Spotify Hiked Subscription Costs and Instagram Is Testing Unskippable Ads in This Week’s Tech Roundup

Humane also warned customers that the charging case for its AI Pin may catch fire.

Tech & Gadgets 
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This week, Apple is expected to announce some major news at its yearly developer conference, WWDC. Ahead of then, the tech industry saw Spotify hike the prices on its Individual, Dup and Family plans for the second time in a year.

Over at Instagram, the app appears to also be angling to increase profits by implementing “unskippable” ads on users’ feeds. On the product side, meanwhile, Humane, the maker of the wearable AI Pin, has warned users that its charging case may spontaneously catch fire.

Below, Hypebeast has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on trends in the industry.

Humane Warned Users That Its AI Pin Charging Cases May Catch Fire

AI Pin purveyor Humane had some untimely news to tell customers. The company sent an email to those that had purchased the pin – which is billed as a screenless, wearable AI assistant – warning them to stop using its charging case as it poses the risk of catching fire, The Verge reported.

Humane hasn’t released any statement on the issue but told buyers in the email that the fire risk was attributed to a battery provided by a third party.

“Our investigation determined that the battery supplier was no longer meeting our quality standards and that there is a potential that certain battery cells supplied by this vendor may pose a fire safety risk,” Humane wrote, per The Verge. “As a result, we immediately disqualified this battery vendor while we work to identify a new vendor to avoid such issues and maintain our high quality standards.”

The timing was unfortunate for Humane, which is currently seeking to sell the company after shipping just 10,000 AI Pins.

Instagram Is Testing Out Unskippable Ads

Instagram is apparently angling to not only show more ads in users’ feeds but also to force them to view ads. The app is testing out “unskippable ads” that would require a user to view them before continuing to scroll down their feed, TechCrunch reported first.

Users reported seeing tester ads on their page that were accompanied by an “ad break” label and a countdown of the amount of they’d have to view the ad before being allowed to scroll.

“We’re always testing formats that can drive value for advertisers,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch. “As we test and learn, we will provide updates should this test result in any formal product changes.”

Spotify Hiked Its Premium Subscription Plans Once Again

Spotify is raising the cost of its subscription services for the second time in a year. After hiking them last July, the streamer will be upping the monthly costs of all but its $5.99 USD Student plan.

Users on the Individual plan – the subscription most users are on – will pay an additional dollar each month at $11.99 USD. The Duo plan has similarly jumped a dollar, now priced at $16.99 USD.

Those on the Family plan, however, are in for a considerable hike at an additional $3 USD, bringing the plan to $19.99 USD. In a blog post announcing the increases, Spotify said that the higher prices will allow it to “continue to invest in and innovate on our product features.”

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