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TikTok owner ByteDance’s long-awaited chat app is here – TechCrunch

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In WeChat -dominated China, there’s no shortage of challengers out there claiming to create an alternative social experience. The latest creation comes from ByteDance, the world’s most valuable startup and the operator behind TikTok, the video app that has consistently topped the iOS App Store over the last few quarters.

The new offer is called Feiliao (飞聊), or Flipchat in English, a hybrid of an instant messenger plus interest-based forums, and it’s currently available for both iOS and Android. It arrived only four months after Bytedance unveiled its video-focused chatting app Duoshan at a buzzy press event.

Screenshots of Feiliao / Image source: Feiliao

Some are already calling Feiliao a WeChat challenger, but a closer look shows it’s targeting a more niche need. WeChat, in its own right, is the go-to place for daily communication in addition to facilitating payments, car-hailing, food delivery and other forms of convenience.

Feiliao, which literally translates to ‘fly chat’, encourages users to create forums and chat groups centered around their penchants and hobbies. As its app description writes:

Feiliao is an interest-based social app. Here you will find the familiar [features of] chats and video calls. In addition, you will discover new friends and share what’s fun; as well as share your daily life on your feed and interact with close friends.

Feiliao “is an open social product,” said ByteDance in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “We hope Feiliao will connect people of the same interests, making people’s life more diverse and interesting.”

It’s unclear what Feiliao means by claiming to be ‘open’, but one door is already shut. As expected, there’s no direct way to transfer people’s WeChat profiles and friend connections to Feiliao, and there’s no option to log in via the Tencent app. As of Monday morning, links to Feiliao can’t be opened on WeChat, which recently crossed 1.1 billion monthly active users.

On the other side, Alibaba, Tencent’s long-time nemesis, is enabling Feiliao’s payments function through the Alipay digital wallet. Alibaba has also partnered with Bytedance elsewhere, most notably on TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin where certain users can sell goods via Taobao stores.

In all, Flipchat is more reminiscent of another blossoming social app — Tencent-backed Jike — than WeChat. Jike (pronounced ‘gee-keh’) lets people discover content and connect with each other based on various topics, making it one of the closest counterparts to Reddit in China.

Jike’s CEO Wa Nen has taken noticed of Feiliao, commenting with the 👌 emoji on his Jike feed, saying no more.

Screenshot of Jike CEO Wa Ren commenting on Feiliao

“I think [Feiliao] is a product anchored in ‘communities’, such as groups for hobbies, key opinion leaders/celebrities, people from the same city, and alumni,” a product manager for a Chinese enterprise software startup told TechCrunch after trying out the app.

Though Feiliao isn’t a direct take on WeChat, there’s little doubt that the fight between Bytedance and Tencent has heated up tremendously as the former’s army of apps captures more user attention.

According to a new report published by research firm Questmobile, ByteDance accounted for 11.3 percent of Chinese users’ total time spent on ‘giant apps’ — those that surpassed 100 million MAUs — in March, compared to 8.2 percent a year earlier. The percentage controlled by Tencent was 43.8 percent in March, down from 47.5 percent, while the remaining share, divided between Alibaba, Baidu and others, grew only slightly from 44.3 percent to 44.9 percent over the past year.

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Here’s How You Can Create Your Own Ebook In Microsoft Word

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After the last page of your main content, you should add an “About the Author” page. This is where you include fun things about yourself, your career highlights, and even other eBooks you’ve written in the past. It’s also a good idea to mention your social media links and website, so your readers can find you online easily.

When writing your author content, Rocket Expansion suggests using a tone that matches your brand. It could be witty, formal, fun, or anything else that reflects your eBook topic and previous work. For instance, if you’re writing about the stock market, you should use a formal tone. If you’re a fiction writer, use a witty and fun tone instead.

You might also want to add a picture to your author page. To do that in Microsoft Word, here are the steps to follow (via Microsoft):

  1. Click on your author page.
  2. Go to the Insert tab.
  3. In the Illustrations section, select Pictures > This Device.
  4. Locate the photo you want to add.
  5. Select Insert.
  6. Resize the photo how you want by dragging the corners.
  7. Crop and style the photo using the styles available in the “Picture Styles” section.
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24% Of Apple Fans Think This Is The Best New Feature Of The MacOS Ventura

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With more than 25.08% of the votes, a slim majority of our poll respondents chose the newfound ability to generate live captions within a FaceTime call as their favorite macOS Ventura feature. For those unaware, this feature automatically generates captions and transcribes them on screen — making it easy for everyone to follow the conversation. The feature seems to be a hot favorite among Apple users despite the fact that it is still in Beta and that it only supports a limited set of languages.

One of the major feature additions to the Mail app on macOS Ventura is the ability to undo sending an email. With 24.26% of our respondents voting for this as their favorite, it is evident that it’s a welcome feature. However, in the default setting, users will need to click on the “Undo Send” option at the bottom of the sidebar of the Mail app within 10 seconds of sending an email for it to work. Thankfully, users have the option to change this time duration from within Mail settings.

In the third position — with 19.31% of the votes — was the much talked about Continuity Camera feature, which lets Mac users transform their iPhones into a webcam. While the main purpose of the feature was to enhance the video conferencing capabilities of Mac systems using the iPhone’s powerful camera hardware, Continuity Camera was mostly in the news because of a nifty new feature called “Desk Mode.” This mode used the iPhone’s ultra wide-angle camera to show a top-down view of the desk and the users’ faces simultaneously.

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Vietnamese Automaker’s EV Shipment Is Big Competition For The US

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Bloomberg reports that VinFast is exporting 999 electric vehicles to the U.S. market. The electric vehicles were dispatched on Nov. 25, and they’re expected to arrive in California right around Christmas. The specific model that is en route to the U.S. is the VinFast VF 8 — a 402 hp electric SUV with a battery range of 292 miles. This is similar to the VF 32 model that was unveiled last year. With a price tag of about $41,000, the VinFast VF 8 will be competing with the likes of the Volkwagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y, and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Another model, the VinFast VF 9, is scheduled to be shipped out from Vietnam in January. But unlike the VF 8, the VF 9 model will include a bigger battery to increase the range up to 342 miles after a full charge. Just like the VF 32 model that was unveiled last year, the VF 9 is designed with all-wheel drive dual electric motors to optimize performance. All VinFast electric vehicles that will be sold in the U.S. will have a battery warranty of 125,000 miles or 10 years.

However, the VinFast VF 8 and VF 9 will not qualify for the new tax credit because they’re not assembled in North America. Then again, VinFast is working to solve that problem since it’s building an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in North Carolina. “As soon as we start manufacturing cars in the U.S., our customers will be eligible (for) the tax incentive,” Le Thi Thu Thuy, the CEO of VinFast told Reuters. The Vietnamese company has also received about 65,000 pre-orders from the international market, and 17,000 bookings from the U.S. 

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