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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
August 6, 2023

Twitter will always be Twitter as long as the URL sticks, especially since X.com redirects back to Twitter.com.

A peek into today’s edition:

  • More Big Tech earnings
  • Meta’s AI chatbot plans
  • Uber is bringing AI to its app

Apple & Amazon Beat Revenue Projections

Apple and Amazon showed positive returns after sharing recent earnings reports but still fell short in a few categories.

Apple beat both earnings and sales expectations, generating $81.8 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter, down 1% year-over-year. The company’s iPhone, Mac, and iPad sales dipped a bit, and most notably, iPad sales fell 20% year-over-year. On a more positive note, Apple drew an 8% boost in service sales fueled by its subscription services, including Apple TV+ and Apple Music. Per usual, Apple didn’t provide forward-thinking guidance, but I’m still itching to see how the big tech giant will land when that AR headset drops later this year.

Amazon blew revenue projections out of the water, generating $134.4 billion in revenue versus the expected $131.5 billion. The e-commerce giant’s stock rose more than 10% after posting its biggest earnings outlook since Q4 of 2020. Amazon Web Services rang in $22.1 billion in revenue for the quarter. Despite laying off over 27,000 workers in the past year, Amazon’s cost-cutting efforts may finally be paying off. Days before dropping its earnings report, Amazon expanded its virtual healthcare platform Amazon Clinic to all 50 states. I’ll be watching to see how this new offering affects the company’s revenue.

This concludes big tech earnings for the quarter. I’ll be back with more money updates in a few months.

Meta’s Stake in the AI Chatbot Game

Meta is building AI-powered chatbots that will carry different personas and accents, the Financial Times first reported. The AI chatbots will be integrated into Meta’s family of apps, including Facebook and Instagram, to converse with users and provide recommendations on whatever they ask about. Apparently, one of the planned personas is a chatbot that speaks like Abraham Lincoln. It’ll be interesting to see the diversity across these chatbot personas, how often they will be updated, and if they will ever be voice-enabled. Ultimately, Meta is launching these new AI chatbots to retain users, gather data, and boost engagement. Meta’s geeked-up AI chatbots could launch as soon as next month.

Aside from AI chatbots, the big tech giant recently launched AudioCraft, a generative AI tool that can generate audio and music from text outputs.


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FTX Creditors Aren’t Convinced a Relaunch Will Happen

Talks about bankrupt FTX making a comeback hit the news in late June, but the crypto exchange’s creditors recently scrutinized a draft reorganization plan. The creditors also said they had no idea the exchange’s interim leadership was planning to relaunch international operations. FTX’s proposed plan includes rebooting an offshore exchange available to non-US users, but creditors would need to vote and approve this plan before moving forward. There have been no formal talks on FTX’s relaunch.

Truthfully, all involved parties should be more concerned with the over $50 million in monthly professional fees the crypto exchange is dishing out in the bankruptcy litigation process.

X’s Continued Rebrand is Burying Twitter’s Legacy

He-who-must-not-be-named hasn’t changed the dot com for Twitter yet, but he’s pushing forward with a branding overhaul that’s burying the legacy of a platform that’s been so pivotal for the social media landscape. Most recently, Elon Musk updated Twitter’s mobile app icon to the X logo with a black background. TweetDeck also recently became XPro, but just like Twitter, the TweetDeck URL still remains. The New York Times raised valid questions about what this rebrand actually means. Do we call tweets exes now? The terminology is all over the place.

Elsewhere in X’s universe, Musk sued a group of nonprofit researchers for highlighting the increase in hate speech on the platform.

In Other News

  • After missing revenue projections and posting its first-ever operating profit in Q2, Uber announced that it’s developing an AI-powered chatbot to integrate into its mobile app.
  • Microsoft wants Xbox gamers to get comfy with their self-repair capabilities since it launched sales for replacement parts equipped with instructions and step-by-step video tutorials.
  • Google is adding generative AI technologies to its digital assistant product after testing out AI-generated video summaries on select YouTube content.
  • Kenya suspended enrollment for Sam Altman’s digital identity and eye-scanning crypto payments project, Worldcoin, following the country’s concerns across financial services, security, and data protection.
  • VeeFriends‘ Aspiring Alpaca character will appear on an exclusive pair of Reebok Classic Nylon sneakers set to drop on Aug. 24. Presales for VeeFriends Series 1 and 2 holders open on Aug. 17.
  • Snapchat announced a new Lens Creator Reward program that will dish out up to $7,200 per month to AR creators and developers who make top-performing lenses in the US, India, and Mexico.

An unopened, first-generation Apple iPod sold for $29,000 via Rally this week, and I’m going to bet that unlike cassette and CD players, these devices will continue to hold high value due to extreme scarcity.