1. Trump Accounts on Twitter, Facebook Frozen as Tech Giants Respond to Storming of US Capitol

Twitter and Facebook temporarily locked the accounts of US President Donald Trump fearing further escalation of violence amidst unprecedented mob storming of the US Capitol. Twitter hid and mandated the removal of three of Trump’s tweets. Facebook said it would block Trump’s page from posting for 24 hours.

2. US Weighs Adding Alibaba, Tencent to China Stock Ban

Wall Street Journal reported that US officials are considering expansion of a blacklist of Chinese companies prohibited to US investors by adding Tencent and Alibaba, two China’s two most valuable publicly listed companies, to the list. These two companies combined boast a market capitalization of over $1.3 trillion with scores of American mutual funds and other investors holding their shares.

3. Apple’s App Store Customers Spent a Record $540 million on New Year’s Day

Apple announced that its App Store customers spent $1.8 billion on digital goods and services between the Christmas Eve and the New Year’s Eve, driven largely by spending on games. On New Year’s Day alone they spent $540 million. The company also said Zoom and Disney+ were the most downloaded apps in 2020. In the Gaming category “Among Us” and “Roblox” were the most popular apps.

4. Politicians Turn to Twitch to Reach Younger Votes

During the 2020 elections, US representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted a stream on Twitch that attracted nearly half-a-million concurrent viewers and raised $200K for charity. Not surprisingly, other politicians are taking an interest in the platform. Amazon-owned twitch has an average of 2 million people watching streams at any given time, with 55% being in the coveted 18-34 age group.

5. Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) Enters Advanced Beta Testing

The ecommerce giant’s nascent platform, dubbed AMC, is now available to even more brands, buying agencies and relevant tech vendors across North America, Europe and parts of Asia. eMarketer observed that Amazon Advertising is the fastest-growing digital advertising company. But Google and Facebook still dominate the digital ad marketplace collectively accounting for 60.7% of all U.S. spend last year compared to Amazon’s 8.6%.

6. Roku Passes 50 Million Active Accounts

Roku announced their service has accumulated 51.2 million active accounts, adding 14 million accounts in 2020. Its viewers streamed an estimated 17 billion hours of content in the fourth quarter for a total of 58.7 billion hours in 2020. That is an increase of 55% year over year for the quarter and the full year.

7. Discovery Plus Stuck a Deal with Starzplay to Expand its Reach to the Middle East and N. Africa

Discovery has struck a strategic partnership with VOD player ‘Starzplay’ to launch Discovery Plus in 18 countries and territories across the Middle East and North Africa. Subscribers can now watch Discovery Plus content within a branded block across all existing Starzplay platforms.

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