By Joanna N., Business Development Associate at Zero One Group
February flew by real quick. While it was a short month, we witnessed a lot of developments on a global scale — and this newsletter is here to talk about three of them.
We picked some thought-provoking topics this month, so buckle up and let’s get into it!
Clubhouse — a case of “They grow up so fast”
The frenzy behind the current hottest app straight out of Silicon Valley.
Clubhouse, an iOS-exclusive, invitation-only social audio app, has been facing a surge in popularity as of late. The app has attracted over 10 million users in its 11-month lifespan, setting off a mad dash among investors, who have valued the company at $1 billion.
The appeal lies with Clubhouse’s core technological innovation — facilitating the real-time exchange of ideas through live, auditory experiences for any type of audience. This app’s key selling point is also the cause of its own growing pains.
- Looming competition from tech giants: Twitter launched Spaces last month and Facebook is reportedly working on a similar product
- The app’s reputation for lax moderation has drawn scrutiny from all sides: Extremists and dissidents have found a home for free-flowing conversations on the app
- Data and privacy concerns: Issues with aggressive data extraction, audio and metadata being pulled to third-party sites without consent, data allegedly being routed through servers in China
- Co-founder Paul Davidson recently stated that an Android version is a “top feature”, hinting that an Android app is currently in the works
‘The Role of Big Tech in the 2021 Myanmar Coup
Should Big Tech do more to prevent extreme events like this from occurring?
Facebook said it banned all remaining accounts linked to the Myanmar military on Thursday, citing the junta’s use of deadly force against anti-coup demonstrators.
The platform admitted that it failed to do enough to prevent the incitement of violence in Myanmar back in 2018, a year after a military-backed crackdown forced 750,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee the country.
The junta has imposed nightly internet blackouts and banned social media platforms, including Facebook, to bring the protests to a heel.
- A UN report in 2018 had found Facebook to be “slow and ineffective” in tackling hate speech
- Facebook had then also acknowledged that many in Myanmar relied on the platform for information, “more so than in almost any other country”
- Critics have observed that Trump was swiftly kicked off Facebook for inciting violence and an attempted coup, while the Burmese military was allowed to stay on the platform for almost a month after the coup had occurred
Microsoft to Establish First Datacenter Region in Indonesia
Big news for the country that is lagging behind in tech infrastructure.
Microsoft has announced the establishment of its first data centre region in Indonesia, as part of its Berdayakan Ekonomi Digital Indonesia initiative.
The details of when and where the datacenter will be built remain hazy, but what is clear is that Indonesia will join the world’s largest cloud infrastructure (Azure) with over 60 datacenter regions announced to date.
- The initiative is hailed as the company’s commitment to advancing growth and digital transformation for Indonesia, its developer and startup ecosystem, enterprises, and the public sector
- Microsoft believes its investments will generate up to $6.3 billion in revenue for the country and contribute around 60,000 jobs to the local economy
- The company will work with government and industry stakeholders to skill an additional 3 million people, bringing the total to 24 million Indonesians skilled by the end of 2021
- Will we finally see much-needed digital improvements to Indonesia’s lagging critical industries, such as agriculture?
And that’s a wrap on our February newsletter! We hope this month’s news bites were as interesting to you as they were to us.