Meta Launches Avatar Video Calls on Instagram, Messenger

Meta Launches Avatar Video Calls on Instagram, Messenger

Following successful of Threads, Meta Platforms said Tuesday people can now use their Meta Avatar in real-time video calling in Messenger and Instagram using Android or iOS.

Competition among micro social blogging platforms has intensified with the successful launch of Threads, attracting more than 100 million users worldwide in less than a week.

“Sometimes, we’re just not camera-ready,” Meta said in a blog post. “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a third option between camera-off and camera-on to let you feel a little more present on the call?”

Meta also said users can share animated avatar stickers in Instagram and Facebook Stories and Reels, Facebook comments, and 1:1 message threads on Messenger and Instagram.

In addition, Meta is rolling out “social stickers,” where users’ avatars can hang out with their friends’ avatars in stickers in 1:1 message threads.

Elsewhere, the technology sector is likely to see a better-than-projected second-quarter earnings season amid growing adoption of artificial intelligence, with Microsoft emerging as “a clear market leader” in the AI race, along with Nvidia, Wedbush Securities said Tuesday.

In January, Microsoft announced a new multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment in OpenAI — the research lab behind generative AI chatbot ChatGPT — following its previous investments in 2019 and 2021. The tech giant has been ramping up its efforts on the AI front.

In May, Nvidia unveiled several new products and services, including the DGX GH200 AI supercomputers. “Generative AI, large language models and recommender systems are the digital engines of the modern economy,” Chief Executive Jensen Huang said at the time. Morgan Stanley said last month that Nvidia is the only semiconductor company expected to beat and raise this year due to AI prospects.

“We believe a new tech bull market has begun to take shape being led by the AI revolution and we expect to see a better than expected (second-quarter) earnings season for the tech space over the next few weeks,” Wedbush analysts, including Daniel Ives, said in a note Tuesday.

The firm sees Microsoft in “a unique position” to gain share in the cloud market that could expand its total addressable market around cloud by 35% to 40% over the coming years. According to the note, cloud giants such as Alphabet ,  unit Google and  are now chasing Microsoft in the cloud AI-driven arms race.

Wedbush said it expects technology names including Oracle, Salesforce, Palantir Technologies, Apple , IBM , Meta Platforms, Adobe  and Snowflake to collectively spend “tens of billions” in AI in 2023 and 2024.

“Based on our recent checks, we believe enterprise (information technology) budgets have started to show signs of improvement in the June quarter with the AI wave of spending catalyzing a clear sentiment change for many (chief investment officers) that will be front and center for the tech space over the coming weeks,” the analysts wrote. They said AI spending is now “a reality, not hype.”

Wedbush projects “a much broader tech rally ahead as investors further digest the ramifications of this $800 billion AI spending wave on the horizon and what this means for the software, chip, hardware, and tech ecosystem over the next year,” according to the note.

The firm expects the overall tech sector to be up another 12% to 15% in the second half of the year, driven by software and the chip sector, with Big Tech “remaining the ‘torch bearer’ for this tech rally,” the analysts said.

“The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th derivatives of this AI gold rush are just starting to evolve for the tech landscape based on our recent work in the field and we view this as a ‘1995 Internet moment’…not a 1999 dot.bubble moment,” Wedbush said. AI could comprise up to 8% to 10% of overall IT budgets next year, compared with around 1% projected for this year, according to the note.

The firm said it sees a “bright green light” for owning tech stocks heading into the latest earnings season. #Meta Launches Avatar Video Calls on Instagram, Messenger#

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