By Adedapo Adesanya
Social media platform, Twitter, has acquired Revue, a newsletter platform for writers and publishers.
This deal marks Twitter’s foray into building out long-form content experiences on Twitter and could also mean a look into subscription revenue.
According to reports, Twitter did not break the bank to acquire Revue, a five-year-old Dutch company.
Revue has six employees and has raised only around $318,000 and with the acquisition, Twitter will be procuring the team and plans to expand it once onboard. This means Revue will remain an independent brand within Twitter as the platform will continue to invest as a standalone service.
Revue offers free and paid newsletter options. The free version lets writers send newsletters to up to 50 people. The paid version lets them email up to 40,000 people.
Revue takes a 6 per cent cut of paid newsletter revenues as a part of its transaction fee. Twitter says it will be lowering that cut to 5 per cent and will allow all creators to join the platform, including experts, curators, journalists, publishers and more.
It plans to create new features that will make it easier for writers to connect with their audiences, including allowing people to sign up for newsletters from people they follow on Twitter and adding new settings for writers to host conversations with their subscribers on Twitter.
Moving forward, Twitter will supercharge Revue’s offering by helping writers grow their paid subscriber lists.
Twitter says writers can expect some sort of paid compensation based on how many Twitter users they convert to subscribers.
The company says it will continue to develop new ways to support writers, perhaps with other revenue streams down the line.
In 2016, Twitter stopped including photos and links in its character count. In 2017 it expanded its character count from 140 to 280 maximum characters per tweet in 2017.
Also that year, it created “Threads,” a feature that lets users string together tweets more easily in order to communicate longer messages.
ICT Reporters Begin Digital Skills Training in Lagos
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
Journalists reporting information and communication technology (ICT) in Nigeria have commenced a 5-day digital skills training in Lagos to upgrade their knowledge of the field.
The seminar, which kicked off on Monday, October 18, is taking place at the Radisson Hotel in Ikeja, and it involves 50 ICT reporters under the aegis of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA). The programme is being supported by the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA)
Chairman of the NITRA, Mr Chike Onwuegbuchi, commended the agency for the support, saying he expects participants to develop the digital skills that will improve their quality of news reportage.
“It wise to partner with an agency of the government on this project, and NITDA being an outstanding agency deemed it wise to work with us,” he stated at the event today.
He urged members of NITRA to use the opportunity to learn, unlearn and relearn new skills, emphasising that, “The essence of this capacity training is for us to upskill.”
“We are aware that some of us have attended training within and outside Nigeria, however the dynamics of this industry where technology continues to evolve demands that we continue to train and retrain ourselves.
“NITDA has been apt in its digital transformation strategy and from our observations; the processes are up to standards we see among private sector organizations,” he further said.
On his part, the Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, expressed optimism that the training will help ICT journalists in news gathering and fact-checking in this era of fake news.
The NITDA boss, represented by the Manager, Digital Architecture, Ms Chineyere Helen Nwanwko, noted that, “As most positions today require technological knowledge, organizations must provide training and education on ICT, or risk having a workforce being left behind.”
“Employees with digital literacy, skills are more competent in their work as they easily identify important information, data, patterns, and use them efficiently. This is important because we are constantly being disrupted by new information.
“Digital literacy skills also allow the workforce to use technology to collaborate and connect with each other and thus strengthen teamwork. In the digital economy, the failure to upskill the workforce in digital technologies could lead to companies and workforce being quickly left behind,” he added.
In his view, it is vital that businesses invest in nurturing a digitally literate workforce that is capable of adapting to evolving technologies. He also noted that the program corresponds with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
According to him, this is also in line with the agency’s Digital Literacy and Skills and the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2021 to 2024.
MTN Nigeria Blames System Error for October 9 Outage
By Adedapo Adesanya
MTN Nigeria has apologised to its subscribers, blaming the network outage experienced on Saturday, October 9 on a system error.
In a video message sent to Business Post on Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Karl Toriola, said the downtime was a result of system error from its end and not a result of sabotage as many feared, especially because it occurred a day after Facebook suffered a similar issue.
MTN users had October 9 experienced hours of network disruption, which affected calls and connections to the internet.
Mr Toriola explained that the technical team traced the cause of the downtime to an error that shifted all 4G customers to the 3G, overloading the band.
“Last Saturday, we had an outage that left our customers without a connection for several hours. On behalf of the entire MTN team, I want to start with a heartfelt apology. We are truly sorry for the disruption this caused for so many in our MTN family,” Mr Toriola said.
“We know that millions of people rely on us to stay connected to their loved ones, to manage their businesses, to coordinate their lives. We take that responsibility and privilege very seriously. That’s why we are putting new measures in place to make sure we never experience anything like last Saturday again.
“Our technical teams have traced the cause of the problem to an error that shifted all our 4G customers onto the 3G band. This overloaded the 3G band, causing a domino effect that impacted the whole network. Our engineers were able to resolve the problem.
“I know that recently other technology companies suffered outages. I want to reassure you that last Saturday’s event is in no way connected to those. This wasn’t [a] sabotage, it was a regrettable error,” the MTN chief added.
He further announced that MTN had refunded customers airtime and data used yesterday in addition to the time-bound subscription extension earlier promised.
He also assured users that MTN was working to ensure that they never experience such challenges with the network again.
“While we work to strengthen our network to prevent further disruptions of any kind, we wanted to find a way to say sorry. Something more than extending the validity of all time-bound plans by 24 hours, which we did as soon as service was restored,” he added.
“So, while we can’t give you back the time you lost last Saturday, we can give you back what you spent yesterday. Every customer on the MTN network has received a refund for the data and airtime that they used between 12 noon and 7 pm yesterday.
“We hope it shows how much we value our customers. You truly are our most important focus.
“We all have challenges, each and everyone, young or old, personally or professionally. What matters is how we respond. With you by our side, we will continue to improve and grow,” Mr Toriola stated.
This newspaper understands that many MTN users were given 1MB of data valid till October 31.
FG Inaugurates Governing Boards to Fast Track Development
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
In a bid to fast track the development of the country as well as overcome science, technology and innovation (STI) challenges, the federal government has inaugurated governing boards and councils of agencies or institutes under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Recall that recently, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the change of name of the Ministry of Science and Technology to STI in a bid to focus on ensuring the provision of STI-based solutions to overcome societal challenges.
On Thursday in Abuja, the Minister of STI, Mr Ogbonnaya Onu, during the inauguration, noted that in spite of the present challenges, his team was determined to break grounds by building a world-class ministry that would be the best in Africa and comparable with the best in the world.
However, he stressed that the team must work together efficiently to achieve this noble goal, as they are now in the path of repositioning and strengthening the Ministry to emphasize the desire to contribute to national development efforts of this administration to lift 100 million people out of poverty within the next decade.
According to Mr Onu, using the enormous power of STI, the focus will be on the development of abundant natural resources as well as the orderly exploitation of huge potentials of people and businesses.
The Minister further noted that the role assigned by the federal government on the ministry as custodian of all the fundamentals of innovations in Nigeria carries enormous responsibilities coupled with the recent change of name by the ministry.
“The new logo, vision and mission statement, our core values and critical success factors (CSF) would be unveiled very soon. A rebranded Ministry is emerging with implications for the commitment of all stakeholders within the STI ecosystem, especially the members of the various boards and councils of the Ministry.
“I employ you all to be diligent and unrelenting in the new journey to greater heights of service to our nation,” he noted.
The Minister also urged the governing boards and council members to familiarise themselves with the relevant instruments governing the operation and supervision of their respective agencies and institutes.
He expressed that the role and responsibilities of governing boards are stated in the relevant government circulars, laws, public service, administrative guidelines regulating the relationship with parastatals and government-owned companies.
In his remarks, Mr Micah Umoh, who represented the Chairman Senate Committee on Science, assured to give their full support to achieve the goal for the initiative.
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