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Meta Unveils Exciting New Features for Instagram Stories, Including Secret Sharing and Creative Tools

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Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has unveiled a groundbreaking feature that promises to revolutionize the way users interact with Stories on the popular social media platform. This latest innovation, dubbed “Reveal,” empowers users to share secret Stories that can only be unlocked by sending a direct message (DM) to the poster.

Alongside this game-changing addition, Instagram is rolling out several other exciting features aimed at enhancing user engagement and creativity. Among these is the “Add Yours Music” sticker, which enables users to share songs that reflect their current mood while encouraging their followers to do the same. Building upon the success of the “Add yours” sticker, this new functionality fosters a deeper sense of connection and musical expression within the Instagram community.

Furthermore, users will now have access to the “Frames” feature, which transforms photos into virtual Polaroids that can be revealed by shaking the phone or clicking a button. This nostalgic twist on traditional Stories offers a unique way for users to showcase cherished memories while adding a touch of retro charm.

Another exciting addition is the “Cutouts” feature, allowing users to transform any part of a video or photo from their camera roll into a custom sticker for their Stories or Reels. Similar to Apple’s image cutout tool, this feature empowers users to personalize their content and express themselves in new and creative ways.

These enhancements come at a pivotal time for Instagram, as the platform recently announced changes to its ranking systems aimed at promoting original content from smaller creators. By prioritizing authenticity and creativity, Instagram seeks to foster a more inclusive and vibrant community where users can share their unique perspectives and stories.

In summary, Meta’s latest updates to Instagram represent a significant step forward in the evolution of social media storytelling. With features like “Reveal,” “Add Yours Music,” “Frames,” and “Cutouts,” users now have more tools than ever to engage, express themselves, and connect with others in meaningful ways on the platform.

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Asus Introduces Vivobook S15: The First Copilot Plus PC with Advanced AI-Driven Snapdragon Processors

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Asus has announced its first Copilot Plus PC, the Vivobook S15 (S5507), following Microsoft’s latest Windows event. This new laptop features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X-series processors, aiming to elevate performance and enhance AI-driven applications.

Advanced Processing Power

The Vivobook S15 will be available with either a 12-core Snapdragon X Elite processor or a 10-core Snapdragon X Plus processor. The X Elite serves as the base model, offering a slower integrated GPU and no dual-core boost. Asus claims that these ARM-based chips will significantly improve existing features and enable new AI-driven workloads with 45 TOPS of neural processing power.

Display and Design

The new Vivobook S15 retains the OLED display of its Intel-based predecessor, featuring:

  • 15.6-inch screen
  • 2880 x 1620 resolution
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 600 nits peak HDR brightness

This version also boasts a thinner chassis and narrower display bezels, enhancing its sleek design.

Memory, Storage, and Connectivity

Both configurations support up to 32GB of onboard memory and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. The Vivobook S15 includes a variety of ports:

  • Two USB-A ports
  • Two USB 4.0 Type-C ports
  • One HDMI 2.1 port
  • Audio/mic combo jack
  • MicroSD card reader

Connectivity features include Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4.

AI-Driven Features

Asus introduces the StoryCube app with the Vivobook S15, leveraging AI to sort, edit, manage, and export RAW photo and video files efficiently. The powerful NPU in the Snapdragon processors also promises to enhance other AI workloads in applications like Windows Studio Effects and Cocreator.

Target Audience

The Vivobook S15 is designed for digital artists, graphic designers, and other visual creatives, providing a budget-friendly alternative to Asus’s ProArt series. While some Vivobook models feature standalone GPUs, most, including this new model, rely on integrated graphics. The Snapdragon X series is Qualcomm’s response to Apple’s M-series chips, though its true performance will be gauged once the laptops ship.

Availability and Pricing

The Vivobook S15 with a Snapdragon X Elite processor is available for pre-order now, with shipping starting June 18th. The 32GB/1TB version, priced at $1,399, will be available exclusively at Costco. A 16GB/1TB version will be offered at $1,299 through multiple retailers. The Snapdragon X Plus model is expected later this year, though pricing details are yet to be announced.

Asus’s new Vivobook S15, with its powerful Snapdragon processors and AI capabilities, marks a significant advancement in laptop technology. This launch positions Asus to compete more effectively in a market currently dominated by Intel and Apple, offering powerful yet affordable options for creative professionals.

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Vivo To Unveil Y200 Series with Y200t and Y200 GT

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Vivo, a prominent player in the smartphone market, continues to strengthen its lineup with the introduction of two new additions to its Y200 series – the Vivo Y200t and Y200 GT. These latest offerings are poised to capture the attention of consumers seeking a balance between performance and affordability in the competitive mid-range segment.

Vivo Y200t: Balancing Budget and Performance

The Vivo Y200t is positioned as a budget-friendly option without compromising on essential features. It boasts a generous 6.72-inch LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth visuals for an enhanced user experience. Under the hood, the device is powered by the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset, providing reliable performance for everyday tasks and multitasking.

Users can choose between configurations with 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM, paired with storage options ranging from 128 GB to 512 GB, ensuring ample space for apps, media, and more. One of the standout features of the Y200t is its substantial 6,000 mAh battery, coupled with 44W fast-charging support, delivering convenience and peace of mind for users on the go.

In the camera department, the Y200t sports a modest setup, featuring a 50 MP primary camera and a 2 MP depth sensor, along with an 8 MP front-facing camera for selfies and video calls. Running on OriginOS 4 based on Android 14, the device also includes an in-display fingerprint scanner for added security.

Vivo Y200 GT: Elevating the Mid-Range Experience

On the other hand, the Vivo Y200 GT caters to consumers looking for a premium mid-range offering with enhanced specifications. Essentially a rebranded iQOO Z9, it features a stunning 6.78-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and an impressive 144Hz refresh rate, delivering vibrant colors and smooth visuals.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset, paired with either 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of internal storage, the Y200 GT offers robust performance for demanding tasks and gaming. Despite its sleek design, it houses the same 6,000 mAh battery found in the Y200t but offers an even faster 80W fast-charging technology, ensuring minimal downtime.

In terms of imaging capabilities, the Y200 GT boasts a 50 MP primary camera with a Sony LYT-600 sensor, complemented by a 2 MP depth sensor and optical image stabilization (OIS). For selfie enthusiasts, it features a 16 MP front-facing camera, capturing stunning self-portraits and video calls with ease.

Both smartphones run on OriginOS 4 based on Android 14 and feature an in-display fingerprint scanner for added security. Available in black and blue color options, the Y200t and Y200 GT are set to go on open sale in China starting May 24, offering consumers a compelling choice in the mid-range smartphone segment.

With their blend of performance, features, and affordability, the Vivo Y200t and Y200 GT are poised to make waves in the competitive smartphone market, catering to the diverse needs of consumers seeking value and innovation in their mobile devices.

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TikTok Tests 60-Minute Video Uploads

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TikTok has begun testing the ability for users to upload 60-minute videos, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Thursday. This new feature is currently available to a limited group of users in select markets, with no immediate plans for a broader rollout.

First identified by social media consultant Matt Navarra, this development signifies a major shift from TikTok’s original format. Initially, the app allowed only 15-second videos. Over the years, however, TikTok has gradually increased this limit. While the platform gained popularity through its short-form video format, it has been gradually adopting longer content to challenge YouTube, one of its main competitors.

TikTok’s motivation for extending the video length stems from creator feedback. The company notes that while creators can currently link multipart stories, there is a demand for longer, uninterrupted content. Creators want more time for cooking demonstrations, beauty tutorials, educational lessons, comedic sketches, and other types of content.

The 60-minute video upload feature aims to provide creators with the flexibility to experiment with new or expanded content types. By enabling longer videos, TikTok hopes to attract creators who traditionally post on YouTube, encouraging them to share their content on TikTok as well.

This extended time limit could also introduce new content forms to the platform, such as full episodes of TV shows. Last year, Peacock released the first episode of “Killing It” on TikTok in five parts. With the 60-minute limit, such episodes could be uploaded in one piece, eliminating the need for fragmentation.

Many networks already leverage YouTube by uploading the first episodes of TV shows to attract viewers. The increased upload limit on TikTok could entice them to do the same on this platform. Networks are already engaging with audiences on TikTok, and the new feature could encourage them to share more extensive content.

While longer videos might not appeal to all TikTok users, the company has been enhancing the viewing experience for long-form content. TikTok has been testing a horizontal full-screen mode and video-scrubbing thumbnails. Additionally, a feature rolled out last year allows users to fast-forward videos by holding down the right side of the screen.

As with any experimental feature, it remains uncertain when or if TikTok will make the 60-minute video upload option widely available.

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