Hub offers a broad range of Disney playlists, such as soundtracks from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel films. In addition to Star Wars instrumentals, Disney classics, sing-alongs, and more. Since families with children tend to listen to Disney songs more often, Spotify’s family membership plan, which offers multiple profiles, seems very valuable. For example, the Premium membership in the U.S. is $9.99 per month, but the family membership is $14.99 per month.

Although Spotify isn’t known as a family service, times are rapidly changing. Parents are giving kids their own smart devices at younger ages each year. So, it’s obvious Spotify hopes this new feature will boost family membership sales. However, Premium members still have access to Disney Hub in the app. As of now, the new steaming hub is available in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 

young girl listening to music
Via Pexels

Instagram expands test of removing Like counts to other regions

Instagram recently revealed they are expanding testing of hiding Like counts and video views to six other regions. This experiment is nothing new to Instagram users, as it’s been underway in Canada for the past couple months. Although people share mixed feelings about losing their Like counts on posts, Instagram wants to promote individual expression rather than popularity. With current concerns of unhealthy social comparison and anxiety, the app is taking action on the matter despite the consequences of lower engagement and net worth.

As of now, the company’s evidence suggests that removing likes and views from posts can’t be a bad decision. But, it’s uncertain if it will contribute to the overall cause. Will the absence of a number increase user’s tendency to like a post, or reduce it? That answer will most likely lead to the final decision of rolling out the update. However, until then account users in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, and Japan will soon find out how they feel about it.

Toyota unveils electric shuttles for 2020 Olympics

Toyota shared a first look at its new all-electric shuttle yesterday, designed especially for the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. The APM (Accessible People Mover) is as an open-air, three-row vehicle that can reach speeds of up to 12 mph. Unsurprisingly, the APM isn’t meant to transport the masses. Each car accommodates up to five passengers. But the vehicle, powered by lithium-ion batteries, drives 100 kilometers on a single charge and there’s a good reason why.

Toyota intends for the APM to be a “last mile” solution for staff and athletes. In addition, the vehicles will help  visitors with accessibility needs, such as the disabled, pregnant women, the elderly, and families with small children. Furthermore, the cars can also transport wheelchairs and strollers. The APM doesn’t resemble a futuristic flying car like people imagined. Instead, the vehicle resembles a large golf cart. It will be exciting for the game’s attendees to ride in these open-air cars. Hopefully waiting for a ride won’t be an issue either since Toyota is providing 200 of them for the upcoming events.

Published on July 19, 2019

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