Facebook launches new app for easier interaction between famous people and their fans On Thursday Facebook released the app Facebook Mentions, which allows celebrities and public figures to interact with their fans more easily. The app will allow users to see what their fans are saying in a dedicated mentions feed (comparable to Twitter’s @-mentions section), start mobile Q&As, interact with other celebrities and see what topics are trending.
The app is only available to public figures with verified pages and users will have to provide a government-issued ID and fill in additional information in order to have access to the app. Several celebrities including Mariah Carey, Ed Sheeran, Arianna Huffington and Bill Nye, have been using the app and, according to Facebook, are producing twice as much content per day as they were before using the app. (via Mashable).
GoTenna allows for signal-less texting The days of being stuck in a crowded urban area or remote region without texting capabilities might soon be a thing of the past. A new device called goTenna pairs with smartphones and uses low-energy Bluetooth signals and companion app to send messages between phones without WiFi or cell phone service. The device has a range of up to 50 miles, but the effectiveness will depend on the particular situation and area. The possibilities for the device include both emergency and practical uses, like when studying abroad or at a crowded event like the World Cup. (via Mashable).
Overcast app launched for Smarter Podcasts The man behind Instapaper and former lead developer for Tumblr has just come out with a new project. Marco Arment has launched a new app called Overcast, which is a simple yet effective podcast player that has features to improve both the timing and quality of listening to podcasts.
The two most notable features are Smart Speed and Voice Boost. Smart Speed enables users to listen to their podcasts faster by speeding up the silences in the recording. It doesn’t make noticeable changes to the audio, just speeds it up. The Voice Boost is a tool that equalizes a podcast’s volume, which can vary with quality. (via Mashable).
Google+: Fake Profile Names Are Now Allowed When it launched in 2011, Google+ restricted users from using fake names on their profiles. However, Google+ announced in a blog post that all the restrictions are being dropped and that the platform will now be open to any username. There will be limits as to how often a username can be changed, dependent on how new a user is to the platform and how often they are trying to switch identities. Google+ can lock in an identity for up to three months and the change will appear on other Google products like Gmail and YouTube. (via Google).
A New Partnership Shows Why Pinterest Is So Important For Retailers The new partnership between Pinterest and the e-commerce platform Shopify is helping the social site close the gap between product discovery and purchase. Shopify has automatically enabled Pinterest’s Rich Pins for all 100,000+ merchants, which will now deliver important product information to a user if they Pin a product from a merchant’s Shopify store. This information includes pricing, product availability and other information that a buyer would be interested in, which is yet another move by Pinterest towards becoming a direct retail sales driver. (via BusinessInsider)