Twitter Annual Subscription, A New ChatGPT Rival, And Other News Of The Week

The latest updates from the world of branding, business, startups, and entrepreneurship. We bring you a new roundup every week. Check out the most important weekly news in an easy-to-digest form.

Twitter Blue Becomes Available As An Annual Subscription

As Twitter Blue comes back on the scene after the initial disaster, the platform has added an annual subscription model for those who want to pay to be verified.

Twitter blue yearly subscription

One of the first major changes Elon Musk brought to Twitter was the ability to buy the coveted blue checkmark. This quickly led to troll accounts impersonating celebrities and politicians, making the platform scrap the program and restart it again in December 2022.

Aside from having the checkmark next to your name, making your account stand out, if you pay for Twitter Blue, you’ll be able to:

  • Receive priority ranking in conversation replies
  • Edit tweets
  • Upload 60-minute videos

This week, Twitter announced a subscription plan that includes an annual pricing of $84. The monthly price has also changed and is now $11 for both iOS and Android users. 

The program is currently available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan only.

Note that you can apply for a gold checkmark if you run an account for a company or organization.

This is only one of the few changes Musk plans to bring to the platform. Aside from the much-talked-about expansion of tweets to 4,000 characters, the network also intends to revamp its main feed to bring up fewer recommended tweets.

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Google-Financed Startup Works On Developing A ChatGPT Rival

DeepMind, a U.K.-based company, is working on an AI-powered chatbot that will try to get ChatGPT off of its perch, which now sits unchallenged.

ChatGPT rival

AI has already influenced our lives in so many ways, and it’s still only at the beginning of its development. ChatGPT has sent a lot of shockwaves through various industries, with people scaremongering (or rightfully worrying) about AI taking over their jobs.

DeepMind, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc (which was acquired by Google), is planning to enter the scene and create Sparrow, a rival application to ChatGPT.

One of the changes Sparrow intends to bring is to allow the bot to cite sources through reinforcement learning, which ChatGPT is unable to do. According to the paper published by the company, Sparrow has a 78%-rate of providing a correct answer to factual questions.

“Still, Sparrow isn’t immune to making mistakes, like hallucinating facts and giving answers that are off-topic sometimes,” 

states the company.

Sparrow will also introduce behavior constraints to its model to ensure there are no harmful behaviors or potentially harmful answers, with the intention to decline to answer questions that might result in an unwanted response from the user.

“To ensure that the model’s behavior is safe, we must constrain it. And so, we determine an initial simple set of rules for the model, such as ‘don’t make threatening statements’ and ‘don’t make hateful or insulting comments’.”

The beta version of Sparrow should be released sometime during 2023.

Bitwarden Acquires

Bitwarden, a powerful password manager provider, has acquired a startup from the cybersecurity space, In the deal announced this week, Bitwarden had secured $100 million to fund the acquisition. 

This way, the password manager can more easily introduce passwordless login features, including hardware security keys and biometric authentication methods.

Bitwarden CEO, Michael Crandell, said in a statement:

“Most companies want to invest in passwordless solutions such as Face ID, Touch ID, Windows Hello, and other forms of web authentication to create better user experiences and stronger security. lets developers and companies accelerate passwordless innovation by simplifying development efforts into a single API.”

Read more: Bitwarden acquires passwordless authentication startup

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ShareChat Cuts 20% Of Its Workforce

The end to the turbulent financial times doesn’t seem to be close. Startups have been laying off workers non-stop for some time now, and ShareChat is no different. The social media startup, backed by Twitter and Google, had to release 20% of its staff, equating to over 400 employees.

These new cuts come just a month after the company had to relieve more than 100 people of their duties due to ceased operations and reorganization.

The release of 20% of ShareChat’s workforce comes in spite of the continuous growth of the company.

Read more: Google-backed ShareChat cuts 20% workforce to ‘sustain through headwinds’

Klarna Alumni Raise $30 Million For Anyfin

Anyfin, a Swedish fintech startup, has raised a $30-million loan from its existing investor, Northzone. Founded by Klarna alumni, the startup offers better interest rates on loans, allowing consumers to refinance their loans.

The plan for the startup is to expand in southern Europe and capitalize on the cost of living crisis and the oncoming recession. The company also wants to expand the types of loans it refinances.

Read more: Klarna alumni raise $30m for loan refinancing startup Anyfin

A New Social Media App Draws The Attention Of Venture Capitalists

In the sea of social media apps (and ones that simulate social interactions), it’s become increasingly unlikely to replicate the success of the big shooters. Still, new ideas are always welcome, and one such social media app has made some traction in Germany.

Slay is a “positive social media platform for teenagers,” where users can compliment each other anonymously by selecting other users as answers to positive questions, such as “who inspires me to do better”.

Four days after its launch, Slay became the top app on the German App Store and now has over 250,000 users from various countries.

As always, such a rise in popularity draws the attention of VCs. In a pre-seed funding round by Accel, the startup has raised $2.63 million from several investors.

Read more: German teens went crazy for this ‘compliments’ app, and now VCs are backing its next phase




Amazing content is the core of what we do. With more than 5 years of experience in branding, name development, and business, Matija helps create and manage content production.

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