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The Weekly App Roundup

Twitter’s downvote, journal features; Tidal as new music app option

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(Photo: Freepik)
Welcome to yet another edition of the weekly app roundup!

This week we will be covering the dramatic changes Twitter brought to its platform, review a new music app going up against Spotify and Apple Music nicknamed “Tidal”, and share other bits of news around the internet that will help you stay informed on the ins and outs of the app world around the globe. اضافة اعلان

Twitter rolls out downvote feature; the internet split on opinion

Unlike YouTube, which recently decided to withdraw the ability to downvote videos due to concerns over smaller creators, Twitter has agreed to go in the complete opposite direction and bring them onto the platform.

Twitter has, at times, been regarded as an echo chamber due to the platform’s inability to allow users to give quick critique — which is typically through the presence of a downvote button — but always featured a way to quickly share positive reactions onwards a post with the like button.

Throughout Twitter’s existence Jack Dorsey, the founder, frequently mentioned that they never planned to add a dislike button as it went against the foundational belief systems of the platform. However, with his recent departure from Twitter, it appears that the first swooping change incoming to the platform would be to add the infamous downvote button.

This change has been one of the most polarizing to date. While a majority of the users agree that this will increase transparency across the board and provide a quick visual representation of sentiment towards a particular topic or post, others fear that waves of downvoters maliciously seek to either troll or bury certain posts would prevail across the platform.

Arguably both sides have a point. Reddit, a long-time standing platform that has always had the feature to upvote and downvote posts, recently made it so that highly downvoted posts would be “hidden” from view and thus would be pushed down into the abyss at the bottom of a reply chain.

It could be argued that this gives opportunities to maintain healthy conversations on a topic rather than bickering with those that have highly downvoted opinions. However, this does tend to create, ironically enough, echo chambers — the very thing that Twitter potentially tried to solve with this change.

While it is unclear how exactly the downvote feature will end up looking, and whether or not downvote numbers will reduce or increase the chances of a particular post being seen, it is evident that the internet is split in half between users that are avidly defending the move and others who see the potentially dreadful pitfalls that such a feature may impose.

Twitter is also exploring articles

Twitter is one of the more unique social media platforms, giving its users the ability to converse through text that is not longer than 280 characters as of the time of writing this article. Despite the fact that previously the text limit was shorter and the fact that “threads” now can be created out of independent tweets to tweet in a longer format, no one expected Twitter to go all out and actually consider implementing a tool that would allow posting in long-form text.

As a result of a recent leak, it has come to the Twitter community’s attention that Twitter is right around the corner from testing out a “journal” feature, which is a presumed long-form posting format that would enable users of the platform to post full-blown articles.

While it is still uncertain in what direction this feature may go, users were quick to point out that with the potential rise of Facebook news in the future — where independent reporters would be able to post stories on the fly — Twitter’s “journals” would potentially enable journalists to do much of the same on the competing platform.

While to most outsiders, this may not seem a radical feature, for those that have been avid users of the short-form narrative posting platform, this has created a genuine foundation of concern about where the platform is heading under the new management.

The feature, while officially unannounced, is predicted to launch in late 2022 to grab some of the market share of journalism that Facebook seeks to gain later this year.

Music, in HiFi: The Tidal app

While Spotify and Apple Music remain to be key leaders in the music listening space, Tidal has decided to go up against the monoliths through its unique value proposition to both users and artists.

Tidal, now sitting at around 80 million songs and 350,000 videos from a wide variety of artists around the world, offers its users an elevated music experience through high-definition audio and, more importantly, allows you to directly contribute to your favorite artists by paying out a portion of your subscription to your top listened artists.

While the platform most definitively keeps a significant portion of the subscription proceeds, its spokespeople argue that their services offer significantly more value to all stakeholders; be it the users through their unique high-definition audio or the artists who gain an extra source of revenue.

The app comes with two subscription models, HiFi and HiFi Plus, with the former offering up to 1,411kb lossless audio, and the latter Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 reality audio. In other words, Tidal is perfect for audiophiles that enjoy pure, unadulterated music quality. This feature is even more prevalent on HiFi Plus, which even offers a part of its music in FLAC — one of the best formats for musical quality to date.

The app is available in 61 countries, and a subscription starts at JD7 per month for the HiFi package and around JD14 for the HiFi Plus. The service does have a 30-day trial period where users can determine whether the service is worth their money or not, and we do recommend hopping on board and giving it a try before you commit to the service.

Overall, however, if you’re a fan of blasting tunes on your quality speakers at home, this app is a definite must-have.

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