Instagram is Testing a New Template Feature For Reels 🤳

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Instagram is Testing a New Template Feature For Reels 🤳

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Instagram is testing a new feature that will help users in creating new videos leveraging other Instagram videos by taking the same format.

The new feature called ‘Templates’ is currently only available to a small group of creators and is in beta testing. The feature is said to save creators a huge amount of time that goes into recreating video formatting manually.

The feature will reportedly enable creators to use any Reels clip as a template, which then creates a framework of clips that matches the timestamps of that Reel.

Further, users can then insert their own clips into these frame markers to copy the format of the clip.

It looks like Instagram is attempting to attract more creators to Reels with this new feature to its own version of the short-form video app.

At the same time, it is also trying to compete against its rival TikTok, as the feature is quite similar to TikTok’s Templates, by encouraging users to create original content on Instagram.

Autonomous Driving Startup Pony.ai Receives Taxi License 🚕 in China 🇨🇳

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Self-driving firm Pony.ai has said that it has received a license to operate 100 autonomous vehicles as traditional taxis in China, making it the first and only autonomous driving company to obtain a taxi license in the country.

The startup, which has received the license to operate in the Guangzhou city district of Nansha, will start operating in the region starting May this year. Pony.ai is also planning to gradually expand the scale and scope of its service to other areas of Guangzhou over time.

Passengers can hail and pay for rides with Pony.ai’s own app. The company will initially deploy those cars with safety drivers but expects to remove them over the short to intermediate time frame.

Last year, Pony.ai also received approval to launch paid driverless robotaxis services in Beijing.

However, the license is not the same as a taxi license and the rides are being offered in a much smaller, industrial zone on a trial basis.

As such, the issuance of a license signals the Guangzhou government’s formal implementation of self-driving mobility services similar to traditional taxis and ride-hailing platforms.

Stripe Joins Hands With Twitter 🤝 to Introduce Crypto Payments to Creators

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Payments platform Stripe has announced the launch of crypto payouts for its product, Stripe Connect via a new pilot.

The company has partnered with Twitter to offer content creators on the platform to receive their payments in the form of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin.

In a blog post, Stripe said, “Today, we’re introducing crypto payouts for Connect. With crypto payouts, a select group of creators on Twitter — our first partner — will be able to use cryptocurrency-based rails to receive their earnings from Twitter.”

The program will allow Twitter to pay creators their earnings from its monetization products, including Ticketed Spaces and Super Follows.

The announcement also noted that payments will be made via the Polygon (MATIC) network, a layer-2 solution for the Ethereum blockchain, known for its transaction speed, low fees, innovative zero-knowledge technology, and integration with Ethereum.

Besides, Stripe is also planning to share this new feature with other partners and has shared an integration guide where users can request access to the beta program.

By the end of this year, Stripe is planning to support crypto payouts in more than 120 countries.

Seafood Marketplace Rooser Raises $23 Million in Series A 💰

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Rooser, a seafood marketplace that connects seafood buyers and suppliers, has raised $23 million in its Series A funding round.

The funding was led by Index Ventures with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Point Nine Capital. In addition, the funding also saw participation from Figma CEO and co-founder Dylan Field, and Sennder co-founder & CEO David Nothacker.

Founded in 2019 by Nicolas Desormeaux and Joel Watt, Rooser is a Scotland-based seafood marketplace that connects seafood buyers and suppliers, giving them the right tools to trade efficiently, negotiate prices, and process deliveries across Europe.

With this platform, you can optimize your existing relationships for free, find new trading partners, and more.

Since its inception, the startup has completed over 50,000 transactions. It currently has more than 300 active users and trades over 90 species. Buyers on the platform can source seafood from 13 different countries.

Rooser is planning to use the fresh capital to expand into more markets, and to continue building more functionality into its platform.

Around the Web 🌐

GM Stops Giving Battery Replacement Chevy Spark EV: General Motors (GM) is reportedly stopping offering battery replacements for the all-electric version of the Chevy Spark. GM first rolled out the Chevy Spark EV in 2013 and continued to make new models until 2016; but now, it will no longer provide battery packs, with the oldest model of the vehicle reaching almost 10 years old.


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