Qnary Round Up: Instagram Purge, Facebook Stocks, and More

Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you. Via Recode

New Facebook App Lets You Put Stickers All Over Your Photos

The company on Friday released a new app called Stickered for Messenger, which allows users to add stickers to their photos before sending them along to friends via Facebook’s standalone messaging service.

The app links to your Messenger account so you can send “stickered” photos directly to your friends, but it doesn’t support other messaging platforms, according to a company spokesperson. The photos do save to your camera roll so you could send them over other services like WhatsApp or WeChat in that way. The app is available today on Android and “coming soon” for iOS. (Via Recode)

EyeEm Wants to Make You a Professional Photographer

On the surface, photo sharing app EyeEm looks a lot like Instagram — you can add filters to your photos, follow your friends and “Like” or comment on your favorite pics. One major difference, however, is that while Instagram is making money by selling ads against you, EyeEm is trying to make money for you by selling your work.

Helping photographers expand their audience is EyeEm’s major goal. So while Instagram and Flickr helped popularize photography for the masses, EyeEm wants to help users graduate from casual photo-sharing with friends to more public, distributed photography, says Meissner. (Via Recode)

 Facebook stock hits another all-time high

The company's stock hit a new all-time high of $81.89 a share in midday trading Monday, an increase of about 2.5% on the day, which pushed the social networking cw if ompany's market cap to nearly $230 billion.

The surge in Facebook stock came amid a broader market rally that continued into Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up as much as 0.47% in early trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 was essentially flat on the day, but still hovering near an all-time high.

Facebook is now second only to Google in the U.S. mobile ad market, according to data from eMarketer, and it is expected to take 8% of the $140 billion global ad market this year. (Via Mashable)

Justin Bieber dethroned as king of Instagram in massive follower purge

In what is being referred to as the Instagram "purge," many Instagram users lost tons of followers when the picture-sharing platform cleared out inactive and spam accounts on Thursday. Poor Justin Bieber was dethroned as the most-followed Instagram user, losing 3.5 million followers in less than 24 hours, according to a list compiled by 64px. On Thursday, he had 23.8 million followers; after the purge, Biebs has a mere 20.3 million Instagram acolytes. Beliebers, we assume, rallied after learning of his fall from grace.

The new ruler is Internet-breaker Kim Kardashian, of course. Kardashian lost only 1.3 million Instagram followers in the Purge, making her the new queen of Instagram followers with a 22.2 million follower count.

A spokesman from Instagram explained the situation to The Guardian:

After receiving feedback from members in the Instagram community, we recently fixed an issue that incorrectly included inactive accounts in follower/following lists. We believe this will provide a more authentic experience and genuinely reflect people who are actually engaging with each other’s content. (Via Mashable)



CES: Showroom floor and beyond

CESIn a few short weeks, thousands of people will descend on Las Vegas, Nevada, for the International Consumer Electronics Show. Many are well aware that wearables, 3D printing, robotics, smart technology, and gaming will be hot items in the exhibition halls. Issues concerning personal privacy and cyber security measures will also be discussed. However, the event isn’t just a 2015 take on re-imagining the future that Marty McFly was transported to. Instead, it’s a place to learn from thought leaders and visionaries in the consumer electronics space.

There is more to CES than the Showroom floor...A Lot More

Media and advertising giants also converge on Sin City to hear about hot startups’ latest plans, review partnerships, and initiate or continue the deals they may have started months before the holiday season, but had to finalize when budgets were redone for 2015.

Perhaps, leaders will attend conference sessions to educate themselves about what’s on the horizon or listen to a keynote debate with other leaders in their industries. There is another part of CES beyond the glitz of the showroom floor. CES has become the kick-off event for startups, top brands, media publications, marketing agencies, etc. They are here to kick off new initiatives, meet with the latest digital start-ups (and established players), and plan their business strategy for the coming year. This overview on MediaLink’s Michael Kassan at Recode gives some more detail on the behind-the-scenes happenings at CES.

Parties Galore

In addition to the impromptu meetings, planned meetings and strategy sessions there are no shortage of parties. This is Vegas after all. From invitation-only industry parties to come-one-come-all late-night blowouts, there are plenty of parties. And let’s be honest here, more than a few deals will be solidified or lost at these CES to-dos.

Qnary will be there...will you?

The only way to truly experience CES is to head to Vegas and immerse yourself into the entire scene. While there is a lot of fun to be had on the floor checking out the latest electronic technology, the real meat of CES is in the background where business leaders are making deals and enjoying the many events that are happening. Qnary will be at CES, so come find us if you are there.



Qnary Roundup: Auto-Enhanced Photos, Trendy Wearables, and More

facebook-photos Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Facebook Now Auto-Enhances Photos Posted From iPhones

Facebook is taking a page out of Google+'s playbook, and is now automatically editing photos posted to the social network from mobile devices. Smartphones and apps have made photographers out of everyone; the problem is that many of us still don't have pro-level photo-editing skills. Now, when a Facebook user posts an image using the iOS app, it is automatically "enhanced" for clarity, lighting and shadow. What's more, they won't have to decide between individual filters, like on Instagram. The feature launched for iOS on Tuesday, and is coming to Android soon, according to Facebook.

"We want to make it easy, and as few taps as possible to make your photo memories beautiful," a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. "Before, the auto-enhance option was available, but it was under the menu where you could also choose filters for your photos on Facebook." (Via Mashable)

The Countries With The Most And Least Internet Freedom

Internet freedom around the world has declined for the fourth year in a row, as more countries introduce aggressive online censorship measures, according to a new report. Freedom on the Net 2014, the fifth-annual report released by independent watchdog organization Freedom House last week, found that of the 65 countries assessed, 36 experienced a negative trajectory in online freedom between May 2013 and May 2014. This was due to factors such as blocked social networks, aggressive online surveillance and cyberattacks, and the intimidation and arrests of journalists and digital activists.

Iran remained the country with the lowest degree of Internet freedom, despite hopes of reform when President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013. Although the new administration has embraced social media, Iranian citizens still don't have access to websites the government finds politically sensitive, such as Twitter and Facebook. In contrast, Iceland ranked first as the nation with the most Internet freedom. The government there doesn't blog social media platforms or content and 97 percent of households are connected to the Internet. Estonia, Canada, Australia, Germany and the United States made the top five in the index, after Iceland. (Via Mashable)

Samsung Says Wearables Will Be The Next 'Power' Trend In The Workplace

Wearable technology will be to 2015 what shoulder pads were to the 1980s. In a new trends report (first spotted by The Verge), Samsung says the next wave of "power dressing" for workplace leaders will include wearable technology. That's right — business professionals will be all about smartwatches and other wearables in 2015, which will become a status symbol of savviness and professionalism.

The company outlined its top five trends for the New Year, with wearable technology topping the list. Others included the concept of personal "power hours" (flexible times to work, beyond the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work day, thanks to mobile phone adoption), virtual reality technology, the smart home and coding for kids. Soon, products in the house will be connected to the Internet and work together — your fridge will send a message to your TV telling you you're out of milk; the lights will flicker if you've left the front door open. In its 2015 prediction report, Samsung said automated home systems will move from "geek to chic driven by a dramatically improved user experience." (Via Mashable)

How Secure Are Temporary Messaging Apps For Work?

Is there such a thing as a secure messaging app? It’s a question that people are asking — especially as news of leaks and security vulnerabilities continue to crop up. From Apple to Snapchat, each breach varies in its severity, but the surrounding discussions usually end up circling back to how secure any data we store and send actually is. For an individual, that privacy question can be troubling enough, but for companies that are looking for a messaging solution that suits their needs, the consequences could be substantial.

The real challenge within the workplace is securing the endpoints. While the app itself might be secure, the users actually pose the real potential threat. How do you prevent people from accidentally compromising information or others from impersonating your employees to mine data from their messages?

The bottom line when it comes to the marketing of these apps is a promise of security. For the most part, they deliver on this promise. But being secure and being foolproof are two very different things. And often, the latter is the real wrench when it comes to keeping data confidential. No app can completely control endpoint security. If an individual makes a mistake — or, worse yet, has malicious intent — that data can still be vulnerable. (Via Recode)

Facebook Adds Another PayPal Exec, Stan Chudnovsky, To Messenger Team

Facebook has poached another executive from PayPal to work on Facebook Messenger: VP of Growth Stan Chudnovsky. Facebook announced the hire Wednesday, just six months after snatching PayPal President David Marcus to run the company’s messaging products. Chudnovsky will handle product management for Messenger and will report directly to Marcus, a company spokesperson said.

The addition of yet another PayPal executive may lead to more speculation that Facebook is set on building some type of payments product into Messenger. But despite Chudnovsky’s year-and-a-half tenure at PayPal, he isn’t really a payments guy. He’s a growth guy who has worked on gaming and social media companies in the past, and knows how to attract new users and customers. (Via Recode)



Qnary Roundup: Instagram, Grammy Nominations and More

via Recode Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

How Big Is 300 Million? A Look at How Instagram Stacks Up.

Instagram hit 300 million active users on Wednesday, a total that puts the service in rare company as one of the world’s largest social networks.

There is no perfect measuring stick when it comes to comparing the size of social network-like services, but there is a generally accepted standard: Monthly Active Users. That is, the number of people who log into their account during any given month. The MAU yardstick is used by all the major players — Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp — and while it helps create a baseline, some platforms would argue that active users don’t paint the whole picture. (Via Recode)

Facebook Finally Lets Everyone Search for Old Posts

Before today, if you closed a tab on a Facebook post, it would have been lost forever; there was no way of searching for it. Facebook updated its search on Monday to let users find older posts. "Search at Facebook is a long-term effort," Tom Stocky, the company's VP of search, wrote in a blog post announcing the update. "Today is a step toward helping you tap into the experiences and perspectives of your friends."

Previously, typing "Hawaii" into Facebook's search box would only yield pages and apps related to Hawaii. But now, the search results page will also display all the posts you have previously viewed that contain the word "Hawaii." The search results are personalized for each user, so you can't search for all posts on Facebook — only the ones that have been shared with you (Via Mashable)

How The Grammy’s Took Over Twitter with its New Nominations Style

For the first time, some nominees for the Grammy Awards were announced via video tweets instead of on television or on the Grammys website. The Recording Academy tasked musicians and TV personalities to tweet nominees for two dozen categories over the course of six hours on Friday, with many of the celebrities appearing in clips on Twitter's native video player, which lives exclusively in tweets.

"Today, the Recording Academy broke new ground on Twitter," Andrew Adashek, Twitter's head of TV, told Mashable. "They took advantage of Twitter’s real-time, widely distributed nature and treated millions of music fans to an exclusive, shared experience." (Via Mashable)

Google App for iOS Gets Material Design Update, Easier Navigation and Maps Integration

All of Google’s apps are now being upgraded to match the company’s new Material Design user-interface guidelines. This is more than just a design update, though. There are a few new features, including a deeper integration with Google Maps and an easier way to get back to your previous searches.

Previously, the app would automatically take you to the Google Maps app whenever you searched for a location. Now, you can search Maps right from within the app without the need to switch between the two — and you can even dive into Street View from there. That sounds like a small thing, but I got a chance to test the new app earlier this week and it does make for a much nicer user experience. Similar to Android’s app switcher, the iOS app now also presents your previous searches and recently viewed pages as a stack of cards you can easily flip through. (Via TechCrunch)



Qnary Roundup: LiveRail, Gangnam Style, Native Advertising, and more

BN-FV591_1203ps_G_20141203085112 Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Why LiveRail Ditched An IPO To Sell Its Video AdTech To Facebook For ~$500M.

“The company was profitable. We probably would have pursued an IPO. The business was accelerating”, LiveRail CEO Mark Trefgarne tells me in his first interview about how his company was acquired by Facebook in July for what multiple sources say was $500 million.

Still, rather than go public, Trefgarne said his team realized that “If we work hard at Facebook, we have a real opportunity to take over the world…actually that’s not the best phrase [laughs]. Maybe not take over the world, but do some really industry changing stuff.” (Via TechCrunch)

Psy's "Gangnam Style" Has Exceeded the Number of Views a YouTube Video can hold.

Since his breakout hit “Gangnam Style” debuted in July 2012, it has become the most watched video on YouTube to date, scoring over 2.1 billion (that’s billion with a ‘b’) views. While this feat is staggering in itself, Google posted a nugget on YouTube’s Google+ page on Monday about this accomplishment, saying that it’s been viewed so many times they’ve been required to “upgrade” the video site’s backend. When YouTube was first designed, it was never expected for a video to exceed 2,147,483,647 views because of how the counter software was originally coded. “It’s like a car odometer,” says YouTube spokesperson Matt McLernon. “Once it rolls over the last nine, it resets.” He said the company thought 2 billion would be enough and it wasn’t. (Via The Wall Street Journal)

Former Google+ designer slams the service for being 'Facebook lite'

Google+ is a social network "adrift at sea," representing a big missed opportunity for the company, a former Google employee who worked on the service says.

Chris Messina, who worked on Google+ user experience design before leaving the company over a year ago, wrote a long post on Medium, in which he criticizes the service for not delivering on its initial vision of empowering users with the vast amount of data that Google collects about them. He also calls out Google+ for not having any meaningful differentiators over its more successful competitor, Facebook. "Most people would likely describe Google+ as a newsfeed, a kind of Facebook-lite," he wrote. (via Mashable)

Vloggers told to label paid-for videos before people click on them

Vloggers who make promotional videos without clearly identifying that they've been paid for have been warned by the Advertising Standards Agency that they must make it clearer to the viewer.

The warning comes after a BBC Newsround investigation into videos posted to YouTube by a number of UK bloggers in June who were paid by Mondelez UK to say good things about one of its brands, Oreo biscuits. A BBC journalist made a complaint to the UK ad standards body, which upheld it. (Via Mashable)



Qnary Roundup: Amazon's Video Service, PriceJump, and More

price-jump Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you. 

Amazon Reportedly Planning An Ad-Supported Video Service That Will Be Cheaper Than Netflix and Hulu

According to the New York Post, Amazon is reportedly planning to launch an ad-supported media streaming service for music and videos. The Post implies that the new service would be in direct competition with Netflix and Hulu and would undercut the two popular video streaming sites on price.

By launching this reported new, cheaper service Amazon could entice more users to join its Prime service, which is currently priced at $99 per month and includes free, two-day shipping and music, television and movie streaming options.

While all these perks sound great in theory, Amazon’s Sally Fouts stated in an email that, “We’re often experimenting with new offers and experiences with customers, but we have not announced any plans to offer an ad-supported video streaming service.”

However, both the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal have reported on this service, so Amazon might be keeping the plans under wraps until all the kinks are worked out. (via Business Insider) 

Google Is Closing Its Google Glass Stores

According to 9to5Google, Google is closing all its basecamp stores, which are the physical retail stores where it sold Google Glass. There were only four places in the world where customers could buy Google Glass: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and London.

These stores are reportedly being closed simple because so many people are buying Google Glass online. However, there might be other mitigating factors that contributed to these closures, such as major developers like Twitter no longer supporting their apps on Twitter and several other companies that adopted Google Glass early on losing interest in the product. (via Business Insider)

This App Could Help Customers Save Big With On Holiday Shopping

A new app from called PriceJump allows shoppers to find the best deal possible when shopping. Users simply have to scan the barcode of the product and PriceJump will scan local stores and 5,000 online retailers in real time to get the best price. This could save shoppers a lot of money particularly during the holidays when holiday gift prices wildly fluctuate, according to

However users shouldn’t just blindly buy the top price on the list. There are other things to consider, such as shipping costs from online retailers and whether or not the item is still in stock at a local store. Luckily, PriceJump does provide the phone numbers of the stores so users can call ahead to make srue what they are after is in stock. (via CNN)

Former Tinder Employees Set To Launch Direct Competitor Called Bumble

Several former Tinder employees have teamed up to launch a new dating app called Bumble. While Tinder has had a strong hold on the matchmaking app game, these former employees will have inside knowledge of the issues that Tinder faces and will be able to address them in their new app.

According to Bumble’s Facebook page, it is a social discovery app that “promotes a safe and respectful community” where “you’ll never get unwanted messages” and you’ll go more in depth than “dead-end matches” that are found on “other, more shallow apps.” The app is slated to launch on December 1. (via TechCrunch)

Vine Update Includes New Favorite Feature

Vine’s Tuesday update came with a new, favorite option which will send users a push notification when a new video is posted from one of their favorited Vine accounts. All a user has to do is tap the star-shaped icon that’s in the upper-right hand corner of the app screen.

This update will also allow users to view all of their favorite accounts in the settings tab at any time. This small update should help users find videos they are more interested in instead of having them browse though hundreds of videos each time they return to the app. (via Mashable)



Qnary Roundup: Snapcash, FB Techwire, LinkedIn Widget, and More

via TechCrunch Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Snapcash Could Bring Real Identity And Ad Targeting Data To Snapchat

Snapchat doesn’t ask for your real name, but it’s on the debit card you use for its new peer-to-peer payments feature Snapcash. That could prove very lucrative for the ephemeral messaging service. Snapchat has just overhauled its privacy policy to allow it to collect additional identity information about users of Snapcash.

Snapchat’s new privacy policy also details how the company deletes messages, provides ways to remove some data you provide it, and that it may out users for being under 18 years old if friends try to interact with them through features only for people 18 and up.

To use the feature for sending friends money, users connect their debit card to their Snapchat accounts through a partnership with Square Cash. The real names, addresses, and account information associated with those debit cards can be collected by Snapchat, according to its new privacy policy that states, “In connection with Snapcash, we may collect a debit or credit card number or an image of the card, its associated account information, andany other security-related information.” (via TechCrunch)

News Feed FYI: Reducing Overly Promotional Page Posts in News Feed

One of the main reasons people come to Facebook is to see what’s happening in their News Feeds. The goal with News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see. That’s why Facebook often look to users to see how they can improve. As part of an ongoing survey they asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People said they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content. (via Facebook)

It's now much easier to share public tweets via DMs on Twitter

Today in features you may not have known you wanted: Twitter is letting you directly share public tweets through its private direct messaging system.

If you copy and paste a tweet's URL into a direct message (DM), it will embed itself in the message for easier viewing. You can also hit the "..." icon under a tweet and select "S Previously, if you tried to paste the URL of a tweet into a DM, it would show up as a link. Though the new feature isn't a huge development, it saves you a click when privately sharing something in your Twitter feed; the update works on Twitter's web client, iOS and Android apps, and TweetDeck for Chrome, Windows and web.

The move is a part of Twitter's larger effort to update its platform to be more user-friendly; it's not quite as intuitive as Facebook's Messenger app, for example. Earlier this week, a bug prevented people from sharing URLs in direct messages, but was later fixed. The private sharing of public tweets was also anticipated earlier this week.

In addition to an improved DM experience, Twitter is planning on introducing native video in the first half of 2015, which would be an alternative to Vine or YouTube. (via Mashable)

LinkedIn Sharpens Education Focus: Self-Serve Widget Lets Users Add Certifications While On Other Sites

LinkedIn — the social network for the working world — has been working on launching various tools to increase the usefulness and engagement of its platform to its 300m+ users. LinkedIn is unveiling a self-service certification feature, aimed both at helping education businesses and institutions spread their name in a more legit way on the site, and for users to enhance their profiles at the same time.

While conversations for online learning services are still in an early stage, the new service being announced yesterday— with the catchy name of Add to Profile for Certifications — could be thought of as a brick in that longer road.

It will let professional education providers integrate a certifications widgets on their sites, and LinkedIn users who have completed courses will, in turn, be able to add these to their own profiles as “proof” of having completed a course, while still on that third-party site. (via TechCrunch)

Introducing FB Techwire

Since it launched in April, FB Newswire has made it easy for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook.

Facebook is introducing FB Techwire, a resource for journalists to discover original content including breaking news, first-person analysis, photos and videos posted to Facebook by technology influencers and organizations. Like FB Newswire, FB Techwire is also powered by Storyful, the leader in social content discovery and verification for newsrooms. (via Facebook)

Messaging App Viber Takes A Step Into Social Networking With New Public Chats Feature

A lot of messaging apps have been highlighting how their services are a great way for people to directly communicate with their friends directly, in opposition to the bare-all nature of social networks like Facebook. But Viber, the messaging app with 209 million users, is taking a different approach: it is launching Public Chats, giving users a way of using its direct messaging and voice services app to broadcast to the world at large.

Public Chats will see the introduction of live conversation streams, from celebrities to other interesting people, that will be open for any follower to see, but not necessarily participate in. Users will only be able to jump in and talk in Public Chats if the account in question is in their contacts. (via TechCrunch)



Qnary Roundup: Facebook News Feed Tweaks, Tumblr on Net Neutrality, Ocho's New Vine App, and More

Tweeted from Orbit by Reid Wiseman. Via Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Facebook Tweaks Its News Feed

Facebook’s news feed is the most important part of one of the key sites on the internet. Almost everyone who has ever owned a computer is able to at least recognise it (particularly as so many other websites have emulated it in so many ways), and most of these people regularly access their own walls and news feeds via their personal Facebook accounts. It's the private little plot of land in which only content people actually care about filters through to them. (Via SocialMediaToday)

Tumblr taps artists to design shirts for net neutrality

Tumblr has tapped its community of artists to create products that benefit the fight for net neutrality. On Monday, Tumblr launched its latest foray into charitable merchandise with the launch of the Tumblr Artist Series, featuring limited edition T-shirts designed by artists Cindy Suen, Traceloops, Mikey Burton, Santtu Mustonen and Pasquale D'Silva. (Via Mashable)

Mark Cuban-Backed Ocho Launches Its Social Network For Eight-Second Videos

According to Jourdan Urbach, co-founder of social video startup Ocho, “There really isn’t anything out there that’s just a solid social video platform.” That might come as a surprise to users of Vine, but Urbach argued that with its six-second, looping videos, Vine has really become a unique, specialized format, one that’s dominated by “high-end creators.” More broadly, he said that video is usually “shoehorned into existing platforms,” or the apps are more narrowly focused on things like combining music and videos. (via TechCrunch)

Social media in orbit: An astronaut’s stunning photos shared via Twitter

After almost six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Maryland local Reid Wiseman landed safely in Kazakhstan. Wiseman built quite a social media following for his pictures from space.  “It’s been an honor and a privilege to spend 165 days up here. With that said, I’m looking forward to heading home,” Wiseman said on Saturday. Wiseman grew up in Cockeysville, Md., near Baltimore. Throughout his journey, Wiseman gave a glimpse of life in space through his social media accounts. While not the first astronaut to share photos from space or connect with Earthlings with social media, he gained an almost cult-like following. In the month he first arrived on the ISS, Wiseman had 37,000 followers on Twitter. As of Monday, he had more than 360,000. Wiseman spoke about his social media presence with Time in July: (Via Washington Post)



Qnary Roundup: Mobile American Idol, Tinder Updates and More

Uber-google maps Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Ex-Beats Music CEO’s New App “Chosen” Is A Mobile-First American Idol

Sing, yodel, or shred guitar into your phone, and get famous. That’s the idea behind performance competition platform Chosen, founded by former Gracenote, MOG, and Beats Music CEO David Hyman. The startup’s been in stealth since its formation late last year, but Hyman agreed to give me the first details about what Chosen’s actually up to. First off, Chosen’s just raised $5 million led by DCM to reimagine American Idol, X-Factor, and The Voice for a mobile generation with a launch in Q1 2015.

With Chosen, “We want to see guitar solo competitions, Swiss yodeling competitions, and violin concerto competitions,” Hyman tells me. “There’s a long tail of content that is unbelievably popular. An insane amount of content is consumed through YouTube that would never be on TV.” (via TechCrunch)

Twitter tries to make it easier to tweet, looks more like Facebook

Another day, another tweak to the Twitter service intended to bring more users into the conversation.

This time it's the "what's happening?" box familiar to all users of Previously located on the left hand side, between your profile box and the list of trends, this box — the main method of tweeting on — has moved to the top of your timeline.

If the location looks familiar, that's because it's exactly the same as the location of Facebook's status question at the top of its news feed. Facebook's question: "What's on your mind?" (via Mashable)

Mobile Fashion App Strut Is Like Tinder For Discovering And Sharing New Outfits

Strut is centered around the idea of helping users discover new apparel via mobile that they might want to buy. It does this by presenting them with 50 new pieces of clothing each morning, with a Tinder-like mechanism for swiping left on items they don’t like and swiping right on those they do.

It uses machine learning to refine the items it presents to users and improves its targeting over time. The idea is that Strut will get to know their tastes better and provide clothing options more to their liking the longer that they use the app.

If Strut were just about helping users to find new clothes, the app wouldn’t be that interesting. What makes it fun is the ability to create outfits around those finds and sharing them with others as part of some collaborative social fashion mashup.

In addition to swiping right or left, users can also swipe up. That enables them to build a whole ensemble of clothing around the item. Find a shirt you like? Strut will show you a series of different pants, shoes, and jackets that you can match it up with. Once you create an outfit you can share it with your feed. (via TechCrunch)

Google’s Maps App For iOS And Android Gets Material Design And Uber Estimates

Google has updated Maps to keep with the visual theme introduced with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which it calls material design. The new mobile apps now feature bold headers of solid flat colors and animations that evoke pieces of paper sliding over one another. The apps also offer new features, including reservations you can make at restaurants through the app via OpenTable, and both time and price estimates for the Uber transport method introduced in May

The update will roll out over the next few days, so don’t be disappointed if you aren’t seeing it right away. Based on the previews supplied by the company, the visual overhaul here is as pleasant and well-executed as is the rest of Android 5.0. The additional features are also very helpful, with reservation integration eliminating the additional step of having to open a separate app or web page in order to book a table once you’ve used Google to see what’s available around you.

The deepening of the Uber partnership is particularly interesting – it will admittedly help anyone who uses the transport service to get around, but it also means Google is getting even cozier with a company that is also a portfolio member in its investment arm, Google Ventures. Building Uber time and price right into the Maps app gives it a considerable advantage over other means of private transit, including standard taxi services. (via TechCrunch)

How Much Would You Pay For An “Undo” Button On Tinder?

Tinder is moving forward with a testing plan for Tinder Plus, a new paid version of the app that brings premium features to users and finally starts a revenue stream for the growing IAC-owned dating company.

With the paid version, users will have access to two new central features of the app, Undo and Passport. Undo lets people go back on the person they just swiped left on, a highly common accident, and Passport lets people search outside their geographic region.

“The most-requested feature we get is a button to go back and have a second chance with people that users swipe left on,” said Tinder co-founder Sean Rad. “Everyone has wanted it from the beginning. It’s absolutely at the top of the list.”

Tinder Plus simply unlocks that feature, letting users have the modern-day “missed connections” experience they’ve been craving. But it does it in a smart way, as the update will prominently feature a big yellow “Undo” button right on the home screen, whether you’re a paid user or not.

This means that the button will be there to go back and find that long-lost love, but it will only work if you cough up the cash. Another button will also appear on the home page, to the far right, called Passport. This will let people search for other matches outside of their general location, and toggle between those locations easily. (via TechCrunch)

Google Just Released a Brand New Google Calendar App

Google unveiled a new Google Calendar app Monday, featuring enhanced convenience and a new layout, according to a blog post. The new app is available now on the latest Android operating system, while an update for older versions of Android as well as for iPhone is in the works.

One of the biggest changes in the new Google Calendar app is that e-mails will integrate seamlessly into the calendar. If you get an e-mail confirmation for a flight, hotel reservation or any other scheduling notification, Google Calendar will automatically pull in the details, so you no longer have to flip between apps or screens to copy and paste the details. Events also will be updated in real time, so if your flight gets delayed, for example, Google Calendar just might know about it before you.

Another convenient addition is a feature called Assists, which is like Google Search’s auto-complete, only that it provides suggestions as you type in names, places and events, like “Central Park” or “Birthday dinner."

The finishing touch is a new layout called Schedule View, which adds illustrations, photos and maps to your events if you only have a second to glance at your calendar. (via TIME)



Qnary Roundup: Tumblr Video Ads, Facebook Rooms, and More

facebook-rooms Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Twitter Partners With IBM To Bring Social Data To The Enterprise

Twitter and IBM announced a significant partnership that will involve Twitter sharing its data with IBM for integration into IBM’s enterprise solutions, including the Watson cloud platform. The deal means IBM will gain access to the Twitter “firehose,” allowing businesses to incorporate insights gained from the social network into their decision-making processes.

Additionally, the two companies will also be teaming up to build “a unique collection of enterprise solutions,” they say, which puts IBM into a different category than some of Twitter’s other data partners, who generally just ingest the data for use in their own systems.

IBM says the companies will collaborate to build enterprise applications to improve business decisions across industries and professions, beginning with applications and services for sales, marketing and customer service. They will also work together on industry-specific solutions, including those for banking, consumer products, transportation and retail. (via TechCrunch)

Tumblr Rolls Out Auto-Playing Video Ads To Users’ Dashboards

Tumblr’s auto-playing video ads will begin rolling out to users’ dashboards in a pilot program that includes participation from ten big-name brands such as CW, Lexus, Universal, JCPenney, Hulu and others. The video ad test follows last week’s news of an updated video player offering auto-play capabilities and looping, “Vine-like” videos. The new brand ads will take advantage of the same functionality, as they will also loop infinitely on desktop and mobile (Android and iOS) — though in the latter case, they’ll only auto-play when connected to Wi-Fi.

In addition, like Facebook’s video ads, Tumblr’s video ads will be muted by default offering a speaker button to activate the sound, as well as a pop-out video player for the web that will allow users to keep scrolling through their Tumblr Dashboard while the video plays. Users can also change the video quality to HD if they prefer.

Meanwhile, for advertisers who are exploring sponsored video ads, Tumblr’s new video player technology will also support Vine and Instagram videos — allowing the advertisers to reuse videos they’ve crafted for other platforms. Brands could already run Sponsored Posts, including video posts, on Tumblr prior to the launch, but now those ads with videos can auto-play thanks to the new video enhancements launched earlier. (via TechCrunch)

Facebook Introduces an Anonymous Community App Called Rooms

Facebook's much-anticipated anonymous social app is finally here, and it's called Rooms.

The app allows people to create a "room" on any topic. The room can then be customized with colors, icons and photos — even the Like button can be changed. Text, photos and videos can be posted to a room's feed, creating an ongoing multimedia conversation.

"A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text — not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook — with a topic determined by whoever created the room," Facebook says in the post announcing Rooms.

The app, from Facebook Creative Labs, embraces anonymity, allowing users to sign in with "whatever name makes you feel most comfortable and proud." Users can create different names for each room.

Rooms can be shared through invitations that look like QR codes. You take a picture of the invitation, and the app scans your recent photos for the QR code and signs you into the room.

In fact, to get started on Rooms, Facebook requires users who don't already have an invite to a room to take a screenshot of a QR code that the app provides. New users can then access one of four "recommended rooms" — backpack diaries, noms from above, kicks from above and parkour spots — by taking yet another screenshot of a QR code.

The app is completely separate from Facebook. It does not require users to have a Facebook account, nor does it allow users to import lists of friends.

The invitation process means each room can be as public or private as its owner and members wish. The invite codes can be posted anywhere online or share just among a select group of people. (via Mashable)

Facebook Makes It Easier to Share Photos 'In the Moment'

Facebook rolled out an update to its app on Monday that adds a new way to quickly organize and post small batches of photos from your smartphone.

Now, when users upload multiple photos from its iPhone or Android app, the app generates a quick preview of how the photos will be displayed. Users can then rearrange the order in which the images appear by holding down on a photo and dragging it to a new position.

You can select up to 30 photos at once; tags, locations, captions and descriptions can also be added to individual images within this view. Once uploaded, the photos appear in the app's new collage layout that emphasizes the order of the photos.

Until now, users could rearrange the order of photos in albums from Facebook's website but had little control over the order photos appeared in uploads.

Increasingly, Facebook is positioning photos as more of a platform for telling stories about everyday moments, rather than just a place to store albums of hundreds of photos. That may not seem like a significant difference, but the company believes that by emphasizing a more curated approach, it will make photos more engaging. (via Mashable)



Qnary Roundup: StumbleUpon, Twitter Fabric, and More

via TechCrunch Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

StumbleUpon’s 5by Relaunches As An App For Chatting About Online Videos With Friends

5by, the video recommendation startup that became StumbleUpon’s first acquisition last fall, is relaunching its mobile apps for iOS and Android with a slightly different focus: instead of only helping users find online videos that match their mood, 5by’s new apps are meant to encourage users to seek out videos for themselves, get a head’s up about the next viral videos before they go big, and, most importantly, chat with friends about the videos they’re watching in real-time.

This shift to become more of a social app mirrors that of 5by’s parent StumbleUpon’s recent efforts with its own mobile application. Earlier this month, the company relaunched the StumbleUpon iOS app with new features designed around starting conversations with other StumbleUpon users and friends. That is, instead of just recommending content, StumbleUpon wants to become the place where users socially chat about that content with friends.

Users can either share videos privately one-to-one, or can create group chat with up to 12 friends. After sharing, you can engage in real-time, text-based conversations in 5by in a format that’s similar in style to the new StumbleUpon app.

Of course, as with any social app, the challenge is in gaining a critical mass of users. Today, you may have few (if any) friends actually on 5by to chat with, so users will still likely turn to SMS to chat about videos as need be. But as more users turn to mobile devices to network with friends and be entertained, 5by hopes to establish itself as “the ultimate entertainment inbox, a one-stop shop for all things online video.” (via TechCrunch)

What Twitter Fabric Means for Developers

In its earlier days, the social network encouraged third-party developers to build their own apps and services on top of the platform. But the company later began to roll out its own competing features (the most notable example of this is when Twitter created its own image sharing service, frustrating companies like Twitpic and Yfrog).

But Twitter made its biggest appeal yet to developers on Wednesday at Flight, the company's first mobile developer conference. There CEO Dick Costolo unveiled Fabric, the company's ambitious plan to win back developers.

Fabric, its new development platform, consists of three buckets of software development kits that developers can use within their own apps: Mopub, which helps developers build native ads; Crashlytics, a debugging tool to aid stability; and Twitter, a distribution tool that allows developers to take advantage of twitter sign-ins, native tweet embeds, and Digits, the new phone number-based login.

Digits, which allows developers to create phone number based logins separate from Twitter or other social identities, seemed to generate the most excitement on the conference floor and around the web. (via Mashable)

Tumblr Bets on Video, Updates Its Player With New Features

Tumblr rolled out a series of improvements to its video player, including infinite looping and the ability to watch clips off to the side of a page while still staying in a stream to look at new content.

The popular blogging site is looking for ways to enhance its user engagement. This latest news comes just days after owner Yahoo reported that Tumblr grew its audience 40% (from 300 million to 420 million users) since it acquired the site in 2013. Tumblr could bring in $100 million in ad revenue in 2015.

Other improvements to the Tumblr player include the ability to change video to HD quality and auto play, which automatically plays videos when you see them on the site. The latter feature works both on the web and via mobile (though only if connected to Wi-Fi on a mobile device).

Videos uploaded to the Tumblr player, as well as those from Vine and Instagram, will now repeat on a loop. While infinite looping is an attractive feature for those who miss a clip and want to see it again, the company is still mum on whether it will be converting the outdated GIF format to a modern MP4 video format. Sites such as Reddit, Imgur and Gfycat have made that move because an MP4 file is significantly smaller, and loads faster with less buffering. (via Mashable)

Mint’s Aaron Patzer Launches Beta Version Of An On-Demand Answers

Aaron Patzer, the founder and former CEO of Mint, a personal financial management service, is placing his next bet with the on-demand info space. He and co-founder Jean Sini (another former Minter) are launching the beta of Fountain, an app that gives you advice from a curated set of experts. The app is currently focusing on the home improvement space and in alpha testing phase with a bunch of friends and family.

The app allows use of voice, video or texting. The app allows you to draw on the pictures you take to point out specific things you are concerned about or to show the person on the other end exactly what you are getting at. The experts are available 24/7 in theory and the whole thing should take about 5 minutes, according to what it says on the app.

You can ask about that weird hum in the fridge, how to fix a toilet, or why all your terrarium plants seem to die on you. Categories are all focused on home improvements for now, though Patzer does plan to expand to more categories as the app grows in user numbers. (via TechCrunch)

Ello Raises $5.5 Million, Legally Files As Public Benefit Corp. Meaning No Ads Ever, the ad-free social media network which blew up last month, has nabbed $5.5 million in venture capital funding even as it plants a legal flag in the ground that the company will never make money from selling ads or user data and that no acquirer can do so either.

The company filed in Delaware as a Public Benefit Corp., which Ello says makes it legally impossible under US law for investors to require Ello to show ads, sell data, or sell the company to any buyer who would violate those conditions.

Given its commitment to an ad-free business model, the company says it will look to generate revenue by selling personalized features and other services at small prices through an online store “inspired by the Apple app store” according to a press release. (via TechCrunch)



Qnary Roundup: Listen to Audio On Twitter, Safety Check, and More

Twitter audio listening Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Twitter Now Lets You Listen to Audio in App While Browsing Your Timeline

Twitter users can now listen to songs, podcasts and other audio content in their timelines within the Twitter app, while continuing to scroll through other tweets.

Twitter rolled out a new version of its Audio Cards on Thursday with SoundCloud and Apple as launch partners, showcasing the new experience with music tweets from the Foo Fighters, David Guetta and Chance the Rapper

The update for Twitter's iOS and Android apps allows users to expand the audio card for more details or dock the audio player with one swipe in order to keep browsing through their timelines, unlike in the past when users had to leave that audio tweet or open the audio file in a browser to continue skimming tweets.

SoundCloud is the feature's primary third-party partner at launch, meaning eventually every SoundCloud link in a tweet will have the capabilities to be played and docked. For now, though, only a few SoundCloud creators have access to use the feature.

Twitter aims to "bring even more in-the-moment audio to millions of listeners on Twitter." (via Mashable)

Facebook 'Safety Check' Tells Friends You're OK in a Natural Disaster

Facebook on Wednesday announced Safety Check, a new feature that lets friends and family know you're safe after a natural disaster has occurred. When such an event transpires, Facebook will send you a message asking if you're OK.

Facebook determines your city by your profile. If it gets the city wrong, you can mark that you're outside the affected area.

In a blog post announcing the feature, Facebook cited the 2011 Japanese earthquake as inspiration for the new safety feature. Facebook engineers in Japan created a disaster message board, which morphed into Safety Check. (via Mashable)

How Apple Pay Will Work With the New iPads

Apple revealed more details about its upcoming mobile payment service Apple Pay during its launch event on Thursday, but the company also made a very important distinction: Only iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users are currently able to access Apple Pay in retail stores — but not owners of the newly announced iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

That's because the near-field communications (NFC) technology that powers Apple Pay in stores isn't coming to the new iPads. However, the good news is that those who purchase the new iPads will be able to use Apple Pay online via various apps.

Apple Pay, which was announced in September, will be available for download via the iOS 8.1 software update that's coming on Monday. It will allow users to swipe their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus at checkout terminals in retail stores, and is believed to be the start of a huge revolution coming to mobile payments.

While the real advantage of Apple Pay will still be the in-store experience, the service will likely streamline the online checkout experience, and may even encourage iPad users to shop more frequently via app rather than browser. (via Mashable)

Social Commerce App CardBlanc Puts A Shopping Mall On Your Phone 

CardBlanc, a new e-commerce application targeting millennial spenders officially launched on Thursday, introducing a financial platform for easier mobile checkout combined with social activity similar to what you’d see on sites like Pinterest or Wanelo. The effort, which involves an iOS app and virtual payment card backed by PayPal, aims to turn product discovery into real-world purchases by allowing users to not only see what their friends “like,” but also what they’re actually buying.

To use CardBlanc, consumers just download the app to their phones and set up an account. The “card” provided is merely a front-end to a PayPal account for now, but co-founder and CEO Tina Hay says they want to open up to more funding sources in the future, including credit and debit cards.

“A lot of the sites – the PayPal’s and the Venmo’s – have some of the features we offer…but what we’ve built into the application are features that make it more social, more connected,” explains Hay. These features are designed to make shopping more attractive to younger adults and millennials, she says. (via TechCrunch)



Qnary Roundup: Squarespace, Hyper-Local Ads, Primer, and More

google primer app

Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.


Squarespace announces a major upgrade to its platform with new Getty Images and Google integrations

Squarespace announced its first major platform update in two years: Squarespace 7, adding new splash pages, templates and integrations with Getty Images and Google Apps. The launch also includes the official release of Squarespace’s Blog and Note Android apps, which emerged in public beta last month. Squarespace has also graduated its developer platform from beta.

The Getty Images deal offers subscribers a subset – tens of millions – of editorial and creative images at the price of $10 per image. Google Apps for Work integration is available for $5 per month. With the exception of those two new partnerships, Squarespace’s pricing hasn’t changed.

Squarespace 7 also includes a new preview interface for editing your site. The right side of the page will include the preview of your content, while the menu will be compressed to the left. Adjusting the size of your browser window calls up varying device silhouettes to show you how your site will look on tablets and smart phones. (via The Next Web)

Your Sales Strategy Shouldn't Rely on a Cold Call

There's a reason people are glued to their cellphones — and it doesn't have anything to do with web browsing, GPS or streaming capabilities. Fancy features are just icing on the mobile cake. We're attached to these devices because they connect us to the people who matter. Whether the voice on the other end is a babysitter, colleague or customer, the calls made and received are important.

Old-school sales calls used to be a way of reaching an individual, but if you don't know their pain points, needs or name, then what’s the point? Social media makes it easy for brands to get background on a prospect or customer and they should be using it to spark conversations with context. Not only does it make your audience feel valued, it actually works. Today, 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers. Check out Xbox’s back and forth with their audience on Facebook, or Hanes’ helpful Twitter responses that quickly turn followers into customers.

If you want to get people’s attention, you need use a human touch, not a megaphone. Any brand can buy emails or phone numbers to spam, but customers today can tune out irrelevant messages. Or, like many of our executives, to ditch certain communication channels entirely. Instead of getting hung up on what everyone else is doing, think about leveraging the channels that are most relevant to your audience. Your customers (and voicemail box) will thank you for it.(via Mashable)

Facebook Launches Hyper-Local Ads Targeted To People Within A Mile Of A Business

Facebook’s mobile ubiquity and push for always-on location sharing came to fruition with the launch of hyper-local advertising that could convince  people to visit stores they’re nearby. Soon, brick-and-mortar businesses will be able to target ads to anyone who lives or was recently within a specific distance of their store. Advertisers can set a radius as small as a mile and the ads will show up on people’s phones or web browsers. These new Local Awareness ads will be available for US business owners in a few weeks, and around the globe in the next several months.

Imagine walking down the block scrolling down your News Feed and getting an ad for a bar or clothing ship just a few hundred feet away. Those ads probably wouldn’t be that effective if targeted to the entire city. But by reaching people within a mile of the business, Facebook may be able to drive foot traffic that leads to real sales. That’s something businesses will probably be willing to pay for, and that they can’t get from other ad tools

Eventually, Facebook could combine hyper-local targeting with its retargeting functionality and ad network so any business you shop at could hit you with an ad in Facebook or another app when you’re nearby. (via TechCrunch)

Google launches Primer app to get startups up to speed on marketing, PR and search advertising

Google is looking to bridge the gap between the complexity of its ad products and startup users’ often relative inexperience with marketing and search ads.

Launched Thursday, Primer looks to give startups the most basic of tips on successful marketing via five minute lessons (case studies, quizzes and insider tips) designed specifically for startups. Google said it “created Primer as a way to make it easier for businesses to be successful at marketing. We realize that some of the Google ad-tech products which connect businesses to customers also widen the gap between rookies and marketing pros.”

Of course, helping startups to become more ‘marketing literate’ and to better understand the breadth of Google ad-tech options available also serves Google’s ends too. The app is currently available for iOS only, but will be headed to Android shortly. (via The Next Web)

Report: Facebook Readying App for Anonymous Sharing

Facebook is preparing to launch a standalone app that will allow users to anonymously interact with each other. This app will allow people to use pseudonyms so they can have discussions about any topics they would like.

According to an earlier report, this anonymous sharing app could also have a health aspect. The report suggested that Facebook is working on a standalone health-focused app that will connect users suffering from the same illnesses to create a kind of support network.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear earlier this year that releasing new standalone apps would be a top priority for the company, focusing more on creating social networks based around conversations.(via Mashable)

Google Launches Hangouts Desktop App and Polls for Google+

Google Hangouts users can now chat and make calls from their desktops without opening their browser. The company rolled out a new desktop app for Chrome OS and Windows users and announced new social polling features for Google+. The desktop app allows chats and calls to run independently of a web browser, and chats and notifications will automatically be synced between the desktop and mobile app.

"The app has a streamlined design that keeps your chats accessible without getting in the way of everything else," Google wrote in a blog post. "Your contact list and all your chats are condensed into one easy to toggle window."

The desktop app also supports Hangouts' voice and video calls, including Google's recently improved Hangouts dialer. Google Voice users can also make and receive calls, listen to voicemails and read SMS messages via their Google Voice number from within the app. (via Mashable)



Qnary Roundup: Wearables Rising, Ello, Lynxsy, and More

linkedin-slideshare Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

The Digitization of Everything: Wearables Rising

Since the early days of computing, ever shrinking computers have been on a collision course towards human integration. The distinction between what is physical and digital continues to dissolve.

Not only are people and things being connected to the Internet, but previous “networks of one” are being broken into their own thriving digital ecosystems. This pattern, started long ago, continues to propagate.

The coming widespread adoption of wearables will take intimacy and personalization one-step further on the journey towards deeper digital/physical integration.

Participation in digital networks used to be something we did in its own its own space, largely detached from the physical world. In the near future, a fundamental shift will happen. Most of our lives will happen on digital networks by default, each of us generating terabytes of data, and leaving a permanently recorded, constantly evolving trail of digital exhaust in our wake.

But there’s still a ways to go. And next step ahead of us on the human journey is the transition from mobile devices to wearables. (Via Social Media Today)

What's Up with Ello, the Anti-Facebook Social Network? 

By now, you've probably heard something about Ello, the ad-free, invite-only, independent social network that has seemingly gone viral over the last week.

The ad-free social network has quickly (and somewhat inexplicably) gained a reputation for being the "anti-Facebook." Which is odd, because new users tend to boast on Facebook about having scored an invite to the service.

The site itself is like a cross between Twitter and Tumblr though with more limited features. Users can post status updates, photos and GIFs and comment on their friends' posts. There is also a search tool to find the people you know.

The creators have a long list of new features, including mobile apps and more privacy settings, they say are in the works, but the timing of those updates is unclear.

It's impossible to say whether Ello is the next big thing or just another passing fad, but it has definitely succeeded in getting the Internet's attention. (via Mashable)

LinkedIn Continues to Mobile Push Sildeshare for iOS

LinkedIn has added another standalone app to its growing mobile portfolio.

The company rolled out an iPhone version of SlideShare, the presentation-sharing platform acquired by LinkedIn in 2012.

SlideShare's iOS app was built completely with Swift, the programming language Apple introduced at this year's WWDC — a first for the company.

LinkedIn has been doubling down on mobile of late and the social network now has seven standalone mobile apps and the company has previously said it expects to reach its "mobile" moment, where more than half of their traffic comes from mobile, later this year. (via Mashable)

Lynxsy Launches A Mobile Recruitment App For Job Hunters

With planned layoffs sinking to a 14-year low and employment surging, the job market in America seems to have finally crawled back from the darkest days of the Great Recession.

And as the jobs market heats up, a whole host of apps have launched with new ways to help recent grads and current employees find the perfect job. One tool that recently launched from the Techstars Accelerator program in New York is Lynxsy, which aims to connect recent college graduates with companies in part-time positions so that job-seekers and employers can try before they commit to applicants for a full-time position.

Hiring managers post jobs to Lynxsy’s talent network and candidates apply from their mobile phones. When a candidate gets a gig, Lynxsy then manages the payroll process with a third-party provider. Right now, the company focuses on non-technical roles such as customer service, sales and operations.

So far, Lynxsy has 100 companies and 5,000 candidates on its platform. The New York-based service has partnered with 15 universities in the Northeast including schools like New York University, The University of Pennsylvania, Bentley College, Cornell University, Vanderbilt University, Georgetown University and more. (via TechCrunch)

WhoWeUse Launches A New App For Local Service Recommendations

WhoWeUse, a new mobile app delivering recommendations on local services from your social network, has just launched on iOS.

As local services ratings and recommendation companies like Angie’s List make headlines thanks to rumors of a prospective sale to potential buyers like Amazon, Google, or Home Depot; it’s clear that companies still need a good referral for how to get at local markets.

And WhoWeUse thinks it has the mobile answer to all of your local problems. The Maplewood, NJ-based company was created in the backyard bar of serial entrepreneurs and developers John Garbarino and Pete Clark and former Wall Street Journal reporter Spencer Ante.

WhoWeUse differs from the anonymous reviews on Yelp or Angie’s List in more than just its mobile native platform. The company bills itself as word of mouth “on steroids”.

When someone downloads the app, it scans for local services that are in an address book and imports that contact information into the app. The app then organizes the services into ones that an individual uses and others that are used by other members of the contact list. The app then sorts each service into categories like car services, repairs, medical and health, and other categories.

On top of the organizational feature, WhoWeUse has also layered on customer relationship management functionality and an ability for businesses to see who are the influencers within certain social networks, says Garbarino. Eventually, the app will add payment features and functionality so that the entire process of booking and paying for most local services can be handled through the app. (via TechCrunch)



Qnary Roundup: Amazon Wish List, Time-Lapse Selfies, and More

Amazon wish list hashtag Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

You Can Now Add Items to Your Amazon Wish List With a Tweet

Twitter just became an excellent way to manage your holiday wish list. Amazon revealed a new shopping hashtag Wednesday that allows shoppers to automatically add items to their wish list with a tweet.

After sending a tweet containing the #AmazonWishList hashtag and a link to the item (or replying to a tweet containing an Amazon link), the MyAmazon Twitter account should reply with the status of the item, including when it gets added to your list, if it's out of stock and how you can buy it.

This is the second time Twitter has partnered with Amazon on a hashtag. Previously, the companies introduced #AmazonCart, which allows users to add items to their Amazon shopping cart. As with that hashtag, users who want to take advantage of #AmazonWishList will need to link their Amazon and Twitter accounts through their Amazon account settings. (via Mashable)

Telenav Copies Foursqaure’s Swarm With New Social App, HopOver

Telenav’s name tends to be associated with mapping and personal navigation, but today the company is trying its hand at something a little more social with the launch of an iPhone app that lets you see what your friends are up to, and if they’re nearby. The app is called HopOver, as it allows you to invite friends to join you and hang out by creating a “Hop” aka an event or invitation.

The app sounds a lot like Foursquare’s newer app Swarm, which is designed to help you serendipitously connect with friends when you’re in close proximity to each other, view nearby plans and message with friends to coordinate your meetup.

Telenav says the app is aimed at the college-aged crowd in particular, which differentiates it a bit from Foursquare’s broader effort to spin out its flagship app’s social features into Swarm, then leverage the data Swarm generates, like photos

The app borrows ideas about “ephemerality” from photo-sharing app Snapchat, as well, in that HopOver users’ locations will disappear after a short period of time. The Hops (events) you create in HopOver will only show up on the map for an hour, and then they’re gone for good.

The idea, the company explains to TechCrunch, is to help create meetups with friends right now instead of in the future, as well as see what friends are doing right now. “It’s a little like Snapchat for places,” we’re told. (via TechCrunch)

Time-Lapse Selfies Are Now a Thing, Courtesy of Instagram’s Hyperlapse

If there's one app that can be credited with the rise of the selfie, it's Instagram. But now the Facebook-owned photo app is introducing a new kind of selfie — the "selfielapse."

Hyperlapse, Instagram's newest standalone app for time-lapse videos, got its first major update Thursday that allows users to shoot videos from their iPhones' front-facing cameras.

The updated app now has a small button next to the shutter that toggles between the front- and rear-facing cameras. Switching to the front camera will alert you that you are switching to "selfielapse" mode. (via Mashable)

Social Platform Hootsuite Adds $60M to it's Coffers, Buys Zeetl To Integrate Voice

Hootsuite, a platform that lets businesses and individuals monitor and manage social media interactions across some 35 different social networks, is stepping up its game with yet more funding and another acquisition. It has raised a further

$60 million, and it is acquiring Zeetl, which creates shortlinks to convert text-based interactions between The acquisition of Zeetl fits in with that strategy, too. “You’ll be seeing this appearing in products soon,” Holmes says of the shortlinks that can appear in social messages. Once clicked, a customer can link up with the customer service person either through a VoIP call or a call to a regular phone if a number is provided.

Holmes believes that while social media has definitely transformed how businesses communicate with their customers, at some point you will want that conversation to become more involved than you can handle in public messages, or even 140-character DMs on Twitter. This is where direct calling will come in handy. (via TechCrunch)

Can iPhone 6 Plus Users Bend It Like Beckham? 

The biggest question around Apple ’s new jumbo-sized iPhone 6 Plus has changed from “Will it fit in my pants pocket?” to “Will it bend in my pants pocket?”

Initially, it seemed like a joke. Shortly after the phone hit stores Friday, users reported that the iPhone 6 Plus bent after they sat with the phone in their pocket. That’s since been followed by videos of people bending the large-screened iPhone with their hands.

Many objects,  particularly those encased in malleable aluminum, will bend with enough pressure. The question is whether the iPhone 6 Plus can withstand a reasonable amount of pressure exerted from everyday activities, like sitting.  (via WSJ)



Qnary Roundup: Charitable Users, Apple iPad, Facebook's News Feed, and More

twitter profile Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Social Media Users Are More Charitable Than You Might Think

There's no doubt that social media has made it easier for charitable organizations and nonprofits to spread their messages. The major press release or fundraiser can now be simplified into a series of tweets or Facebook posts. Organizations can stay top of mind with their own pieces of social media real estate.

In a recent SurveyMonkey Audience survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, age 18 or older, who identify themselves as regular social media users, 51% of respondents noted they hear about new social good initiatives on social media first; and nearly 46% said they hear about social good initiatives most often through social media — topping TV and word-of-mouth campaigns by more than three times.

According to the survey data, an average of nearly 64% of users who identified themselves as a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and/or Google+ user said they've donated $100 or more to charitable causes in the last year, and an average of just 6.5% have given no money at all to charitable causes in the last year. (via Mashable)

Report: Apple Planning iPad Launch Event in Late October

Apple is reportedly planning another major product launch next month, when they are expected to reveal two new iPads.

According to an Apple Insider report, the company is working on an internal project with marketing deadlines for mid-October that would lead up to a special event held later in the month.The rumor is in line with speculation that Apple will unveil its next-generation tablets in just a few weeks.

It's expected that the iPad Air and Mini will get faster processors (the A8), which is the same chip in the iPhone 6and iPhone 6 Plus. The devices may also feature Touch ID, the fingerprint scanner found in the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

It's likely OS X Yosemite, the next-generation operating system for Macs, will officially launch at or just after the event, too. Last year, Apple revealed the new iPads and rolled out OS X Mavericks at the same time. (via Mashable)

Your Facebook News Feed Is About To Get More Timely

Facebook is rolling out a small update to its News Feed algorithm that will prioritize and rank timely, “trending” posts higher than they were before.

Now, Facebook stories from friends or Facebook pages that are tied to trending topics on Facebook — such specific movies, actors, and news events — are more likely to appear higher in news feed. Facebook will also track when people are liking and commenting on status updates, and take that into account when ranking stories in the News Feed.

If Facebook users are liking and commenting on a News Feed story very quickly, the story will be ranked higher. Likewise, if the rate at which users like and comment on the story starts to decline, it will be ranked lower. This also affects which stories that weren’t initially seen are “bumped” to the top of a user’s News Feed. (via BuzzFeed)

Twitter Overhauls Profiles on iOS in the 'Biggest Update to Date'

Twitter updated its iPhone app with completely redesigned profiles on Thursday. The new profiles emphasize users' bios, photos and favorited tweets, in addition to their own tweets.

"This is our biggest update to profiles to date," the company wrote in a blog post. "Featuring a fresh design, the updated profiles focus on your bio, Tweets and photos, making it easy for you to get a glimpse into the people you care about on Twitter."

The redesigned profiles include three tabs: tweets, photos and favorites. The photos tab displays images you have tweeted, while favorites surfaces tweets you have favorited. User bios are also immediately surfaced in the profile view; previously, you had to swipe across the top of a person's header image to view his or her bio.

The updated app is available to iOS users running iOS 7 or higher. The company says the redesigned profiles will eventually come to the Android app but the timing of that update isn't clear. (via Mashable)

Facebook is Convincing Advertisers to Spend

The amount of ad dollars spent on Facebook is outpacing the amount of time people spend on the site, a reflection in part of Facebook’s ability to convince marketers of the power of advertising with the social network.

While 6% of U.S. adults’ digital media time is spent on Facebook, 9.7% of U.S. digital ad spending in the U.S. flows to the site, according to a new report by eMarketer. That’s not the case with the rest of the industry. For example, U.S. adults spend 7.1% of their digital media time listening to Pandora – that’s more than Facebook – but the online music streaming service commands only 1.4% share of digital ad dollars.

There are a couple of reasons why Facebook is able to buck the trend in the rest of the industry. For one, it not only continues to add to its more than a billion users around the world, but those customers are still increasing the amount of time they hang around. Adults in the U.S. will spend an average of 21 minutes a day on Facebook this year, according to eMarketer. That’s up from 19 minutes a year ago and only six minutes in 2010. The increasing usage underscores the obvious: Facebook is incredibly popular.

Also, Facebook is an engaging service. People spend time scrolling through feeds to browse content, while music from Pandora, whose data eMarketer is breaking out for the first time, can literally run in the background. You don’t need to stare at Pandora’s site or app to use it, and audio advertising can easily be tuned out. (via WSJ)



Qnary Roundup: Apple Pay, Smartphones, Wearables, and More

Apple Pay Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

The Apple Watch and New iPhones: Everything You Need to Know

Apple's big event on Tuesday was jam-packed with new products: the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. The two new iPhones and Apple's entry into the wearables market dominated much of CEO, Tim Cook's keynote, but a number of new software features were also unveiled, including a new platform for mobile payments called Apple Pay.

Apple's first platform for mobile payments, Apple Pay, will be rolling out as an update to iOS 8 in October. It will be compatible with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and, eventually, the Apple Watch. Each watch can be customized with a number of interchangeable bands, including a special sport band for exercising. Apple Watch is expected to go on sale in early 2015 and will begin at $349. Both new iPhones, which will be available in gold, white and "space gray," go on sale in the United States on Sept. 19; pre-orders begin on Friday. (via Mashable)

What Apple Pay Means for Marketers

Apple Watch was certainly the shiniest object in the room at Apple's big event Tuesday, and there are, no doubt, interesting opportunities for brands to play into its functionality. But Apple Pay, a new mobile payment system, presents many opportunities for marketers looking to reach and influence consumers at a most crucial point: purchasing.Quite simply, it will be more enjoyable to shop on mobile phones. Thus, marketers should take another look at their e-commerce experiences by making them beautifully and thoughtfully designed to encourage adoption and repeat usage.

Although a connection wasn't mentioned in Apple's keynote, it's likely that the contents in Apple’s “Passbook,” will be integrated with Pay, meaning stored coupons, promotional offers and loyalty programs could be integrated into the Pay checkout process. Brands should take another look at Passbook -- how and where their apps can offer promotional integration that drives brand preference and purchase.

Apple Pay may not be a sexy addition to your wrist or a long-awaited upgrade to your smartphone, but it does ease and encourage something all marketers can appreciate: the act of purchasing. Apple did the heavy lifting, now it's up to us to explore how to create experiences around this new approach to shopping. (via AdAge)

BlackBerry May Be Working on a Smartwatch of its Own

Apple, Motorola and Samsung aren't the only companies with their sights set on wearables. BlackBerry, the smartphone maker that always seems to be just a little late to the party, may also be close to stepping into the world of wearable tech, according to CEO John Chen.

While Chen's comments are far from definitive, the fact that BlackBerry is even considering entering the still nascent wearables market is an interesting move for the company.

Under the leadership of Chen, who began as CEO in November, the company has been attempting a comeback by doubling down on efforts to reach customers in emerging markets, appealing to those who want smartphones with physical keyboards and ramping up its app offerings through a partnership with Amazon. (via Mashable)

Google Acquires Social Polling Startup Polar to Improve Google+ Design 

Google is buying the social polling startup, Polar, the companies announced Thursday. Google did not disclose the terms of the acquisition but said Polar founder, Luke Wroblewski and his team would be brought on to work with the Google+ team.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Luke Wroblewski and the talented Polar team to Google," Dave Besbris, Google's VP of engineering for Google+ said in a statement. "They’ll be working with our designers and engineers to help us make G+ as beautiful and simple to use as possible, especially on mobile devices."

It appears the Polar app, which allows users to create simple customized polls, will remain online through the end of the year. "We’re keeping our publisher tools available until the end of 2014," Polar said in a statement on their website. "We’ve also built a simple way to download and save an archive of your Polar polls and data — they’re yours after all."

Though neither company said definitively what would happen to the app, Google acquisitions tend to result in the original app being shuttered or effectively ignored. (via Mashable)

If You Block an Ad, Facebook Now Wants to Know Why

Facebook wants to know why users decide to block certain sponsored posts in an effort to serve more relevant ads in the News Feed. The social network has always let users hide unwanted ads, but now the site will ask a series of questions about why.

When users click on a sponsored post to block it, they're asked, "Why don't you want to see this?" Was it because you found it irrelevant, offensive, annoying? Facebook says responses from relatively few people will increase the relevance of ads for all users.

Also, Facebook has been testing another new feature—vanishing posts. This week, some iPhone Facebook app users started trying out expiration dates on posts so the statuses automatically delete, removed from the permanent digital record.

The Next Web was the first to see images of the vanishing posts. It reports that users are asked if they want their posts to expire within minutes or within a week. The expiring posts appear to be a response to changing social media use, especially among young people who no longer want a lasting record of all their digital activities. (via AdWeek)



Qnary Roundup: Twitter Updates, Netflix Connects with Facebook, Your Online Reputation and More

Twitter Filtered Feed Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Twitter May Be Moving Closer to Filtered Feeds- But Don’t Freak Out Yet.

While Facebook's newsfeed has gone though many tweaks and redesigns over the years, Twitter's feed has remained relatively unchanged throughout its eight-year history.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Twitter CFO Anthony Noto made comments that many interpreted to mean the company may be considering making significant changes to how tweets are surfaced in users' main timelines.

“If you think about our search capabilities we have a great data set of topical information about topical tweets,” Noto said. This, he says, opens up the opportunity for “an algorithm that delivers the depth and breadth of the content we have on a specific topic and then eventually as it relates to people."

Twitter has always surfaced tweets in reverse chronological order. Though recent updates have made small tweaks to what people see in their feeds, users are accustomed to seeing their most recent tweets first, regardless of relevance or any other criteria. But this approach "isn’t the most relevant experience for a user,” Noto said. "Putting that content in front of the person at that moment in time is a way to organize that content better.”

Unsurprisingly, many users were not happy with the idea that their main timeline could be dramatically changing and immediately took to Twitter to vent. (via Mashable)

Twitter Changes Font, Provides More Profile Color Options

Twitter has unveiled new changes designed to enhance your microblogging experience.

Revealed in a two-part tweet posted Wednesday, Twitter announced an updated web font intended to improve "speed and readability," more color options on user profiles, and new buttons on profile pages to send tweets or direct messages to another user.

The new buttons on profile pages will make it easier to communicate with other users quickly. For example, if you click "Tweet to" while looking at Mashable's Twitter profile, it opens a new tweet with "@mashable" already at the beginning. The "Message" button sets up a direct message to the account. (via Mashable)

Build Your Online Reputation. Jobs Will Follow.

A job search can be daunting, but you can measurably shorten your search time horizon if you build an online reputation. Think of your search as a content marketing initiative.

What exactly is content marketing?  Michael Brenner, Vice President of SAP Marketing & Content Strategy defines content as “The mindset, culture and approach to delivering your customer’s information needs in all the places they are searching for it, across each stage of the buying process. It is a strategic approach to managing content as an asset, with a quantifiable ROI.”

If you think about your next employer as your future “customer,” even if you are happily employed right now, you should take every opportunity to create a broad reaching market reputation for yourself that is meaningful, engaging, and searchable. (via Forbes)

 Netflix Connects With Facebook, Launches Private Recommendation Feature

You can now tell your friends just how much you loved Orange Is The New Black without rolling over in bed. Or even switching apps.

According to a company blog post, Netflix new partnership with Facebook will allow users to directly recommend shows to their friends on the social networking site, personal message included.

The blog post, by Netflix Directory of Product Innovation Cameron Johnson, explains that after viewing a show or movie, a Netflix user will be shown thumbnail pictures of their Facebook friends and asked if any of those friends would be interested in viewing that same program. If selected, friends will receive the media recommendation the next time they log into Netflix. If the friend is not currently a Netflix subscriber, the recommendation will be delivered via private Facebook message. (via Forbes)

Twitter Just Created A Program To Pay People For Finding Security Vulnerabilities

Twitter has just introduced a "bug bounty program" that will pay volunteer security researchers a minimum of $140 for reporting any vulnerability or bug. The program, called HackerOne, was established for independent security researchers "to recognize their efforts and the important role they play in keeping Twitter safe for everyone." When researchers report an issue, Twitter will hand over some cash to thank them for their time.

While the minimum reward is $140, Twitter says that there is no maximum reward, the amount will depend on the severity of the bug reported. There are a few qualifications to meet before you can eligible for the reward, however.

For instance, you have to be the first to report the bug, and you can't publicly disclose the bug before Twitter fixes it. You also can't live in Cuba, Sudan, North Korea, Iran, or Syria, where the national law prohibits Twitter from paying hackers. (via Business Insider)



Qnary Roundup: Hyperlapse, WhatsApp at 600 Million users, Twitter’s public analytics, and more

Via Forbes Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Instagrammers, Including Jimmy Fallon, Are Rushing to Try Out Hyperlapse

Call it fast-food porn. Now that hyperlapsing is a thing, courtesy of Instagram, everyone’s videos can be seen at 12 times the normal speed. The Hyperlapse app is the latest gift to social media, allowing people to shoot footage at warp speed and share it on Instagram or Facebook.

So far the results have been fairly mundane—it’s the same old videos of dogs, cats and food, only faster. That’s not to say Hyperlapsing won’t yield some creative uses, just like six-second Vines led to a whole new genre of mobile moviemaking. And there is actually some pretty sophisticated technology at work in Hyperlapse, the second stand-alone app from Instagram. The computing power needed for such fancy image stabilization has not always been available in phones, and Wired said this is essentially $15,000 worth of editing technology packed into an app.

What are the masses doing with this technology, which caused #hyperlapse to trend on Twitter? Well, so far, Jimmy Fallon has eaten cake really fast in Hyperlapse mode. Here’s hoping there’s some genius who can put fast-motion to good use. For now, here’s a look at some of the everyday joys of life, only faster, starting with Fallon's first attempt. (via AdWeek)

WhatsApp Hits 600 Million Active Users, Founder Says

When Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg held talks with WhatsApp over what would become a mega, $19-billion takeover deal last February, he told the founders he’d love for their popular messaging app to “connect 4 to 5 billion people over the next five years.” It was an extraordinary mandate, yet WhatsApp may be gradually getting there. On Monday founder Jan Koum announced on Twitter TWTR +0.65% that the free texting service he started in his Santa Clara townhouse in 2009, had hit 600 million monthly active users.

In late April, the number was 500 million, meaning the app has been gaining roughly 25 million new active users each month, or 833,000 active users per day. Back in March, WhatsApp founder Brian Acton confirmed to Forbes that the service had been signing up 1 million new users per day since Dec. 1, 2013, so the rate appears to have remained steady since then, when accounting for the people who sign up but don’t remain active. (via Forbes)

Twitter Now Lets Anyone Check How Many People Saw Their Tweets

Twitter analytics are now available to all users. In June, Twitter began experimenting with opening its analytics dashboard to users outside of its advertisers.

Then, last month, Twitter rolled out an updated analytic dashboard to marketers, verified users and Twitter Card publishers.

The dashboard lets users see how many impressions each tweet has received (how many times users saw the tweet on Twitter), the number of favorites their tweet has received, how many times others have clicked on their profiles, and the number of retweets and replies on a certain tweet. It also shows how many times users engaged with a tweet and what that engagement was.

Now, all users can get access to these types of statistics by visiting (Via Mashable)

Spending on Digital Ads to Overtake TV in 2017

Magna Global also predicts the strongest U.S. ad growth rate in a decade for 2015. Digital advertising spending will exceed TV ad spending in the U.S. in 2017, Magna Global said in its latest forecast Tuesday. That would be about a year earlier than the firm previously projected. The company also now forecasts the biggest U.S. ad gain in a decade for 2015, after raising its projections for the year.

Magna Global said U.S. digital ad revenue would reach $72.0 billion in 2017, compared with TV ad spending of $70.5 billion. Last year, digital accounted for $43 billion, with Magna forecasting it will reach the $50 million mark this year. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

Move Aside Twitter Timeline Haters, Business Wins

Twitter redefined its timeline Monday, officially acknowledging that the feature is for more than just those you follow and their retweets.

First, a quick recap. Earlier this month, Twitter started experimenting with what users see on their timeline. That included adding tweets from accounts users don't directly follow and has evolved to incorporate tweets users they follow favorite. The second experiment, which treats favorites more like retweets, offers a significant change to the ways users interact with the service. As I wrote on Sunday, Twitter favorites have an entirely separate social dynamic and their meaning is much more nuanced and personal to the user.

Unsurprisingly, the user response to the changes is predominately negative. Doing a Twitter search for "Twitter annoying" and "Twitter changes" turned up a number of tweets responding to the change from users of all stripes and follower counts. (via Mashable)



Qnary Roundup: Twitter’s “Favorite” Updates, New Vine iOS App, Unseen, Looksie, and more

Looksee App (via Techcrunch) Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Twitter Starts to Change the Central Logic of Its Service

This week, the company tested a change to its core product that could alter the service in a small but important way. According to Mashable, Twitter is altering the timeline of a small number of users so that they see tweets from accounts they don’t follow.

Right now, users only see tweets for three reasons: They’re from an account that user follows; they were retweeted by an account that user follows; or they’re an ad. Now, a user might see tweets from an account that someone whom they follow follows, or a tweet that someone they follow favorited. (via The Atlantic)

Hands On With the New Vine: 6-Second Videos Will Never Be the Same

The new camera features on Vine aren't just shiny and new, they've totally changed the platform. It’s been nearly two years since Twitter acquired Vine and added it to the canon of notable social media platforms. Six-second looping videos simply weren’t “a thing” before Vine proved that our short attention spans were, in fact, good for something.

Scores of users descended on the simple new tool, discovering the world of complex six-second animations that could change perspective simply by touching the tapping the screen.

But there were limits. Users had to create Vines totally within the Vine app, which meant that all the restrictions of the 4:3 aspect ratio Vine camera were applied to your recording endeavors. Some got around this by shooting and editing video elsewhere, playing it back on a computer (or even tablet or phone screen) and then filming that with Vine on a phone. The results were uneven, and Vine purists started talking about “natural Vines” versus, one would guess, “unnatural” ones. (via Mashable)

Unseen, An Anonymous Photo Sharing App For Colleges, Raises $2.1 Million

An Austin-based company called Bearch has raised $2.1 million in seed funding for its anonymous photo-sharing app Unseen, which has been trending on college campuses. Investors in the round include Rackspace co-founder Dirk Elmendorf, CEO Rony Kahan, CEO of Woodbolt International Doss Cunningham, and several other angel investors.

At first glance, Unseen looks similar to other anonymous networking apps that have become popular in recent months, including competitors like Secret or Whisper for example. But co-founder Michael Schramm stresses its intention is to ultimately build a different type of community for its users. Using both manual and outsourced moderation procedures, the idea with Unseen is to cut down on the bullying and other inappropriate behaviors that anonymous apps can contribute to without being heavy-handed. (Via Techcrunch)

Social media monitoring by employers predicted to rise

A third of young people would be happy for their employer to have access to their social media profiles in return for job security, according to a report that claims such personal data monitoring will become more commonplace.

The report, written by consultants from PwC using a survey of 10,000 workers worldwide and 500 human resource (HR) professionals, suggests personal data from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites could be used by employers to understand what motivates their workforce, reasons why people might move jobs and to improve employee wellbeing. (via The Guardian)

Looksee Debuts A Tinder-Meets-Instagram For Connecting Around Shared Photos

A new “anonymish” app called Looksee has launched, combining mobile photography with a Tinder-like matching element that lets anonymous users connect with each other over their shared photos. The idea is that when two users mutually like one another’s photos, their identities will then be revealed to each other, allowing them to make a personal connection and begin messaging within the app.

Tinder without the superficiality, perhaps. Or just a different way to make Internet friends? Looksee_4LikedLooksee is largely an experiment at this point, given its launch took place July 31st. The app is a product from Quebec Drive, a company which has previously released a handful of single-named photo apps and games, including Dropin, Phodeo, and Flyin. (via Techcrunch)

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