Mary Meeker: Internet Growth is Slowing, Video Remains King

Analyst and venture capitalist Mary Meeker has released her annual Internet Trends report, noting that nearly everything is now being optimized for mobile, online video continues its upward trajectory, global Internet user growth is finally showing signs of slowing (as is smartphone adoption), the on-demand economy is healthier than ever, and diversity increasingly matters to the tech industry. Interestingly, Meeker points out that video was responsible for 64 percent of Internet traffic and 55 percent of mobile traffic last year. Continue reading Mary Meeker: Internet Growth is Slowing, Video Remains King

Audi Teams with Amazon and DHL for Point of Trunk Delivery

Audi will soon begin testing a new service in Germany that will allow consumers to order Amazon goods and have them delivered to the trunk of their cars through DHL’s messenger service. For the service to work, messengers will need to track a customer’s vehicle via GPS and have access to the trunk using a temporary authorization pass. This new model offers a solution to a common issue that arises with most delivery services — attempting to make home deliveries when there is no one present. Continue reading Audi Teams with Amazon and DHL for Point of Trunk Delivery

WhatsApp Continues its Momentum, Now at 800 Million Users

Jan Koum, CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp, announced on Friday that the popular mobile messaging app now has 800 million monthly active users. Acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $22 billion, WhatsApp has the potential to reach one billion users this year. Since last August, the app has added 100 million active users about every four months. It now has more users than Facebook Messenger and competing apps. For many global users, the app has become an alternative to text messaging, and it recently added a feature for taking calls. Continue reading WhatsApp Continues its Momentum, Now at 800 Million Users

Facebook Wants Developers to Integrate Apps with Messenger

At this week’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco, Facebook announced that it is opening up its Messenger app with a platform for creating apps. This will allow developers to build apps that can integrate with the social network’s instant-messaging service, which presently touts 600 million users. Nearly 50 integrated apps have been created under the program, including those from Bad Robot, ESPN and The Weather Channel. The service also supports 360-degree video with Facebook’s Oculus VR format. Continue reading Facebook Wants Developers to Integrate Apps with Messenger

Facebook Unveils Peer-to-Peer Payments on Messenger App

Facebook is adding a new feature that allows its users to send each other money through Facebook messages. Users link their debit cards in order to send their friends money. Unlike PayPal or Venmo, users do not have to “cash out” the funds. The payments transfer directly between debit cards. The new service, which is free to Facebook Messenger users, will roll out in the U.S. in the next few months. It will show up in the Messenger app as a dollar sign, next to the icons for text, photos and thumbs up. Continue reading Facebook Unveils Peer-to-Peer Payments on Messenger App

Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Facebook is launching a new service designed to be appropriate for the workplace called Facebook at Work. The service is almost identical to the regular social network, except for a white color scheme that replaces the iconic blue layout. The difference in colors is to help employer’s distinguish when someone is using a work account as opposed to a personal one. Facebook at Work will allow users to connect with colleagues to become more efficient around the office. Continue reading Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Survey Shows Teens Continuing to Lose Interest in Facebook

A new report from Frank N. Magid Associates indicates that Facebook’s popularity with teenagers is continuing its decline. According to the study, Facebook usage by 13- to 17-year-old Americans engaged in social media dropped from 95 percent in 2012 to 94 percent in 2013, and 88 percent this year. During the same time frame, Twitter and various messaging apps experienced an increase in popularity with teenagers. In addition, only 9 percent of respondents described Facebook as “safe” or “trustworthy.” Continue reading Survey Shows Teens Continuing to Lose Interest in Facebook

Tumblr Takes Lead as World’s Fastest Growing Social Platform

While Facebook is by far the world’s leading social platform (with 1.35 billion active monthly users), new research from the Global Web Index points to Tumblr as the fastest growing platform. Tumblr’s active user base grew 120 percent over the last six months, while Facebook only experienced a 2 percent bump. And in terms of overall member growth, Pinterest had 57 percent growth, compared to Facebook’s base growth of 6 percent. In mobile apps, Snapchat saw the most growth, up 56 percent this year. Continue reading Tumblr Takes Lead as World’s Fastest Growing Social Platform

Facebook Messenger Growing Rapidly with 500 Million Users

Just three months after Facebook cut off the messaging capabilities from its mobile app, the company’s standalone messaging app, Facebook Messenger, now has 500 million monthly active users. That’s a 150 percent increase over last year. Much of the success is thanks to David Marcus, the former CEO of PayPal that took over the Messenger operation. In the future, Marcus and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plan to integrate payments and possibly advertising into the Messenger app. Continue reading Facebook Messenger Growing Rapidly with 500 Million Users

Facebook May Introduce Payments Through its Messenger App

Facebook is reportedly ready to allow money transactions between friends on Messenger, according to hacked screenshots and video from Cycript. The feature will allow users to send money using a debit card, similar to how one would send a picture. In order to enhance security, an in-app pincode has been added. The reasoning behind former PayPal President David Marcus’ move to head of Messenger is now clear. The app could compete with Venmo, PayPal, and Square Cash. Continue reading Facebook May Introduce Payments Through its Messenger App

Netflix Users Control What Shows They Share with Privacy Tool

Netflix’s new privacy feature will now allow users to select which shows they want to share with Facebook friends. In the past, people who decided to link their Netflix and Facebook accounts shared their viewed titles to all of their Facebook friends. Now, each user can recommend a TV show or movie to just one or more friends. With this update, Netflix users now have the ability to be more selective about which programs they recommend to others, and which programs they hide. Continue reading Netflix Users Control What Shows They Share with Privacy Tool

New First: Majority of Digital Media Accessed on Mobile Apps

According to a new study by comScore, U.S. consumers are now spending 52 percent of their time with digital media via mobile apps. Marking a significant shift, we are now spending more time on mobile apps than we are on desktop PCs and mobile Web surfing. The report indicates that mobile usage as a whole now accounts for 60 percent of our time with digital media, while desktop-based consumption accounts for 40 percent. Additionally, one-third of U.S. users download at least one app per month. Continue reading New First: Majority of Digital Media Accessed on Mobile Apps

Facebook Hires WaveGroup Sound as In-House Design Team

Facebook has hired the team behind WaveGroup Sound, a California-based company that specializes in audio production for games. The company has produced tracks for “Guitar Hero,” “Rock Band” and “Dance Dance Revolution,” and has also produced sound for a variety of startups, hardware devices and mobile apps. The WaveGroup team will serve as the full-time in-house sound design team for Facebook. The group is expected to focus on sound for Facebook’s external apps. Continue reading Facebook Hires WaveGroup Sound as In-House Design Team

Facebook Acquires Fitness App, Could Develop Wearable Tech

Facebook recently purchased ProtoGeo Oy, the maker of a fitness-tracking smartphone app called Moves. The app, which already has been downloaded more than 4 four million times on iPhone and Android, uses data from the phone’s accelerometer to automatically record the user’s walking, cycling, and running activity, and displays statistics on distance and calories burned. The acquisition could be Facebook’s first step into eventually developing wearable smartwatches. Continue reading Facebook Acquires Fitness App, Could Develop Wearable Tech

Facebook Splitting Instant Messaging Feature to Separate App

Facebook is beginning to split some of its features into separate apps, starting with extracting instant messaging from its mobile app. If users want to chat with each other through Facebook, they will have to download Facebook’s separate Messenger app. Facebook recently notified users of the change, and will be rolling it out over the next few weeks. This signals a change for the social giant, and critics suggest this sacrifice in user engagement could make Facebook lose users. Continue reading Facebook Splitting Instant Messaging Feature to Separate App

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