Snapchat Releasing New Tools: Group Video Chats, Mentions

Snapchat is making moves to become more conversational, more “sticky,” and to keep users engaged for longer periods of time, according to Variety. The social sharing company announced a new chat feature that allows up to 16 users to video chat through its app, and added mentions to its Snapchat Stories, allowing users to easily tag others (much like they would via Twitter). The chat feature will roll out across the globe this week and will come with filters and the ability to join by audio only as desired. Users can also reply via text messages.

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Wall Street Responds to Backlash Over Snapchat’s Redesign

It remains to be seen if recent outcry over the new version of Snapchat will negatively affect Snap Inc.’s numbers in the long term. The company is in the middle of contending with backlash from its users, of whom 1.2 million signed a petition to revert the social media app to its former version. Snap Inc. launched the new version last month with the intention of expanding its business beyond the teen and young adult audience — its current core audience. While many are concerned, specific negative effects are not yet evident.

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Viacom Play Plex Offers Mobile TV Apps for its Major Brands

Viacom International is getting ready to debut Viacom Play Plex, a suite of apps for all its major brands, for iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets. Viacom Play Plex, which will be available in the company’s 180 international territories, will offer live and on-demand content from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Channel, Spike and BET. The suite of apps allows the company to make a significant move into the burgeoning mobile TV world. Viacom had previously launched a Nickelodeon app in 2013. Continue reading Viacom Play Plex Offers Mobile TV Apps for its Major Brands

Tectonic Shift: What You Should Know About the New Facebook

  • We’ve received a flood of interesting articles and posts about newly announced changes to Facebook that emerged from yesterday’s F8 developer’s conference. You can check out the submissions stream on ETCentric to access all the write-ups and opinions, but in the meanwhile, the following provides a a quick snapshot…
  • Timeline: Your entire Facebook life. It condenses information the further back in time you go, allows you to navigate specific years, and provides the option to feature, add or remove items. It is important to note however, this is not merely a new feature. It will completely replace current profiles, according to TheNextWeb.
  • Ticker: This is a status feed that updates your activities, but is separate from your status updates that appear in the Newsfeed. This feature is now especially important to keep an overwhelming amount of information from coming through the new Open Graph Apps. “The Ticker is Facebook’s assault on Twitter,” reports Gizmodo. “Facebook is hoping that the tiny aspects of your life that you currently share on Twitter, you’ll be more likely to share on Facebook. One site for all your social networking.”
  • Open Graph Apps: Includes a variety of apps such as Spotify and Hulu that automatically update your Ticker and Timeline based on the settings you create for each app. Friends see what video you’re watching, what music you’re listening to, what games you’re playing, and more. This feature is available now, while Timeline will take a few more weeks.
  • It is worth mentioning that since music, news, video and more will be shared with friends and family, it may also be shared with marketers. Open Graph will enable an ecosystem for developers. Your Facebook profile will become “the story of your life” which is written for you in real time as you curate your personal information and your use of apps. Similarly, you will learn more about your friends. And all this personal information will be used to serve you with micro-targeted ads. People will be given the option of privacy even though most will probably not alter the default settings.
  • Social Sharing: By essentially creating a discovery engine for all your apps, Facebook hopes to dramatically change how we interact and share media electronically (through what Mark Zuckerberg calls “serendipitous discovery”). The Gizmodo post features a video on social sharing that provides a great view of how the Open Graph app sharing works.
  • Prior to the F8 event, eMarketer published a report forecasting that Facebook would double its global revenue to $4.27 billion in 2011.