June 2016

Fast Company
Facebook are always changing things around and now they want to change how people view other sites and articles through them. A small change of how the like button is viewed is one thing but also giving users the chance to share things easier through Chrome is another.

The like button is present on more than just Facebook these days. Other sites feature like and share buttons on their articles but they've never actually had the famous thumbs up symbol featured on them as on the app. At first, this was because Facebook wanted people to know that the button was sharing to Facebook. However, people know that the thumbs up button is the symbol for a like. Facebook have redesigned their buttons for liking and sharing on other sites making them flatter and a little neater. The like button now simply contains the famous thumbs up, the word like and the share count. Around 30% of users supposedly recognised the button even when it was a small button and the new design has a 6% engagement increase.

As well as this new design of the buttons, instant articles will now also have the like, share and comment posts on the bottom of the articles. This means that even if you've clicked through to another site, you'll still be able to react to it on Facebook. The other change is that if an article or a site has a Facebook comments plugin, then you'll be able to see the comments on Facebook as well as the instant article and on the original site. This is the first time that the comments have been mirrored everywhere so it means readers will always be able to see what everyone said and form an opinion from that as well as the article.

When it comes to the buttons developers can edit them to make them fit their page better. If they don't want the Facebook buttons to stand out too much they can reduce the size, or enlarge them to encourage people to share their pages. By encouraging people to share more, Facebook is hoping to get more traffic and that is always good news.


Pinterest
For a lot of people, Pinterest is essentially a social media service to collect ideas. Some people may use it to collect images for their dream wedding whilst others might use it to find images that inspire a story. No matter what you use it for, Pinterest is essentially an online mood board. For a while now though you've been able to buy some of the products you've seen securely through Pinterest themselves. This was great, but it wasn't always easy to find the things you wanted to buy that were actually purchasable. Now Pinterest has made a few updates that will make the whole process easier.

The first of the updates is an improved visual search. If you take a photo of a room or a particular object, Pinterest will scan the image and find similar products on the site. Not all of these will be purchasable, but it can help you find something similar to what you like. If the photo contains more than a single item, then a dot will appear over the item in the photo and you can tap on that to see things like that individual item. The search will appear at the bottom of the screen and there will be tags of different types of that item i.e pillows, pillow covers and the pattern that shows on the actual pillow itself. If you just have the idea of a theme, then this could also be very useful. As well as the improved visual search, Pinterest is also allowing brands to create pages so if you know you like a brand on there, you can access their page and go through all their products to see if there's anything you want to buy.

Tech Crunch

Pinterest isn't just making it easier to search but is also making it easier to shop. They're now going to include a shopping cart. This means that if you like an object, but aren't sure you want to buy it then and there, you can add it to your cart. You can then pay later or remove it if you decide you don't actually want to buy it. You can also now buy things using the web as well as the apps or add something to your cart on one device but pay for it on another, which is good news for everyone.

This growing commerce sector of Pinterest is probably going to be their main selling point that keeps them online and these new updates have been rolled out now.

Tech Crunch
Twitter is really pushing their services towards business and influencers right now. They seem to have realised what use they can be to these groups of people and are offering apps and other things to help out. Last week we talked about Twitter Engage, the new app that could help celebrities or just semi-popular users on Twitter handle their analytics. Now Twitter is introducing Twitter Dashboard, a new app that allows companies to keep an eye on all aspects of their business on Twitter.

I can honestly say that the Twitter Dashboard looks pretty useful. There are a few different aspects to it, but one of those is a personalised feed for the business that allows them to see what users are saying about them. This does include the usual @ mentions, but it also picks up on general mentions of the company and products through hashtags and keywords. This is practical because it means you know what people are saying, even if they don't contact you. Some people just want to complain about a product, but not to the business that made it or provides their service. This feed means that you'll see those posts anyway and you can get a general view of how people see you and what you provide.

As well as this, the Dashboard website allows you to schedule queued posts and on the iOS app you can edit them throughout the day if something needs to be changed. This means that the app and the website can connect in different ways which can make the product useful if you're not good on your phone, but you are on the computer, and vice versa. As well as helping you arrange these posts, Dashboard can suggest the types of things you should post that will work. They might suggest you re-tweet something from a bigger business or suggest you mention something about one of your staff members that were celebrated elsewhere. It isn't going to write your tweets for you, but if you're stuck or don't have much to say that day, this might help. Dashboard also allows users to use the Twitter analytics within the app, but that was obviously going to happen here.

This app does work as a Twitter client so businesses can focus their Twitter activity through it rather than the main app. This might mean you can have more than one Twitter account signed in on your phone, but that's not certain. Twitter Dashboard has launched in beta in the US from now and is available here online or on iOS.

Do you spend hours spamming Kappa in Twitch chat? Does watching a clutch play make you bobrossHappy? Maybe you enjoy spectating, but Twitch isn't your scene; not when polished YouTube Gaming has a chat that's less cancerous, an interface that's more comfortable, and content that's more varied (independent streamers and branded/big name content available on-demand). Regardless of choice, both options require viewers to consume large quantities of content. 

Watching live streams in real-time is thoroughly time-consuming. There's no fast-forward, and you wouldn't want it anyway since doing so would skip past epic moments. Thankfully, past broadcasts and highlights are available on most streamers' channels or they've uploaded something similar to YouTube. With a new clip-capture feature released in May, Twitch watchers can record unforgettable moments from streams with a few clicks. Pressing the clip button will capture roughly the last 25 seconds of footage, and, through repeated clicking, the 30-second window can be stacked to record further back in the stream. The clip, credited with your Twitch ID, will then open in a window complete with shareable links which allow interested parties to join you live in-stream or pick up watching the recorded broadcast starting with your clip. However, once the window the clip is captured in is closed, the clip disappears into internet oblivion, unless you've downloaded it.

It's worth patting Twitch on the back for this advancement. Condensation is what streams need, especially for those who can't be bothered to dedicate hours to watching gameplay. With YouTube grabbing 4 million video views per day with an average video length of 4 minutes and 20 seconds, the online society has grown accustomed to bite-sized viewing experiences. Once play is pushed, attention span wavers within the first 30 seconds depending on the content (I'm going off of personal experience, although there's plenty of corroborating evidence for a decrease in attention span in recent years: 1,2).


leetapp.co
Leet is the new kid on the block, and it wants to compact game spectating into the best user-generated moments. With a name derived from the original hacker language (see Read Me below), Leet is well on its way to becoming an elite video-sharing program. Just what the gaming community needs, an app where everyday individuals can share clutch moments on the Leet community or on the social platform of their choice. Rather than depend on video capture programs, if you're using on a free one it can get tricky to navigate, Leet has a simple interface where you can easily watch user clips, search for your favourite flavour (game), or follow memorable players. 

itunes.apple.com
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Step one is to register for a Leet account. Next up is to link your YouTube and Xbox accounts (Twitch is in the works). Once fully connected, add your clip and revel in the convenient sharing method that is Leet. The only editing feature available at the moment is to alter the length of the clip.


itunes.apple.com
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Toronto-based Leet currently operates off of a four-person team, including co-founders Corey Pollack and Mohammad Hashi. Both founders are invested in other pursuits; Pollack is the Product Manager at Tiny Hearts studio, a digital production company creating apps, games, and bots, and Hashi is the Product Designer at Wattpad, a social writing/reading community.

A quick perusal of the app invokes vague, nostalgic vibes. According to Pollack, the app takes "cues from well-recognized apps like Instagram and Vine, to provide users with a comfortable experience." Like Vine, clips auto-play once you've stopped scrolling and loop once done.

This isn't the first time something like this has been done. Gamers have filled the gap in the market with free and premium video capture programs and communities, like Twitch, that enable shared experiences over recorded gameplay. Why is Leet different? Accessibility. Learning to use video capture programs might be a breeze when the proper brainpower is applied, but downloading an app requires no brainpower. Using a familiar-seeming interface modeled after popular apps of the day is simple and fun. Leet will win over hearts with its easy-to-use interface. Additionally, though there is usually a social aspect integrated into gaming communities by default, Leet's social aspect behaves similarly to Instagram, through likes and comments.

A dialogue has been opened, not between the elite of Twitch and lowly plebs, but from pleb to pleb. Leet users can comment on other people's clips, prompt a chorus of praise for a nasty win or really interact with like-minded people. Sounds like ggwp to me.


READ ME: For those unfamiliar with leetspeak, all you need to know is that it originated from 1980's hackers who were considered elite, hence leet. That factoid alone should be enough to shed some light on why the gaming community has readily adopted it. It's a symbolic language where numbers, special characters, and plain old letters are combined to recreate words.

The Verge
We've all seen one of Facebook's Year in Review videos and we know how they're made. Pictures you shared or were tagged in will be pulled together to make a video of you and your friends. This can be nice once a year if not a little annoying, but with the Moments app came the chance to make these slideshows regularly. Now Facebook has brought the feature to the main app.

This new feature is actually called Slideshow and it's Facebook's most recent attempt to encourage users to make and share more videos. To start with Facebook will automatically make a slideshow if you share five pictures or videos within the last 24 hours. These can appear in your newsfeed and if you want to try to make one yourself you can click try it. When you make your own you can customise the video's theme and music, but the video will likely remain a short clip. These could be a great way to memorise an event, but they could also become very annoying, very quickly.

Facebook want to be big when it comes to video and this Slideshow feature is a Facebook-only feature, but that doesn't make it more tempting. The slideshows can be great fun at first, but after you've seen a few, they aren't anything special. This means that users probably won't want to make too many of them unless they're really into slideshows themselves. If you like them and a friend do too then you can use this feature a lot, but if you're not sure about how someone feels about them, maybe don't tag them or include them in your video.

It's hard to say how much of a video feature this actually is. Technically these slideshows are considered videos, but they aren't anything close to what someone might share on Facebook Live, for example. They do fit in with what works best on Facebook however, as they can be silly and they are different from videos you see on YouTube or elsewhere. This probably isn't a feature that Facebook will focus on much though as they still have a lot to do on Facebook Live.

This feature is currently only available on iOS and will become available this week.

Tech Crunch
Let's face it, for many of us, the only point in using Facebook is being able to plan and talk about events. It was one of Facebook's smartest features, but aside from their ride-share plans, Facebook doesn't tend to do very much to them. But now Facebook want to offer events to people who may not have something to do that weekend, who want to discover something new or just to people who might decide last minute to attend as it pops up.

These suggested events can be found in the events section of the app. Above your current events, you'll see a little carousel of featured events as well as options for curated events focusing on the weekend, food and other similar event topics. Within these sections, there will be a list of carefully curated events that can host a lot of people in your area. These events will not be religious or political so you won't have to worry about any controversy. The events are picked by members of staff, but they're supposed to find a wide range of events that can appeal to everyone as well as be carefully accessed. These could pop up weeks in advance, but this is so you have plenty of time to plan. If you'd like to get an event featured then you're just going to have to come up with a really good event as buying an advert for it will not make your event priority.

As well as this there will be new features for regular event users. If you organise a lot of events yourself, then there's a new tab which will allow you to see who regularly doesn't respond to your invites. This is great because no one wants to spam their friends and acquaintances with invites if they just don't want to come as then that person isn't going to want to interact with you. Once you know exactly who these people are you can stop spamming them unless you know you're organising something that they'll like. Regular users of the new events system will also get a bonus as times go on. Once an event pops up that they'll be interested in, they'll receive a notification within plenty of time so they can check things out and organise things with friends if they want to go. That in itself could actually be pretty useful, but only if the suggested algorithm works well.

Facebook would like users to know that at the moment there isn't likely to be a specialised events app. It takes a lot of work to create an app and even this new feature is only being tested in a few US cities on iOS for the moment. Those cities are; Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. If this feature works well over the coming months, then it will be rolled out to more cities, but if you live in a village then this probably isn't going to be popping up on your phone anytime soon.

Stylus
We'd all love to somehow run into our favourite celebrity and discover that they'd like to go on a date with us. It's not impossible to wind up on a date with a celebrity if you know the right people or live near them, but you're not so likely to run into them on Tinder. Some people would like to think so though so when they swipe right on a familiar face, they're disappointed to see that they're taken to a promo instead.

Their confusion is understandable to be honest. Though it seems very unlikely that these celebrities would actually be on Tinder, adverts are marked in the same way that verified accounts are. Tinder puts verification marks on official celebrity accounts to stop people from pretending to be this person. It works on the idea that not many people who are famous will use the service so unless you see that blue mark, you know the account is fake. So when they decided to mark promotions with the same symbol, it's no surprise that it has led to some annoyance and confusion.

This celebrity profile actually being an advert has been going on for around about two years. It started when Tinder created a user card for Mindy Lahiri, the comedienne Mindy Kaling's character from her show The Mindy Project. Since then there have been multiple cards created for characters that have been introduced to advertise various media. Most of the time it does just take you to a video or something similar, but for the film Ex Machina they acted as if the character was a real person. Eventually the advertisement said she was from the film, but until then it was basically a conversation with someone that these users couldn't hook up or have a relationship with which is kind of spammy.

Tinder are trying to make the adverts more obvious by having promotional messages immediately after the user has swiped right. This is all Tinder are willing to do to change things though. Advertisements are the way they make most of their money so they won't apologise for encouraging users to interact with them.

Eldraw
A little while back the EU announced their new code of conduct, which would force social networks to delete any content that contained hate speech within 24 hours of it being posted. Before this, way back in December, Barack Obama also asked various social networks to monitor hate speech and extremist content as well. Now Facebook and YouTube are playing their part and are finding and deleting extremist videos.

The services are tracking down these videos by using automation. This technology was originally developed to track down videos that broke copyright laws. Most of us will realise that this may help YouTube and Facebook find a good chunk of the content, but not all of it. Anyone who is posting extremist content that's internet savvy will probably know how to label and tag content so it gets found by the people who want to view it, but so it doesn't get deleted automatically. This technology uses unique hashes and digital fingerprints to look at who is uploading the video, what the content actually is and so on, but this can only take them so far.

The main issue with this method is that it'll only be able to track older videos down, where the content does things in an established way that they can track. If someone tries something new, then that won't be tracked as easily. So this isn't going to stop people posting extremist content by a long shot, but it could help control it at least a little. The only question is how long this will actually help them control it. It would be nice to think that this could work well and that they'll eventually put the technology towards tackling other hate speech as well, but we're going to have to see how long they can actually have any control over this for before the companies start thinking about that.

Both companies have already started using automation to handle this so we'll see within the next few months the effect it has. It's a good thing that both Facebook and YouTube are trying to do something about this, but it can be very difficult to control what people post as people will always find their way around the limitations, unfortunately.

We know, Instagram. You want to stay relevant and continue to top the social media pyramid for millennials versus, say, Snapchat. With this latest development, they've stepped up their game.

Through the Explore section of the app, a new "picked for you" section will show video content tailored to individual interests. These recommended video collections will cover a single topic, ranging from general to specialist hobbies, rather than a mish-mosh of content which, while stimulating, is mostly random. Specific collections, or channels, will now be a mainstay in the Explore section.


theverge.com

Not a new feature, video channels were added in April, but have since received an update to streamline viewer experience. With it, Instagram added "videos you might like" which has now been upgraded to a "picked for you" feed. At the moment, there are 23 categories to view with more on the way. Algorithmically-generated, these channels cover anything from comedians to special effects makeup, and are unique to each user. Apparently, since the addition of video content, the time spent watching video has increased by 150 percent in the past six months.

Video channels will appear embedded on the Explore page alongside thumbnails of still photos. Upon selecting one of these channels, a collection of videos plays one after the other without prompting from the viewer. This guarantees views without requiring users to actively participate making for a television-like experience, curated by Instagram.

For now, the update will remain in America, though Instagram 7.20 will eventually grace the world with its presence. Thanks to the update, users can expect to see relevant topics of interest more prevalent in video on the Explore section.

The Verge
YouTube is probably the best platform to live stream on. It's not a specialist live streaming service like Periscope, but it's an accomplished video service with a lot of famous users who make a name for themselves through video. At the moment only a few of these YouTube celebrities have access to these features, but they've announced that they're opening this feature up to everyone.

Live streaming is definitely something that YouTube want to break further into. When you stream on there the video is saved on your channel for people to watch, which is practical. It's also the best service to stream on as you can share videos both pre-recorded and streamed to get the biggest following. However, streaming on there so far has been difficult, but YouTube has announced that users will soon be able to stream from their phones. This will open it up to more people who may not have streamed before as they didn't think any of their Twitter or Facebook followers would care. YouTube's live streams will look a lot like Periscope's with the layout, but this is so users find the streams easily accessible. YouTube have pointed out that their service will still be preferable as users can search for streams as they do pre-recorded videos.

The timing of this announcement is rather amusing, though. Yesterday YouTube's competitor Periscope had a moment of fame when it was used to stream the sit in the House of Representatives. This was something they couldn't show using TV cameras so streaming was the best way for them to get their message to the world. As well as this Tumblr now allows live streaming through YouTube so this makes it more practical to do this too. YouTube needs to widen their live streaming or they'll fall behind the others and as the most well-known video service that would not be good.

YouTube haven't announced a date for when this feature will be released, but they have said that it will be available for general users soon. It seems likely that it will either be released to Android devices first or will get a release across all mobile devices immediately.

Facebook Live hasn't been about long, but Facebook is already working hard to make improvements. The latest update allows users to finally see why Facebook bought MSQRD among other things. These updates turn Facebook Live into a more serious video service.


Buzzfeed
The main update being rolled out to verified pages is the ability to invite guests to your live streams. Yes, this means that you can have multiple people streaming from different locations. This could be great for interviews, something that Facebook could use more of if they want their video service to be taken seriously. Facebook are saying that this could be more fun as it adds more variety to what people can actually do on Live. People will find plenty of things to do using it that maybe Facebook hasn't thought about like performances and things, but that probably won't be figured out until this feature has been around for a little while.

Other new features include the MSQRD feature I mentioned earlier. Essentially Facebook is taking MSQRD's filter technology and allowing their users to use the filters during live streams. This seems kind of obvious when you think about how Mark Zuckerberg announced he'd brought MSQRD as he did it in a video using an Iron Man filter. This is actually the sort of thing Facebook Live users like. It's fun and it means they can come up with something as crazy as the Chewbacca mask that went down so well on it.

As well as this, you can now schedule live video on Facebook. This means that you'll let your friends and followers know that you will be streaming a video and they can click on it and wait in a waiting area. This means you won't miss the start of anyone's video as you've been distracted by something else. Of course, this only works if you know you'll be able to stream then. There's no point in warning people a few minutes before as the waiting room will essentially serve no purpose.

These features won't be introduced until later this summer, though. These features will probably be slow to roll out, but they could all be useful in their own way.

The Verge
Social networking is a global phenomenon and because of this there are billions of people out there typing in many different languages. If you have a lot of foreign friends, this might end up leading to confusion when they type something in their own language. Instagram are making a change that should make this less of a problem and allow more users to interact internationally.

The feature will automatically translate user profile information and comments into the user's chosen language. The actual comments will remain in their original language, but there will now be a see translation button beneath it. If you tap that button, then you'll see what Instagram thinks the person said. The quality of the translation is something we don't actually know right now. It could be like Google Translate and be kind of questionable or it could be improved and actually be worth using. For the moment this translation will only work on new comments in the majority of languages. Instagram have warned that it might not appear on some older posts and they have also said it'll only work for languages that they currently support. We can assume by this, they mean only languages that they offer as option for users currently.

Instagram are a little behind Twitter and Facebook who have offered automatic translation for a while. This sort of thing is necessary now as you don't know who you'll need to contact or what languages they'll be able to read. It could just be that they don't understand one or two words and just need the translation to make sense out of what they read. With Instagram it's maybe not as necessary as it is a photo sharing website. People don't need to be able to read English to be able to see what's going on in an American's picture. However, it will be nice for celebrities and insta-famous users to know what people who speak another language are saying about their pictures.

This feature will become available in July on the official app for mobile devices.

BuzzFeed
When Twitter first introduced video it was only 30 seconds long. Video wasn't the most important thing, but as things change Twitter are trying to push video more. This change in video isn't just on Twitter though but also Vine. So now video on Twitter is 140 seconds long and it's looking as if Vine will be beta testing 140 seconds video as well.

The reason for this increase is so that people will spend more time on Twitter. Most people who want to watch video go on YouTube. They might be willing to watch live streams on Twitter through Periscope, but there aren't many unrelated videos of interest on Twitter. However, will many people be willing to sit around and watch videos of a little over a minute long? It doesn't seem that likely. Twitter are trying their best though and are offering a new video player to watch these longer videos in. This player will take up the whole screen and under the video, there will be recommendations of other videos you might like. If you want to waste a little time, then it might be a good way to do so but only if people start posting more video.

As well as this, Twitter are releasing a new app called Twitter Engage. This app is an engagement app so it's only useful for users with a large following, but unlike a lot of other similar social media engagement services, anyone can install and use this. Basically, this app will have better analytics so you can see how well certain tweets do, where people come from and other related features. It'll be good if you're trying to make a name for yourself on Twitter and could be useful for businesses who are just starting out and don't want to be focused on business software yet.

We don't have any idea about when Twitter will be releasing this or testing the longer Vines, but it should be soon. You do have to wonder if Vine will still be as popular if the looping videos are over one minute long as what makes them work is that they're only six seconds long. What they are doing right on Vine, however, is that they're now giving users the chance to monetise these short videos, which is something Viners have been hoping to be able to do for a while now.

Twitter might be doing the right thing with video on the original platform to encourage more users to get back on there, but it doesn't seem likely that Twitter will become a popular service for video anytime soon.

Tech Crunch
Live video really is the thing to do right now so now Tumblr have decided to jump on the bandwagon and are releasing their own live video feature. On Tuesday 21st live video was launched at 4PM EST with various different streams to welcome users to Tumblr's live streams.

The first thing that has to be said is why is Tumblr doing this? If they want to focus on video, then maybe they should improve the video upload system they already have. Every update Tumblr makes, users want to know why they aren't improving the video feature. It might be better than it used to be, but it can still be really awkward to use. Fortunately for Tumblr, they have found a way around this. Though this is being considered Tumblr's live video, they aren't actually hosting any of the streams. Users can use YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose to record and share their streams. All of these can be streamed from both iOS and Android, apart from YouTube which will remain Android-only for a little while. Once ended these streams will remain on the hosting blog as a video they can watch back.

As well as these community planned events, Tumblr will also be allowing users to live stream. These streams will be available to watch off-site, on the dash and on user's blogs like any normal video. This also means that these live streams can be reblogged which could garner them more attention. If someone you follow starts a stream, then you'll get a notification and the video will be pinned to the top of your dashboard. Admittedly, this could wind up being a little annoying ,but at least they've tried integrating the video into their usual post style. You do have to wonder who exactly is going to be live streaming though. This could be useful for question and answer sessions or for providing advice or even just talking about something, but users are used to seeing these as text posts. Tumblr users don't expect to see or share many videos and a lot of users are the type of people who won't want to stream themselves. It's still something I and others will test out, but it's hard to say how it'll actually work on there.

We don't know how this is going to work or whether it will beat the odds and succeed. If it does, then Tumblr will be competing against Facebook Live and Periscope, both of whom are giants in the field. Tumblr's live streaming will probably work in the same way as Facebook's, as in the videos that do well won't be serious. Tumblr as a service isn't taken very seriously in general though so if this works, this could be something the service really needs.

With the migrant crisis going on right now and no country knowing what they're doing about letting people in, refugees are having to take getting out of their home countries into their own hands. They're taking to getting across the sea by themselves and because of this Grey For Good's I Sea app was supposed to help them by allowing people across the globe to search the Mediterranean Sea for them, to find refugee ships or dangers that they might want to avoid.


Buzzfeed
The moment I saw about this app I grimaced. I wanted it to be real and I wanted it to be helpful, but realistically, you know it's likely to be a scam. What can we actually do to help these refugees travel across the sea in real-time? Nothing, unless we're actually going to get out there and organise something. People want to be able to help, but this app looks like it might have been a scam and if it wasn't one, then it obviously wasn't finished. When you opened the map you were supposed to be able to see the current weather and different areas of a map so they could flag things up to help the refugees. Unfortunately whenever anyone uses the app, the same piece of map pops up for everyone and that map is an outdated one uploaded on Google Maps. The weather on the other hand is up to date, but it's the weather from a station in Libya. This means that anyone who installed the app couldn't actually do anything to help which made it kind of pointless.

The app got a lot of good press from Wired, Reuters and other media outlets, who offered only positive reviews about the app, but it seems likely that they lauded the idea more than the technology itself. The app was also apparently launched in conjunction with the charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station, which is something they claim isn't true. They were approached about the app, but they declined to work with Grey For Good at that time. After users started to prove it was a scam, MOAS asked for their name to be removed from the app as they didn't want to be associated with it.

I Sea has since been removed from the app store as it is non-functional and misleading. The app is still a great idea and whatever we can do to help the refugees we should. However, this sort of thing isn't likely to ever work that well so Grey For Good might have to go back to the drawing board.

An ever-changing, evolving medium of expression, art (at times indefinable and completely subject to differing interpretations of its merit) has come a long way from the first recorded examples of Greek sculpture and painting. Of course, art has been around since long before people started paying attention; arguably, ever since man came into being, tacking up prehistoric drawings and carvings on cave walls. Traipse through the prominent styles of each era and the immense difference in technique, trends, and traits are stark.



Take impressionism, a 19th century movement meant to show what an object, person, or scene would look like if the artist worked from a mere glimpse of it. Artists of this era (Monet, Manet, Renoir, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Degas), worked outdoors to allow the play of light and colour, unique to that day, to have a real influence on their work. Paintings that once depended on broad strokes and gradual colouring were replaced by truly unique artistic perceptions, "without detail but with bold colors."


nybg.org
A total removal from the current obsession with pop art and minimalism, it's hard to imagine something like impressionism finding a place in the modern world. Luckily, thanks to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), the 21st century can revel in the past from the comfort of phones or computers. Bringing the 20th century into the future, Impressify is a microsite that the NYBG has set up to create interest in their newest exhibition: Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas.

Simply upload the desired picture to the Impressify site and four options for editing appear, including choosing the overall hue, brush length, brush width, and saturation. These editing options work as sliders, apart from choosing the hue, and can be continually adjusted to render a one-of-a-kind impressionist 'painting.'


The program was created by Madwell, a Brooklyn-based ad agency, and allows users to finish their personal impressionist piece as an animated GIF (above) or a picture (below). 
Take a look at these manipulated images, courtesy of #GARDENSONCANVAS






Never heard of a microsite? Trim away attention-grabbing ads and unnecessary links cluttering sidebars and you have a microsite, comprised of a single or condensed group of pages that are meant to convey information without any fluff. These sites specialize in a specific product, event, promotion or campaign and have a very pointed purpose. A microsite can be used to impact SEO for a main webpage, offer information about new technology, allow visitors to interact with a newly-created program/tool, or expand on complicated information without cluttering an otherwise clean site.

Tech Insider
There are many different ways to work out whether you're compatible with someone or not and one of those things is to compare your music tastes. Bumble seem to have realised that and have partnered with Spotify so that their users can share their music tastes.

Spotify is a pretty big service that a lot of people use to stream music regularly, but it's not one you expect to use to meet people. Bumble, on the other hand, is a dating app, one aimed at putting the woman first, which is supposed to make it less of a hookup app. This new attempt at matching people should actually help reinforce that. When a user now links their account with Spotify, other users will be able to see the top artists they listen to on their profile. From this someone might decide that you're the perfect person to go to gigs with and are therefore a great match or they might decide that actually, you won't have very much in common. These artists can also work as a great conversation starter as you can always ask for their opinions on that artist. The most interesting thing that this partnership is providing though is that Bumble will suggest the users with similar musical tastes to you first.

This partnership has been on the cards pretty much since Bumble was founded. The CEO of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe has said that music can tell you a lot about someone as it either reinforces your opinion about someone or changes it. It took over a year of discussion before Bumble and Spotify settled on a deal and at first that was going to be a list of your favourite songs on your profile, but that didn't seem quite right to Wolfe. They changed it to favourite artists as they consider that a more overarching idea. After all, someone can adore a single song by an artist but hate the rest of their music.

Bumble are going to looking into more partnerships after this. Now that they've added in another way to see how compatible you are with someone they want to improve the dating experience as well. They're looking into partnerships with ride-sharing services and local restaurants so soon you might be able to rely on Bumble for almost everything when it comes to meeting someone new.

Metro
There have been a lot of things on the news about how making fake accounts can get you in a lot of legal trouble, but a lot of that has been focused on Facebook. When it comes to Tinder, you would have thought that it was obvious that these things could also get you in trouble on there. Referee Connor Mayes apparently didn't think that through when he made fake Facebook and Tinder accounts using the pictures and information of female referees that he had worked with.

Mayes was using these accounts not to meet anyone himself but to cause trouble for his female coworkers. He would flirt and say things to these men that would encourage the men to come and see the women at matches. At these matches, they would harass and upset these women. This is disgusting and the fact three women have been dealing with this for three years is worrying. It's taken a long time for something to happen about this, but he's been banned from football for three years. Mayes was actually cautioned back in December so it's taken six months for this thing to actually be finished with and even then it's only been dealt with by the FA.

The three women are incredibly hurt by this and their reputations have possibly been tarnished over something they didn't even do. Mayes hasn't even stated a reason for doing this or for targeting these women so he could possibly continue to do what he was doing with different women. It's not something that can really be controlled and that's what makes it so terrifying. You can find out easily if someone's made a fake Facebook account of you, which is the first step, but you can't so easily find out if they've put you on Tinder. You might think it doesn't sound like something anyone would do but some people really are that cruel.

Thankfully these women should now be safe and they will be more aware of this sort of thing happening, but they will need help to deal with this. For everyone else this should just be proof that the people you're talking to on Tinder might not be who they say they are. The majority of them will be, but maybe don't go meeting with someone or tracking them down until you can confirm it really is them otherwise it could be horrible for you and them.



Remember the days when every advert for makeup, aftershave, cars, mobile phones and just about every other designer item was fronted by either a celebrity, a model, or a celebrity model? It's still at least somewhat the case, whether it's Matthew McConaughy soberly droning about why Lincolns are great or Gisele Bundchen somehow making eyes at Michiel Huismen even though she's on a surfboard and he's in a house, because Chanel No. 5.

It's a lot less common now though, and in fact, far less money and effort is expended on that kind of glitzy TV advertising, simply because that's not how consumerism works anymore. Models are still on the front line of the fashion industry, but outside of it, the focus is shifting away from celebrities, and apparently towards YouTubers and other social media influencers.

New research by Takumi has revealed that 38.3% of marketing and PR experts surveyed work with social media figureheads on their brand campaigns, spending an average of £42,000 per year to commission them. Models and film stars placed far lower on the spokesperson priority list, behind musicians, athletes, bloggers and even scientists.

YouTube was recognised to be the preferred platform for this kind of branded content, which should come as no surprise, given the format of it. People like Zoella and PewDiePie are highly sought after for this kind of thing, their followers trust them, and will likely consider purchasing anything they throw their weight behind.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Twitter came in at number 2, with 51.8% of the 500 surveyed saying that they had worked with influencers on there. Promoting branded content on Twitter is an accepted strategy, but you would think that Instagram would place higher, rather than trailing behind with only 40%.

Sky News
It was only earlier this month that dozens of people were arrested over leaked exams in Algeria after they'd been posted on Facebook and other social media sites. Students were then looking at these exams and failing because of it. Now thousands of high school students are having to resit their exams next Saturday and social media has been temporarily banned in preparation.

Social media being used to assist cheaters is hardly a surprise. Even on a smaller scale it makes everything easier as you're not going to possibly be holding the sheets of paper with the answers on around school where you might be caught with it. Online means you can just check it at home and that it's easier to sneak a peek before exams in school, provided you don't get caught with your phone. This could be a problem in theory, but in reality, it's not something you hear of very much. Just because something is possible doesn't mean that people will actually go through with it. Of course, now it has happened all bets are off and that's why a ban is in place.

This blockage is going to last for a long time though and it's unfair to users who aren't students or just weren't the students that cheated. Everyone in the entire country is being made to take a break from social media because a few people have cheated on exams. Many people use social media to help organise things and this could make it more difficult if they don't have another form of contact with the person. Some people might say it's only a week, but that can still have a detrimental effect on some people's plans, jobs and courses. As well as the social media services being blocked, on Sunday, their 3G mobile network service was also disrupted which could make it difficult to do even more when out and about in public.

This whole thing is a bit of a mess, but one that will hopefully go by quickly. People are reliant on social media and it isn't just the teenagers who will be suffering. This is one country having to ban social media due to teenagers using it to cheat and in the future this might wind up happening in more countries and that's something that nobody needs.

Social media and mobile networks will definitely be back in place by Sunday and hopefully, everything in Algeria will go back to normal.

San Pellegrino, or S. Pellegrino, is an Italian beverage maker famous for their mineral water. A staple in Italy, their bottled mineral water, sparkling fruit water and other products aren't as widely-consumed on an international scale because of the cost associated with the name S. Pellegrino. Not a bad way to make your name in the world, with pricey, posh water. With a track record over a century old, 1899 to be exact, it's about time that this high-end water company put out something fresh. They have done, and it's the perfect accompaniment to their history of excellence.


adweek.com

Delightways is a navigation app. Not original, not even on the radar of a giant like Google Maps, right? In a way, yes; it's an old trick trying to overthrow the omnipresent Google; but this app flips navigation on its back. The purpose of Delightways is to take its user on a journey past interesting street art, the best restaurants and shops, architecture and parks, all of which have been identified by locals and Foursquare. This makes for a roundabout route, but a more enjoyable one overall if you have time to spare.

appshopper.com
appshopper.com
The interactive app will create unique routes to encourage wandering, discovering 'The Life Deliziosa' in the process. Experiences can be further customized by starring  favourite spots, removing unwanted ones from future ambles, adjusting routes to desired length, or walking in someone else's shoes by following their route. To appeal to their target audience, millennials, S. Pellegrino has picked up popular actress, author, and social media pro Shay Mitchell who will partake in promotional appearances and  give the app social media coverage. Not a company to put all their eggs in one basket, S. Pellegrino plans to provide additional face time for the app through print, digital, and social media ads.

Launched June 16, Delightways is now available in major cities - New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. - where the highest concentration of interesting opportunities can be stumbled upon. Creative ad agency Ogilvy & Mather New York are responsible for the app along with the partner agencies Team N, Deep Focus, Epilson, Active Theory, Revelry, and Metavision.


The company's recent strides in branding show a determined push of togetherness and bonding over food and shared experiences, dubbed 'Live in Italian.' It promotes a passion for fine food; searching for that perfect experience where personal interactions mesh with spot on flavour to create a moment of sheer happiness. This is regardless of language/nationality, and is labeled as an international communication campaignA movie showcasing this unmistakably Italian message is in the works, directed by Antony Hoffman. At the moment there is very little concrete information about this movie other than what's available on the S. Pellegrino site.


youtube.com
History Tidbit: Harvested from an underground aquifer where contact with limestone and volcanic rocks naturally impart minerals in the water, San Pellegrino water originates from the base of a dolomite mountain in the Province of Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy.

The Ringer
We've reported once on Snapchat stealing a filter from an artist's design and it being removed. The problem is that it hasn't turned out to be a one-time mistake. Snapchat's filter designers have been plagiarising artists' work for a lot longer than they'd like to admit. There have been multiple occasions where there have been reports on social media of art being stolen and it looks like it's turning out to be a problem.

The biggest issue that comes with this is the fact Snapchat aren't claiming that they actually took the art. Each time they've said it was a coincidence, even if they have removed the filter. The fact is that could be the case; the designer might have seen the original art before and didn't realise they were emulating it. But since so many of these plagiarised filters are actually face art, this is questionable. A lot of the pieces of art came with tutorials on how to copy them and are years old, but that didn't mean the artists wanted them copied in this way. If Snapchat is going to copy someone's face art, then they should request permission and they should at least credit the original artist somewhere. The sad thing is that most of these artists wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they took this to court as their art wasn't copyrighted. Body and makeup artists can't even copyright their work easily as it's not considered eligible for copyright in the same way as other art is.

Snapchat's artists are under a lot of pressure to get new filters designed and because of this they could be copying others. This doesn't excuse the lack of credit, but it does mean you understand how it could be done so easily. A makeup artist called Mykie is one of the artists whose art has been stolen this time. She posted a comparison on Instagram of an image of her crying colourful tears and a similar Snapchat filter. People told her that she was being silly, but she's since filed a report with Snapchat. When she posted the evidence, Snapchat removed the filter, but they had replied to her complaint and tweets saying that it would be up to a judge to decide if it was against copyright infringement.

This is a problem that isn't going to go away easily. Snapchat maybe need to cycle back through old filters more often if they need time to be able to come up with something new. The users probably wouldn't mind much if it meant they got something original. The other option is to actually ask artists if they can emulate their work if they credit them. The thing is Snapchat aren't going to stop doing this whilst they can't get in any actual trouble. Yes, some users will stop using the app because of this, but not enough of them.

There isn't really anything you can say or do to make a change apart from to keep pointing out the thievery. Hopefully, Snapchat will eventually acknowledge that they are doing so, but that's only going to happen if they keep pointing it out.

Engadget
After Meerkat took it's app off of the market we all knew that the company had to have some sort of video app to work on next. They video streaming well, after all, it just wasn't enough to beat the competition but it turns out they've had something in the works and available since February. What's interesting is that this app isn't attributed to Meerkat but it has been confirmed that it is definitely one of theirs.
The new app is Houseparty is a video messaging app more like Skype or FaceTime than any other video attempt they've made before. But it isn't just a plain video messaging app. Houseparty is a messaging app that encourages group chat more than anything. As soon as you open the app you're available and your friends can start chatting to you. If you try and talk to a friend and they're already talking with someone then you'll jump into the chat. This suggests that Houseparty should only be used for chats you don't mind becoming public but it does look like it'll be pretty useful for group chatting. It would be easy to give your friends a time to chat on the app and then as soon as someone comes in you can start jumping, then the next people can jump in easily. It's also great for when people are feeling lonely and they don't mind or don't know who to talk to. The idea of Houseparty is that you're willing to talk to anyone who jumps in and that could be pretty fun. It could also be kind of lonely if you're on there and no one is willing to talk to you.
Apparently Houseparty is more popular than Meerkat ever was which goes to show that maybe streaming wasn't the area they should have been focused on for so long. It is interesting that it's done so well when basically no one is talking about it. There haven't been announcements or many advertisements or anything. It just sort of popped out and users seem to like it. This is similar to Airtime and funnily enough, we actually heard that Meerkat was working on something new around its release as well. However, Houseparty was actually released before then so you have to wonder if Meerkat is working on something else on the side as well.
Houseparty is currently available on both iOS and Android, published by Herzick Apps

Tech Crunch
YouTube make most of their money from advertising and though that can be annoying to users, it's always going to be a great business. Smaller businesses have mostly been out of luck though as they might not have the chance to make a great advert that would do well on YouTube. Now that may have changed as YouTube have released YouTube Director which provides three options for businesses.

The main product is the YouTube Director app which allows small businesses to make their own ads directly from their phone. Using this, they can also go to Google AdWords to help push their business further as well. They'll be able to edit the videos through the app as well so they can make their ads as fancy or as simple as they like. It means you can show your customers exactly what you're best as you know your company better than anyone.

Other products include an option for YouTube to send professionals to do the filming and the editing of your ad. This means that you can get your ad to look maybe a little better then you might be able to do if you're an amateur. The best thing about this service is that it is essentially free. That's not to say that you don't need to spend any money on ads, but there are no extras after the first $150 you need to spend for YouTube to show your ads. This is going to be a worry off of a lot of small business owner's shoulders. For now this service is only available in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

The final service they're offering is for businesses who want to advertise an app themselves. As long as the company provides a logo and screenshots among other things, YouTube will automatically make an advert for them. This is great if you just quickly want something to get your app out there, but it might not be so good in the long run.

All three of these options were a great choice for YouTube and should hopefully help a lot of businesses as well.

Guardian


As time passes the younger generations will start looking for work and these young people will likely use apps rather than other services to help them find those jobs. The only problem with a lot of these apps is that they're dull and they're just lists upon lists of jobs to look through then apply to if you're interested. It can make you want to pull your hair out, but some recruiters are looking into new software to make job hunting easier and more attractive.

The old school job sites and apps still exist and won't disappear anytime soon. They're worth checking out still, but most people don't want to spend hours trawling through them. These new apps, however, do other things, a few of them just make applying for jobs so much quicker and others actually involve games and things to test the job seekers' skills. These seem like great ideas as they either test the users in a different way or they allow them to get on and get their name out there in a much quicker and easier way than they had before. Some of these apps work in a way that mixes the two efforts.

One of these apps is called Debut, it was made for university students and graduates looking for work. You have to fill in a profile rather than adding your C.V, which includes the usual general questions about your qualifications - though it's worth saying that they only ask what grades you for your A-Levels, not what the subjects were - and about nationality. They also ask whether you went to a state school or if you're the first person in your family to go to university which seems a little odd, but you don't have to answer those questions. Once you're on the app you get matches or can be talent spotted and there are also games run by different companies for you to play.These games look and see whether you would be a good fit for an interview and will pass your information to the company if you're a good fit. Of course, this is specifically for graduate jobs so if you've had a few jobs then it might not be a good fit, but if you still need to get on the career ladder, then it might help a little.

Other apps include a game released by Preloaded that was made for a specific fashion retailer to see how applicants would work in their shops and if they did well, they were granted an interview. When it comes to apps that are just quicker to use then there's also Job Today which just expects you to just fill in a form and allows you to chat with the people advertising the job. At the moment, Job Today is only available in London, but recruiters are supposed to respond within 24 hours so you know it's quick.

These apps, especially the gaming ones could help address some of the problems with job hunts. Even with education on how to write a C.V, a lot of careers are going to want someone with lots of experience and a really great C.V. For people without much of a clue how to write one, or someone who needs to show their skills rather than just write about them, these could be great. Younger people need to find work easier and these apps might make it not only easier but more attractive too.



Android Police
If you have something important you need to say on Twitter to grab people's attention, but time passes to the point you're no longer on people's timelines, you can now retweet yourself so your followers will see the message again. Some people are saying this will just encourage Twitter users to become more narcissistic, but that's unfair as there are many other uses.

This update comes after Twitter made it so usernames are not included in the character count. This essentially meant that you could mention as many people as you like in one tweet, but people haven't focused on that even though it means @ mentions don't work the same as they used to. It's because of this that users can now retweet themselves because usernames don't react to the system in the same way. They no longer only pop up on the user and the person they mentioned's timelines and instead they will appear on everyone's timeline. If you want to tweet just one person, but you don't want to send a DM, then you now have to reply to one of their tweets. It's also because of this that if you retweet yourself it's counted. The @ mentions are no longer special and though it's kind of sad, at least they do still link to the user and let them know that you've mentioned them in this tweet.

What is especially sad though is that some people are claiming that this update is the height of what is wrong with Twitter. They think Twitter is too self-absorbed and in some instances that might be true, but that isn't the only reason someone might retweet themselves. It could be a great way for a business to remind their followers that they have an event coming up, if something negative is happening you might have a tweet that could help someone feel better that you might want to retweet or you might just be sick of saying the same thing over and over so you just retweet it. People will have other reasons rather than just thinking they're great so they're going to share this for the millionth time. Yes, it will likely be used for self-promotion, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Sometimes you have to if you're networking or are just trying to get a message across.

These days it seems like people are always looking for a reason to put Twitter down, but this time, there's nothing to make fun of. They made a solid move and they really need to make more of those.

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