Facebook, YouTube and Messenger the Top Apps for 2015

Facebook was the top app this year based on the average number of unique users, according to Nielsen. Facebook has more than 126 million unique users each month. Video powerhouse YouTube followed with 97 million unique users. Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger is the fastest growing app with a 31 percent increase in users since last year. More than 96 million unique users are using the Facebook Messenger app to chat each month; it is the third most popular app of the year. Continue reading Facebook, YouTube and Messenger the Top Apps for 2015

Instagram Quietly Unveils One-Tap Messaging App Called Bolt

Introduced by Facebook’s Instagram, Bolt is a one-tap messaging app for iOS and Android that is similar to the popular Taptalk app. Bolt is currently available in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa, with plans to launch in additional regions soon. The app allows users to send an image or video that disappears once it is viewed. Unlike Snapchat and Facebook’s Slingshot, Bolt only allows users to send messages to one person at a time, rejecting mass messages. Continue reading Instagram Quietly Unveils One-Tap Messaging App Called Bolt

Intel Enters the Mobile App Business with Avatar Messages

Last week, chipmaker Intel introduced its own mobile app called “Pocket Avatars.” Unlike most of Intel’s functional software, Pocket Avatars is purely recreational. The app uses a smartphone’s camera and microphone to record the user’s voice and facial movements. Then the app translates those signals into a talking, animated avatar message that users can send to their friends. The free app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones. Continue reading Intel Enters the Mobile App Business with Avatar Messages

WhatsApp Announces New Voice Service After Facebook Deal

During a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that the mobile messaging service would start to offer voice calls. The move could help justify the massive $19 billion price tag of the recent Facebook deal. While the marketplace for Internet phone services is already crowded, WhatsApp could become competitive since it is now backed by social giant Facebook. The voice service is planned to launch in April. Continue reading WhatsApp Announces New Voice Service After Facebook Deal

Biz Stone Aims to Revolutionize Social Search with Jelly App

Biz Stone has an impressive track record with helping launch various social products, including Xanga, Blogger, Twitter and Medium. Stone’s most recent undertaking is Jelly, a question-and-answer app though which users can ask their social media friends — and friends of friends — questions about anything, using text and images. While the app has the potential to change the makeup of Internet searches, some critics have been skeptical of the need for what essentially serves as a mash-up between Quora and Instagram. Continue reading Biz Stone Aims to Revolutionize Social Search with Jelly App

Whisper and Secret: New Messaging Apps Offer Users Anonymity

A new trend in social apps has arrived, allowing users to post anonymously, giving them a feeling of freedom without consequences for their actions on the Web. New messaging apps Whisper and Secret, for example, offer a way to share anonymous posts about anything. Popular apps such as Snapchat, Telegram and Frankly revolve around messages that self-destruct after they are read. These anonymous approaches may pose a significant threat to other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading Whisper and Secret: New Messaging Apps Offer Users Anonymity

Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

Google has released a Glass software update that includes some substantial new features. Update XE12 provides users with the ability to snap a photo with a discreet wink, adds a lock screen function for improved security, offers options for uploading Glass-shot videos directly to YouTube, and intros Hangouts integration for messaging and chatting with friends. Additionally, the Google Play Music app is available and the long-awaited MyGlass app for iOS is being rolled out. Continue reading Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

Twitter Planning to Launch a New Feature for Editing Tweets?

Media blogger and former Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys wrote this week that three sources inside Twitter have confirmed that the microblog is working to launch a new feature that would allow users to edit their tweets after they are already published. According to the company employees, the feature has been a priority at Twitter as it looks to expand partnerships with media organizations and original content producers. Continue reading Twitter Planning to Launch a New Feature for Editing Tweets?

Instagram and Twitter Enable Direct Messaging with Photos

Facebook-owned Instagram has launched Instagram Direct, a photo messaging tool that allows users to send videos and photos directly to individual friends, as opposed to its standard function of simply broadcasting images to all users’ friends’ feeds. It is similar to Snapchat in that it is a direct messaging function, but unlike Snapchat, the photos do not quickly disappear. Twitter, meanwhile, has also been updated to allow sharing photos in direct messages. Continue reading Instagram and Twitter Enable Direct Messaging with Photos

Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Twitter is testing a new timeline for its mobile app based on location, called “Nearby,” which shows users recent tweets that originated in the user’s vicinity. The Nearby feature has occasionally appeared on the smartphones of users who allow the service to use their location (users can also opt out of location sharing). Twitter has yet to comment on the feature, which some suggest could be attractive to advertisers, but says it experiments regularly to provide a better user experience. Continue reading Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Twitter’s Experimental Apps Focus on Fostering Conversation

Twitter has announced a plan to run experiments on some of its users. While there have been rumors of Twitter becoming more involved in messaging, it is probably more accurate to say that Twitter is interested in conversations. With Twitter’s experimental apps, conversation is moved to the forefront. Namely, the way you send and receive direct messages, monitor your friends’ behavior, and participate in public conversations are all a lot more obvious. Continue reading Twitter’s Experimental Apps Focus on Fostering Conversation

Upworthy.com Partners with Gates Foundation on Global Issues

News aggregator Upworthy is rapidly becoming a viral hit machine for progressive online content. Its staff searches for “stuff that matters,” composes multiple related headlines to test the waters, and selects the top performers, which it then promotes via social media. The simple model is reaping impressive results, surpassing 50 million unique visitors in October. Now the company is launching a global health and poverty section backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Continue reading Upworthy.com Partners with Gates Foundation on Global Issues

Rivalry Between Facebook and Newcomer Snapchat Heats Up

Snapchat users are sending approximately 400 million ‘snaps’ per day, whereas Facebook users are uploading about 350 million photos each day and Instagram users are uploading roughly 55 million photos daily. Snapchat’s 400 million snaps account for both video and photo messages, but it is likely that Snapchat surpasses Facebook on photo volume alone. While some question the validity of Snapchat’s numbers, the company reported 350 million snaps daily in September, up from 200 million in June. Continue reading Rivalry Between Facebook and Newcomer Snapchat Heats Up