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Sign-up for Aura is now available to all users
Yandex, Russia’s biggest search engine, has set up a separate legal entity for its Aura social network. Aura’s address changed from yandex.ru/aura to aura.top.
Yandex launched its own Aura social network in beta in March 2020. New users could sign up for Aura only if they had an invitation from already existing users. Now sign-up is available to everybody.
For almost a year, Aura used to be one of Yandex in-app features, but now it has its own desktop version and Android app. An iOS app is expected soon. Aura’s algorithm remained unchanged. Aura analyzes interests and location of each particular user to generate personalized news feed and suggest potential friends.
Users can now opt for premium accounts to enjoy an ad-free experience and gain access to all Aura’s features. Aura retained its Smart Matching dating feature and introduced group communication in thematic chats.

TikTok analogue by VKontakte
VKontakte is planning to launch a service with short-form vertical videos, a somewhat analogue of TikTok, in the second quarter of 2020. The project is now called “Clips” and will become part of Mail.ru Group’s VKontakted-based superapp.
Clips will allow users to edit videos and enhance them with various filters and effects. The service will also use computer vision technology, including gesture control and augmented reality games. No advertising features will be available at the very beginning, but later Clips are expected to introduce tools for content monetization.

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