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Virtual avatar company Genies wants to be the go-to option for online personas and it's targeting the wealth of talent and seasoned executives from the area's biggest tech firm, Snap Inc., to help make that goal a reality.

Genies' latest hire from the Venice-based social camera company is George "YJ" Tu, a former senior engineer who worked on its Snapchat app and Spectacles camera glasses. Prior to working at Snap, Tu worked for three and a half years as a senior engineer at Facebook and specialized in developing the company's mobile infrastructure.

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VidCon 2021 has been canceled because of heightened concerns over COVID-19 and the Delta variant and California's health and safety mandates.

The influencer industry's biggest event of the year had been scheduled for Oct. 22-24 at the Anaheim Convention Center. It would have marked TikTok's first year as the top sponsor, taking over the long-held title from YouTube.

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Snap shares soared as high as nearly 17% in after-hours trading Thursday after reporting its highest rates of revenue and user growth in four years.

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