July 2016

With the popularity of Pokemon Go, it's no surprise that Pokemon is taking over the world once again. Every new game has brought in a new audience, but Pokemon Go hasn't just opened up the world to new fans but has drawn old ones back in too. Many of these fans are adults now and due to this, there's a new way to be social through Pokemon. Kind of amusingly there's now a Pokemon themed dating app and it's doing rather well.

PokeMatch is a Tinder-style dating app that allows you to share your love of Pokemon to find new friends or relationships. For now, it's Pokemon Go focused, but if it doesn't want to be one of those five-minute specialised apps then they need to try to expand just as Pokemon Go needs to too. You can use just use this to find people to play Pokemon Go with and at the moment it is geared at that.

Just like on Tinder, you connect the app to your Facebook account and it'll pull your name, location and profile image from that. After that, you can fill in what you're looking for, your age and a 250 character about me section. Most people will probably just say a Pokemon they love, but if you're a serious fan then I'm sure you can think of something a little less cliche then I like this Pokemon and walks on the beach. Once you're set up you swipe left on users if you dislike them and swipe right if you want to catch them. If you both swipe right, then you can message each other for a bit.  This app could lead to a lot of fun and some good relationships of any sort, but only if people treat it like a social app, not just a way to get some extra tips for a game you're playing or, in some cases, not use it in a more disturbing way. The app currently has 7,500 active users and has created over 10,000 matches. A lot of them won't have actually been dates but even making a friend can lead to romance in the future if you hang out a lot.

This app is maybe a little bit ridiculous. A lot of people aren't going to take it seriously and that's understandable. You don't expect to meet your soulmate whilst playing Pokemon. But that doesn't mean that there isn't something to this. Pokemon Go isn't a hugely social game right now unless you go out with friends or go to a meetup. This app allows you to find people who also play the game with similar interests and as long as you're safe, that's always a good thing

Twitter really are on a roll right now. It was only last week that they signed a deal with the NBA which garnered them two Twitter exclusive shows; now another show is being added to their listing as well as MLB and NHL games.

Compared to the NFL, the amount of users wanting to watch MLB and NHL games will be small, but that doesn't make this a bad idea. Twitter are essentially pulling together their own sports channel and considering how well sports does on there, that's going to make it very attractive. The MLB and NHL games that Twitter gets will not be the big games like the playoffs and it'll only be one game per week that isn't airing on TV. This doesn't sound too bad, what's a little more awkward are the localisation conditions. Basically, if either of the teams playing is local to where you are then you won't be able to watch the match. This seems strange when you consider that most people into baseball will only watch their home team games and hockey is probably somewhat similar in that aspect. If you've moved out of the area of your team then this will be great news for you as you will be able to watch their games again, but for now, things are in a more questionable state.

Bidding for and winning all these sports games on their own streams whilst improving Periscope on the side does make it seem as if Twitter is the social media outlet taking streaming the most seriously. Facebook might be doing fairly well with their own and YouTube might be the place a lot of people still go for video, but Twitter is trying something neither of them has. Yes, Twitter is streaming things other than sports like the political conferences, but they know what their users like to talk about and they're using that to keep the users they have and get others on board, even if they don't make an account just yet.

As well as these much-coveted matches there is another show that Twitter has won the rights to. It's called The Rally and it's being produced by 120 Sports. It'll stream each night on Twitter this autumn and will be a general sports analysis and highlights show so you'll hopefully see a little of everything on it, even if you missed the game streamed that night as you were out or watching something else. All of this together means that it will be easier to watch games with friends and to join in a wide conversation about the highlights of it and other sports over Twitter later. Even though their choice in games might be questionable, if there's a service that can make sports streaming social, then it's Twitter.

After the dramatic plunge of 17.7% in Nintendo’s shares on Monday, representing a massive $6.4 billion loss in value, its value has risen again by 1.6%. The plummet came following a statement from the Japanese games company making it clear that it does not own or make the worldwide phenomenon AR game, Pokemon Go.

Img source: geomarketing.com
This seemed to come as a shock to investors, who assumed Nintendo would profit greatly from the success of the game, due to its association with the Pokemon brand. The statement stressed that Pokemon Go ‘is developed and distributed by Niantic, Inc’, a privately-held US spin-off from Google, and that Nintendo’s income from the game will be ‘limited’.

Despite these disturbances, Nintendo’s shares have increased in value by over 60% since before Pokemon Go was released on the 6th July.

While the company will not be making huge profits from Pokemon Go in the near future, the overwhelming success of the game should encourage investment Nintendo in similar projects, which would be a source of income.

For instance, Nintendo’s Pokemon Go Plus is an accessory to the game, worn on the user’s wrist, which connects to the app via low-power Bluetooth and alerts the player - through vibration and blinking lights - when there are Pokemon nearby. It has the major advantage of conserving your phone’s battery life, whereas the app has reportedly drained battery very quickly. You also have less chance of tripping over.

This could deliver a much-needed lift to the games company’s earnings, however, there has been some confusion over the release date. Nintendo tweeted this morning confirming the date has been pushed back from late July to September 2016, news that disappointed fans. No reason has yet been given for the delay, nor have they set a specific launch date. In an effort to make up for the inconvenience, Nintendo is offering customers who pre-ordered the device a £5 gift voucher, if they are prepared to wait the extra month.  

On a more positive note for Nintendo, their new partnership with Japanese mobile developer DeNA could be another way to boost their value directly. The firm has announced that their first two mobile game ventures together will be based around the Nintendo franchises Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem. At this stage, we haven’t been told much about these apps, other than that they will be free-to-play and contain in-app purchases. 

Tinder has made a name for itself as a dating app with a notorious underbelly of whimsical hookups. No longer will that be its sole purpose! Since April, a group messaging and meetup feature has been in place for a number of Australian users.

Called Tinder Social, the messaging feature was released on July 21st in the U.K., U.S., Canada, India and New Zealand. The current version of the app has Social built in, but you will need to initiate an update before it displays. Social requires activation before use. Once activated, users will be able to see which of their Facebook friends have opted in as well (this caused some concerns with users who didn't want their Tinder life made public). From there, the winning function is group creation. Limited to four members, groups are able to chat amongst themselves and broadcast their plans in a joint status that's visible to others.


Four does seem a bit ... small though, doesn't it? Well, that's where Social has gotten inventive. Groups can choose to connect with other groups within a conjoined group message. That's a commitment right there; a large message group with people you may not be as tight with as your core group. Tinder's thought of that, too. By noon the next day (going by the group creator's timezone), groupsl expire, so don't stress if their group turned out to be a bunch of weirdos. Group leaders can also close groups and members can leave at any time they wish.

The possibilities opened up by Social's group function are endless. Go out with a few friends early on in the night and broadcast your group plans on Social. The rest of your posse can join your group message to figure out a meetup spot or keep updated on your plans via your group broadcasts.  If none of your IRL friends are free and you want to do a specific activity, just put out the idea and Social will match you with other internet friends who are interested.

Tinder CEO and co-founder Sean Rad says, "Tinder Social is designed to make it as easy as possible to plan your night, get out into the real world and meet new people. The new feature takes the Tinder experience to a new level, offering our users more ways to expand their social circles and interact with potential matches."

With this new tool, Tinder attempts to pull itself out of the dregs of the dating underworld. It'll have to battle with the likes of Google's WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to do so though; and if you engage in fisticuffs with Google and Facebook, you're going to have a bad time.

Historically, Tinder has been the kind of app that people won't admit to readily using. However, with its new utility, Tinder offers something that Google and Facebook can't: new friends at a swipe. Groups that were totally unconnected before can check local venues to see if any other interesting-looking groups will be there. Simply swipe to find groups and match up with potential friends, lovers, any sort of categorical name you want to file them under. The meetups, rather than being one-on-one dating scenarios, can instead be a much more easy-going friends hangout.
Since Social requires activation, it's only natural that it can be toggled on and off. Your dating profile, however, is a permanent fixture. Maybe do a quick edit before you try to make new friends on Social.


We've known about Facebook's plans to improve the internet for third world countries for a long while now. With Internet.org they've worked on different things and are slowly trying to provide more internet access. However, their Free Basics offering hasn't always gone down well and there's a chance that this will do badly as well. For now, Facebook is just glad to be able to get the drone in the air.

Facebook's internet-beaming drone, Aquila, made its first flight over the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona last month. They didn't try to test its internet capabilities as they're still working on the signalling technology, but they wanted to see if their hard work is paying off. If the drone hadn't have been able to fly then it could have been months more work to be able to get it into the air. But they succeeded and the drone that was only supposed to be up in the air for a 30 minute period stayed up there for 96 minutes and flew 25 miles per hour at 2000 ft. This was better than the staff expected so this seems like it's a good sign.

Aquila is more of an internet-beaming aeroplane than it is the typical drone. Its wingspan is larger than that of a Boeing 737, but it's a third lighter than an electric car and is slower than the average jet so it can endure being in the sky for long periods of time. The Aquila is supposed to be up in the air for up to three months at a time and due to this reason they've made it solar powered so it can stay up there and not need too many maintenance stops. The drone isn't something you're going to miss in the sky, but it won't be providing the internet for people who can see it. The drone wants to provide the internet to a lot of different people and due to that, it will need a wide reach.

Even though the drone is now able to fly, it will still take two years for this drone to be ready to provide the offered service. Facebook are getting though and if they address the issues users have with Free Basics, then this could actually be a really important step for the future of the internet.

Digital Trends
Twitter have been updating and introducing quite a few new features to Periscope recently. The video streaming service was already doing well and now it's growing more and more attractive to users. Now if you aren't sure whether you want to watch a live video or not, you can watch a few highlights and see if it appeals to you or not. If you're new to Periscope or are just looking for something random then this update is really for you.
Live video can be dull and really that cannot be denied. You can find some of the most riveting and exciting videos, but even they might have a moment or two of fiddling or the streamer getting distracted by the comments. But if you come across a stream a little way in, you'll be able to see some of the best bits and see if you're willing to watch the stream. This isn't going to work if you're deciding on a stream that's just starting, but it'll work well once people get used to this fact.
As well as this, users will be able to watch highlights of users channels and of hashtags. So if you want to see what a user has done before to see if you want to follow them, then you'll see all their best bits and if you know a theme of a stream you want to see, then you can search and see the highlights of the various videos going on at that time. This is a nice idea as this makes it even more user-friendly than the addition of editor's picks did. Periscope are becoming more and more user-friendly and this should help them keep users using this service to stream rather than Facebook.
Periscope are also planning on introducing auto-play videos within their apps. They're hoping that by doing this, users will be drawn into videos quicker and therefore will spend time on the app. This could also have the opposite effect and put people off using Periscope as they don't want videos playing automatically. This will be introduced to Android first and they're looking into releasing it on iOS later. The highlights are also supposed to be released sometime this week.

India TV News
You'd think by now that Facebook would have realised that they're never going to be Snapchat and they're never really going to have their features. The closest they have are MSQRD but even that doesn't work in exactly the same way. Still, Facebook keeps trying new things and the most recent suggested copycat move has now been scrapped.

Quick Updates was essentially Facebook trying to allow users to send old and new media privately. They could send a picture already on their Facebook with text added or they could send a new shot that they don't want anyone to see. It's not a terrible idea, but not something you really think about when it comes to Facebook. To access the Quick Updates tab you had to click a smiley face icon that would have appeared next to the search bar. If you tapped on it, then the new screen would open and at first you would get a tutorial in how the system worked. After that, you can select what you want to share whether that's photo or text and edit it. The text doesn't go on the images like a Snapchat filter, instead, it's just over the image and not an overlay that makes it easier to read. It'll start on the top left rather than the middle so it doesn't look as neat. Once you choose to share the update, you can choose which of your friends see it and then they'll see it when they check the Quick Updates tag. If any of your friends reply you'll also see that in the Quick Updates tag.

In principle, this could have all worked, but no one was very happy with the layout. No one really liked the way they had to edit and organise things, but Facebook couldn't make this too Snapchat like. The sad thing is that this isn't the first attempt at trying to emulate Snapchat. They created full apps in the past and they wound up being scrapped as they weren't popular enough. People don't want another Snapchat made by Facebook, they don't feel the need to privately share updates and if they do they'll message them normally. Facebook is so very different from Snapchat and it seems like they don't get that yet. Both apps are extremely popular but that doesn't mean they need to learn from each other.

Prisma is an app that transforms your photos into works of art. It's something you can do on most photo editors on the computer and it's something that you might think feels outdated, but actually, it's surprisingly popular. Maybe there's something to the fact people like to see themselves as works of art or maybe in the age of Snapchat, people want to see their photos in a different light and play with them.

Essentially all the app does is offer you filters for your photos that look like the artwork of famous artists. If you've ever wanted to turn your dog into a Picasso masterpiece then this is the app for you! If not, well, it might be a little fun to play with anyway. Unless the app grows and maybe switches through certain filters like Snapchat it might not have much growing room after it's been around a while.

At the moment no one can say exactly what is going to happen. Prisma hasn't decided whether they're going to be raising money to improve the app themselves or whether they'll sell to a bigger company. They were in the Facebook office's recently and showing Facebook how their features would work with Facebook Live. At the moment Prisma doesn't actually offer video filters so could this be them trying to get funding? They have said that video filters are something they want to do one day. However, they may decide to emulate Snapchat and try to do well on their own. Facebook tried to buy Snapchat back in the day, but they didn't go for it and this could happen again. However, a few days before Facebook brought MSQRD they were in the office sharing what their app can do too.

No matter what happens this is going to be a big app, it's only been out a month on the iOS store and yet according to App Annie, it's one of the top ten apps right now and number three in the photo and video apps. It has yet to have an official Android release, but there has been an unofficial APK release so Android users can experience the app too. It might not be the smartest thing to download as we don't know how safe that download is yet so maybe try to wait for an official release.

It's hoped that we should know what's happening with Prisma by the end of the week so we'll have to wait and see what's going to happen to it.

Facebook appears to be doing well in their mobile takeover. More and more people are installing Messenger on their phones and that has meant that Messenger is now one of their most popular apps Along with Whatsapp and the flagship Facebook app, Messenger now has one billion active users on the service monthly. That's a huge amount of users but it's not all mobile users quite yet.

The reason that Messenger is doing so well isn't just that it's a Facebook app which helps or that it allows you to message friends over wi-fi, which is something that nearly every messaging app does. What makes Messenger so attractive are the other services it provides. On Messenger you can call an Uber, you can play mini-games every now then and even shop on there. There is a massive amount of things you can do on Messenger, way more than you can do on any other app, which is going to be attractive to people who don't wish to switch between apps. As well as this Facebook have recently made it impossible to check your messages on the mobile internet normally as well as on the flagship app so now users who wish to check their messages whilst they're out and about have to install Messenger. It was thought that maybe this would put some users off, but if it has then it hasn't really had a detrimental effect.

Messenger is still growing though and that won't stop anytime soon. Facebook was clearly serious when they said they wanted to take over phones and though that seems impossible, it is becoming more likely. The steps Facebook are making may still technically be small ones but one day if they can essentially make a Facebook operating system for mobiles, then Android and iOS might be in trouble. For now, though, Messaging is getting bigger and better and the users will likely keep on growing.

There are so many bots available now on Messenger and most of them aren't as bad as they were when they were first released. Bots, customer service and the ability to be able to message friends who don't even have Facebook now are all really useful features and it's likely that Facebook's active users will continue to grow.

Back in March when Snapchat announced that they were buying BitStrips, we knew they'd use their technology sooner rather than later. And now they've made their first steps towards doing so by allowing users to use Bitmoji within Snapchat.

Bitmoji is an app you can install to design an emoji character that looks like you. You're then provided with a set of emoji that feature this image of you. You can then use these emoji anywhere you like, as long as the app and service enable them and you have they keyboard turned on. Snapchat now wants users to be able to use this Bitmoji in both the chat and on snaps.

It's probably wise to remember less is more when it comes to adding something big and bold to your photo. It could add a little something or if you use too many it could seem a little much. Imagine, though, being able to share your inner thoughts with a well-placed cartoon version of yourself a-la Lizzie McGuire. It's definitely something that some teenagers and young people will want to take advantage of.

To add a Bitmoji to your pictures, you first need to go to your settings to make sure you'll be able to. If you have the most recent version of the app, then you'll see a Bitmoji option that you can tap and turn it on. Once that is done return to your Snapchat camera and take your photo. If you click the turning page button, then you'll see the emoji you can use. Just tap the face icon at the bottom and you can access the Bitmoji like you would any normal emoji.

This isn't exactly how we thought Snapchat would handle BitStrips but it is a good first start. The Bitmoji will brighten up your snaps and they can add some different reactions for you to be able to send in the chat. Allowing users to use Bitmoji also makes Snapchat into a slightly more typical social media service. Most of them offer different keyboards and services to make their apps more fun and aside from the filters and what makes Snapchat so special, Snapchat hasn't really done much that allows you to utilise other apps.

This new feature is available now as long as you have the most recent Snapchat update and Bitmoji installed.

Scholar Blogs
It seems like every few weeks we get more and more news that highlights how far Twitter is willing to go to make their streaming service succeed. They've already gotten the rights to some NFL games, they streamed some Wimbledon related stuff and now we find out that as well as getting the rights to stream Pac-12 sports they've signed a deal with the NBA as well.

This deal maybe isn't as good as say the deal with the NFL. Twitter, unfortunately, won't be getting any chances to stream games here, which is what they originally wanted. Twitter have managed to get something good out of this though as the NBA have agreed to create two TV-style shows to stream only on Twitter. This is a great thing as it means that more NBA fans will be getting on Twitter if they haven't already or maybe they'll get back on in some cases. You probably won't have to have an account to watch the streams, but with all the conversation and content around these streams, you're probably going to want to. And that is what Twitter is aiming for with these streams. They've realised amongst all their problems that video and sports interaction are what they have going for them. They know various sports and games will wind up trending and they know they have users who love to talk about them live so being able to stream shows that will probably be on before and after the game is going to be a big thing.

As well as these shows Twitter and the NBA also agreed to double the number of NBA highlights that are posted on Twitter and other properties owned by them including Vine. Due to these highlights, both Twitter and the NBA can earn money from advertisements that they might not get through streaming. All this essentially means is that you're going to see a lot more about basketball from October 2016. Whether we'll see as much after the season ends will depend on how well Twitter handled the streaming and everything else that came with the NBA deal.

Twitter now seems to be the place to go if you want to live stream sports and it'll be interesting to see how this works out once the sports seasons finally start.

The State Press
There has been friction between Milo Yiannopoulos and Twitter for a while now. At the beginning of the year, he lost his Twitter verification status and in March he took his issues with Twitter's hate speech policies to the White House. Now Yiannopoulos has been banned after he was considered to have incited his followers to send the Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones with racist and demeaning tweets. The influx of tweets has caused Leslie Jones to quit Twitter and the staff of Twitter have decided that Yiannopoulos has taken things too far this time.

If this was the first time that Yiannopoulos had done something like this Twitter probably wouldn't be doing anything about it. That in itself is an issue. A lot of people on social media were complaining about how Twitter should have done something, how it wasn't right that users were getting away with this. Now someone is being punished for it but have they picked the wrong person? Yiannopoulos was removed as he has been reported many times for hate speech, but many people believe that what he was saying and doing does not constitute as so. In the case of Leslie Jones, she should have been willing to put up with it as according to them, her reason for being upset were just because people didn't like the movie she was in. It was more than that and maybe Yiannopoulos didn't say anything terrible to her himself, but we cannot see that now as his account has been suspended.

Twitter have always said that it's difficult for them to decide what constitutes as hate speech. They want users to be able to say what they like on the service but they can't allow them to attack people either. What Leslie Jones experienced was an attack and if Yiannopoulos did encourage it, then it makes sense that he was reported. There is a possibility that he did nothing but it does seem unlikely considering the uproar before if they'd banned him without seeing what he'd actually done.

Yiannopoulos is claiming that this was a mistake by Twitter and that this is proof that Twitter does not allow free speech if you're right-wing. Twitter, on the other hand, have stated that they know  they haven't done enough to kerb the recent harassment but have said they've taken actions against some of the users breaking the terms and conditions. Twitter have done their best but in this case, that might not be enough. Yiannopoulos isn't sure what he's going to do now or if he wants his account back but he's certainly going to let everyone know what he thinks about Twitter.

Ah, yes. The age old rivalry of limited edition Mountain Dew flavours Baja Blast and Pitch Black.

Pitting Baja Blast and Pitch Black fans against each other in what's been labeled the DEWcision 2016 Campaign, Mountain Dew had social media decide on their next permanent flavour. For the summer, during a 3-month window, fans were encouraged to tweet #VotePitchBlack or #VoteBajaBlast to submit their vote. Additionally, Mountain Dew created the Dew Drench Challenge "giving super fans[a chance] to get 300 votes for your favourite flavour," or, for the lazy, there were brain challenges available on social media to earn more points.

Sending its tentacles weaving through and across social media - plugging the DEWcision on their official account, inspiring original content, and, of course, hosting the vote on Twitter.

Mountain Dew made it a point to send freebies to those who reached the largest of their target audience. This manifested itself in unboxing videos by popular Youtubers, where a duality-themed box is shown along with a plastic cup divided in two so that voters can enjoy the flavours side-by-side. Blogs were set ablaze what with such a compelling topic; many a blogger undertook an in-depth comparison of the flavours, for those who prefer to make their decision based off of someone else's opinion.

Mountain Dew knows just how to get its fans going by encouraging past stunts to resurface in the new campaign, including taking a bath in their preferred flavour, dying their hair the corresponding colour (#dewdye), or completing ridiculous and over-the-top challenges to show their loyalty (as seen below).

Rather than depend on fan enthusiasm for sugary concoctions, Mountain Dew recreated the unforgettably 90's GUTS Aggro Crag and put together a virtual reality Nascar experience to get people pumped for the competition. With a side each for Baja Blast and Pitch Black, lucky New Yorkers were able to relive their childhood dream by climbing to the top, ensuring votes for their preferred flavour.

For those still holding out hope, know that the decision has been made. On 18 July, it was announced that Pitch Black won with 50.5% of all votes. As of September, Pitch Black will be available on shelves indefinitely.

If you're looking for a babysitter then you're looking for someone you trust with your child. You'll want to know that they're safe whilst you're out and that you can trust the person to look after them the way you would. That isn't always easy but generally, you can trust both babysitting services and friends to look after your children. Bubble is hoping to turn this friendship recommendation into a safe app.

The idea of Bubble is that both parents and babysitters register to the app. You can connect to your Facebook but don't need to and they'll look through all your contacts to see if they can find any babysitters used by friends also on the app. If you don't want to use Facebook then Bubble looks into the local area and you can stamp your child's profile with their nursery or school which may help you find a sitter also. If you think a friend should use the app, then you have a unique referral code to get them on the app too. You can contact sitters through the app and then rate them afterwards. As well as this the sitters can rate you so if you treat them badly, other sitters will know. As well as this because you find your sitter through connections, you can message whoever recommended that sitter and ask for them to vouch for them.

Though you can choose not to connect to Facebook, it is encouraged that you do. The more connected you are the better as users are actually verified in a crowd-sourced process. They look through their contacts, how often they send messages and how they send them and so on. As well as the parents being verified, the sitters are too and they have to share the qualifications and things. This is all very practical and it's the way Bubble is trying to be the safest way to find sitters. However, qualifications and recommendations aside that doesn't mean that someone is definitely going to be safe. Sometimes you just don't know what someone could be doing or like until it's too late. This is going to be a risk no matter who you ask to look after your kids though so it might still be worth checking out.

Bubble has only been released in London so far, but in the future, it should be released across the rest of the country and then probably internationally

CBC News
India is a country where women who are sexually assaulted are not treated well. They cannot be identified and are often vilified. Due to this, many women will not speak out about what has happened to them. Yusuf Omar, the editor of the Hindustan Times, has taken to using Snapchat to interview some of these women to find out what has happened to them.

How Omar is doing this is by showing them how to use Snapchat on his phone. He would encourage them to us the dragon mask filter, the mask that would cover their faces the most. He would then leave the phone with the woman and let her record her story. These stories would go out to different people and all they would see is the woman's eyes and hear her story. This could be very empowering for other sexual victims who may see this as a chance to share their own stories. Omar asked several women to do this for him, but he had to spend a lot of time with them, messing around with the app so they could see that the app isn't dangerous or risky.

Snapchat was probably a good app for them to use for this because not only could they cover their faces, but they shouldn't have to worry about someone being to remove the mask to reveal who the women are. The files should be too small for the woman's image to be hidden under the masks pixels, however, Omar cannot be completely certain about that. He has tried his best not to put these women at risk. When Snapchat uses a filter like this it doesn't register the entire face and it should just register the shape of it so all that should be saved are the markers and the mask itself.

These stories and videos are more intimate than they might have been in a TV interview or on any other social media. These women have been able to admit that something had happened to them without having to worry about someone else endangering them for saying so. Omar has humanised these victims once again and this was possibly quite an important step in India.

Omar might not have changed anything by sharing these interviews, but at least these few women would have been able to speak up about what has happened to them. Hopefully, this will encourage other women to do so too.

Daily Mail
To many Japan is a very strange company that they don't really understand and culturally it is very different from what we're used to in the West. But that doesn't mean that they don't know how to really utilise our products. Vine appears to be less and less popular, but in Japan, businesses have realised what a video service might be able to do for them when it comes to non-traditional advertisement.

One famous Japanese Viner is Reika Oozeki who at the age of 19 has been using Vine for 2 years now. Oozeki films close-ups of her face as she makes snarky comments or making joke videos about how she might react to something. One video showed her out eating at first with a girlfriend who she shared a chip with and then with a boyfriend who she smashed something bigger in the face of. Other videos included her sharing how a high school girl felt on a Monday and a Friday. You might wonder how this might help with advertising, but a lot of teenagers and young people will watch these. Traditional businesses don't know how to advertise to teenagers in Japan as the adult businessmen are more restricted, but because of this, you know that only products teenagers use will ever be marketed this way.

The tech company Intel's Japanese branch actually used Oozeki to advertise, but they let her have complete creative control. So what did Oozeki do? She took what she usually did and she growled the company's famous slogan and reacted. It might not seem like much, but a slogan is going to make people think of the company and product and that might be enough to remind people to go out and check what's actually available right now. Other companies that have used Vines to advertise include a sweet maker. Sweets are definitely something that could be advertised well on Vine due to the fact they could easily be used alongside pop culture references.

Japan is one of the countries with the biggest Vine user bases and a lot of businesses that are willing to look to outside sources when it comes to online marketing. But it seems in Japan that Vine may have peaked, but that doesn't mean they're going to stop advertising any time soon. It might just mean that those famous Viners advertise on other social media too.

Digital Trends
Curation is important when it comes to video services. Users, especially new users, don't always know what to watch and they need a little guidance. Whether it's the service telling them what's popular or just popping videos under certain topics, we want to watch what they tell us is good when we don't know what else to do. Periscope might be a streaming service, but it still needs some direction for users.

This need has finally been met though and you might find when you open Periscope that there's a new channel under your suggested channels as well as a featured tag. The new channel is the Editor's Picks. For the moment this won't really feature ongoing streams, but ones that the editor will have viewed and think that users would like. This can allow users to pop on and see what they've missed which I'm sure they hope will convince users to keep coming back for more. The featured tag also suggests that they might share other channels of different themes as well as maybe share channels for different holidays and events like Snapchat do.

Periscope want their users to be looking for the interesting and unique. Twitter know that video is what's probably going to save them and Periscope is their best platform for that. The service still isn't perfect, but if works well, even against the stiff competition of Facebook Live won't be able to stop them. The addition of an editor's pick section doesn't make it stand out against them, but it will make the service more practical for new users. Not everyone is going to want to stream straight away and not everyone will know how to look for something they're interested in. These streams can help people decide what they like and will show them what they can actually do during the streams.

The update is a good new addition and it'll be interesting to see what the editors will pick out as the top videos. This is the work of the new Editor-in-Chief Evan Hansen who was hired back in May who we can assume knows exactly what he's doing. Eventually, the editors picks will probably be sharing current streams that everyone needs to see but for now, enjoy the catch up these picks provides you and hopefully, you won't miss the next streaming trend.

The Next Web
Facebook's Instant Articles feature is pretty useful when you're viewing Facebook mobile. Before Instant Articles, if you wanted to read an article, then you'd click the link and leave the app. That could be slow and rather awkward at times, but fortunately, that's been less of a problem for a while now. If someone shared an article with you on Messenger though, you still had to follow the link, but now that has changed.

If someone sends you a link to Instant Articles, it will show as an instant article within Messenger. This doesn't mean that you'll see the entirety of the article, but you do see an image and the start of the article. You'll see a little icon on the image and if you click on that the article will open up in Messenger. You'll have the ability to like it there and you may be able to comment on some articles too. This is really practical as it can open up a conversation between you and that friend. You could always share an article and talk about it, but now it's easier to read the article you may be more likely to do so. Funnily enough, this is also more practical if you don't want to read an article. If you can see from the first sentence or two that this isn't something you're interested in, then you know not to click it and you can try to change the conversation.

Not every publisher is currently making their articles Instant Articles. The majority already are, but this might push a few more to release them that way. If an article isn't instant then you will just have to follow the link normally. Facebook are hoping that this will push all publishers should jump on the Instant Article bandwagon, but at the moment they don't have to unless they see a need to. Eventually this is going to put people off reading an article if they have to leave the app to do so, but for now, those publishers should still be safe,

This update has been rolled out on Android devices today and should hit iOS next week.

Pulse Headlines
If you've been on YouTube before then you've definitely heard of Vevo, but what you might not know is that the company actually has their own app and provides some of their own services. Since the company got a new CEO last year, Vevo is working harder to try to attract users back to the flagship app and away from YouTube.

Their current attempt at that is a redesign of their app. An app design only works when people actually know that the app is around to use, but it'll be interesting to see if it does make the service more attractive to new users. One of these changes they've made is how users can view their videos full screen. As well as the usual turn your phone horizontal and watch the video full screen, but now you can also stretch the video so you can view it mostly full-screen vertically like a Snapchat video. This is unusual for a video app and could actually make the videos feel a little more immersive if there isn't too much going on in them. As well as this Vevo have hired humans to introduce their videos and are already planning on upgrading their programming even more.

Vevo had better hope this is enough to get more users on their app. Vevo needs the money that comes from users viewing ads on their app, but most people would rather go on YouTube, the site and app they know and may or may not love and just view Vevo videos on there. Vevo needs YouTube and vice versa but neither of them wants to need the other. Vevo is looking for even more ways to bring their own money in including a subscription service that they're still working on. We don't know how that will work but it'll be interesting to see if it pans out.

The fact is that Vevo doesn't want to be a service that people pop onto to watch a video or hear a song. They want people to hang out on their site and they want to be able to specialise. They see themselves as becoming a sort of online record store in its atmosphere without having to sell individual songs and albums to users. Whether they manage that or not we have yet to see.

Sensor Tower
Last year Google offered their first sharing platform on Play Music. This library would cost a family $14.99 a month, but would allow users to share music with up to six people of their choice. This new plan with Google Play is free and allows users to also share with up to six people, but this time, they'll be able to share pretty much anything that's been brought on Google.

The beauty of this sharing system, other than the fact it's free, is that the apps and other things you want to share don't just have to be shared over Android devices. If someone has a Google account or the Google Play app on the iPhone, then they can still share things. This new feature is called the Google Play Family Library so this means that one person is in charge of the account. The person in charge is usually the person who has set up the account and has used a credit card of their choice. As well as sharing what is brought, accounts on the family plan can also all use the same credit card. This could be both practical and a problem for parents. It means you don't have to risk your children's privacy if they have a phone and you know there's a card on there if they need it, but it also means that their children could accidentally install an app that they have to pay for or buy a lot of things. You could just buy the apps for them and monitor them but it's not always going to be that simple. If someone does buy something on your card, you will receive a receipt but that isn't always going to help.

This was an interesting move for Google to make. They're allowing people to download and share with friends and families which could encourage more users to use Google's services. You won't find many iOS users who will use the Google Play apps. Admittedly you can't share apps with iOS users as the APKs of Android and iOS apps are different, but you can send a friend this new film you've brought or listen to the album your teenager has brought even if you have different types of phone. This might encourage users to actually get more of their videos and music legally. The app sharing will probably just get more people playing the same apps and that's going to change how people find and download their apps.

The Next Web
When Pokemon Go was announced we all knew it was going to be a worldwide sensation. The original games were released in Japan 20 years ago this year and yet they're still going strong. There are still new games being released, new anime episodes being aired and new trading cards being collected and battled with. People of many ages love the series and it's no surprise that this AR game that gives people the chance to see Pokemon in our world is oh so popular.

Pokemon Go has already been proven to be more popular than Tinder on Android phones in the US. Twice as many users have installed Pokemon Go on their android devices than they have the dating app. This happened within a day of the app going online in the US and other countries so now that the app is available in the UK that number is only going to grow. This shouldn't come as a surprise when you consider how many people have been playing Pokemon on many different consoles over the years. This app is an app that can be played by children upwards unlike Tinder which can only be used by adults.

SurveyMonkey has also found that Pokemon Go has brought in just under 21 million daily users in a single day. This has surpassed Twitter and has almost beaten Snapchat and Google Maps. It seems likely that the app will even as many people try to warn users away from Pokemon Go. There are risks with privacy - which Niantic have tackled as much as possible with the most recent update so that Google only recognises your email and password but nothing else - and safety. If kids want to play, then adults can go out with them and if you're cautious and look where you're going then there shouldn't be much of a problem. This game is safe if you stick with friends or public places and you use your common sense to try to avoid the risks.

Even with these negative headlines Pokemon Go's user base has continued to grow and as it becomes available in more countries it will most likely surpass quite a few popular apps in installations and users.

The Verge
You've been able to peek into things using 3D Touch in the main Facebook app for a while now, but the feature hasn't been possible in Messenger. Facebook have taken their time when it comes to introducing it as 3D touch is a little more awkward in Messenger and you can't use it to sneak around your messages. But now with only a few more months until the next iPhone is released, Facebook has finally released the feature on the iPhone 6S.

3D Touch isn't really allowing you to do much within Messenger, but that shouldn't really come as much of a surprise. Other than previews there's not really much for you to peek at within Messenger and Apple is very strict with what they actually allow companies to do within their apps anyway. On Messenger 3D Touch simply allows you to use the pressure sensitive screen to peek into messages. Don't think this means you'll be able to look at messages without the other person knowing you've read it though as Messenger will still mark the message with a read receipt.  You'll also be able to preview photos, GIFs, videos, stickers and links so you'll be able to sneak peek at a lot of things.

This doesn't really sound like much, but in today's society, we don't always have time to properly read messages straight off. When you receive a text notification, your phone allows you to see a preview of what the message is. With Facebook messages, you don't get that so you have to wait until you can open the message. 3D Touch means that you can press down, quickly read the message and then open it later to reply to or to get further context if necessary. This was a pretty good idea and actually, it brings Facebook closer to being able to take over all messaging on phones. This along with the fact you can now read text messages over Messenger on Android devices means that Facebook is getting there, but they're only managing it at different levels on different devices. Apple makes it harder for Facebook to take over but they're still trying their best to do so.

For Facebook users this is a useful update but only if people remember they can do so. If this is the case, then it'll only speed it up a little but even the smallest of changes could help lead to something more useful.

The Next Web
Buffer is an app that allows you to schedule your posts and monitor your social profiles. It's a great app to buy if you're a business, but if you're just starting out you might want to try their free service and try to focus on one social media profile. Now that service will now allow you to have Buffer for Instagram so it might be time to get on there.

Instagram is a service that you might think you don't need to schedule posts for but it can actually be very practical. You don't need to share the photo the day that you take it and it means that you can save it for a day and time that people will more likely see it. With the free version of Buffer, you can only schedule ten posts a day which means you can't go crazy if you take a lot of photos and schedule them all in one go. If you have a plan though this could be useful as it means you'll always be certain that you can get your photos out at the best time, but will have a chance to edit things before they get posted if you forget at first.

When the post is scheduled to go online, you should get a notification with a preview of the post. It can then take you to Instagram to manually post the image. This means you can check everything and all @ tags will be carried over also so everything should go okay but it's always best to check.

There are also analytics sections that tell you which of your posts are most popular. Usually, on Buffer this feature is only for paid users and it could still be like this for Instagram. You can only have one Instagram account connected to Buffer if you're using the free version then you can only connect one but that should be all you need.

Unfortunately due to Instagram's API, Buffer can't automatically post things for you and it will just let you pre-write the post and remind you to post that certain image. It is a great idea though and could be really useful for business.

Almost every social media platform has a regular set of top images, promoted posts and curated content that just scream perfection. Taking a rightful jab at these ideals, Jade Johnson based her final project on addressing the harmful nature of such unrealistic expectations. A student at Birmingham City University, England, Johnson's project focuses specifically on Instagram posts featuring societal standards of beauty, bodies, and lifestyles.

Dubbed the "UnEdit" campaign, Johnson, in conjunction with fellow student Laura Dawkes, used the project to carry out a personal battle as well as a serve as a message for other young women who struggle against social media pressure. The campaign speaks against the unhealthy promotion of dieting, plastic surgery, and extremes for becoming an idyllic woman running rampant on Instagram (#A4waistchallenge, anyone?) .

According to Johnson, during her second year at Birmingham City University, the discrepancy between her personal life and Instagram persona began to overwhelm her. In an interview with Mim Shaikh, Johnson says "I kind of felt pressured by my own Instagram page ... like I was more of a character than a person ... I had to just put on, like, what people liked rather than who I actually was."


Using her photography skills, Johnson's online magazine features images of women with bodies wrapped in plastic, selfies after surgery, and comparative shots of body types/sizes. The overall message of this campaign knocks you over the head: don't allow others to influence how you feel about your body. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, comparison is the thief of joy. Unfortunately, not only do people measure themselves against polished Instagram images; nowadays self-worth is directly linked to likes and follows. Just think about how often you've obsessively checked how many likes you've gotten within minutes of posting, or how many people watched your Snapchat story.

Check out Johnson's campaign look book below. Each page carries a caption pushing a more real approach to life and self. The images are compelling and the words evocative.

Twitter seem to be making deals to stream left, right and centre right now. It was only last week that they were streaming behind the scenes of Wimbledon and now we hear they've made a deal to stream the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

What Twitter has gotten the rights to stream is the CBSN feed, the 24-hour digital news feed ran by CBS. This service will be free to watch and you'll be able to view it whether you have a Twitter account or not. It seems likely that Twitter are paying to stream the feed but they have chosen not to comment on this matter. Streaming political news seems a little weird for Twitter, but when you consider the House sit in that was live streamed on Periscope recently, you can see that people want to see more about politics on Twitter. This live stream might not seem as interesting, it might just be the news as it comes in, but for people interested in US politics it could be very useful.

It seems as if Twitter are trying to stream as much as they possibly can. Whether it's that they want to take over the video market in the hope that it will prevent Twitter from dying or they just want to practice streaming before their big American football stream later this year. We can assume that they will be getting some sort of financial gain from advertising, but we cannot be certain about any of this really. All we know is that Twitter is streaming this among other things. It'll probably work similar to the Wimbledon feeds so that people can tweet and read other tweets whilst they watch the news. This is where Twitter is strongest and where it will continue to be so when it comes to streaming. They know that people want to be social whilst they watch anything and that's why Twitter is great for this.

As well as these Convention streams, Twitter is also trying to buy the rights to stream football and NBA games. We don't know how successful they'll be, but if they do manage to win it then we can be pretty sure that Twitter will be leading when it comes to streaming very soon. For now, though, if you wish to watch the convention streams, the Republican Convention will be held from July 18th-21st and the Democratic Convention will be held from July 25th-28th.

With all the talk about whether Twitter would last much longer, it seemed like there was no doubt that Periscope and Vine would keep running even if Twitter had to sell them. That's not starting to look so plausible as Twitter slips into a gap in the video market whilst Vine seems to be drying up.

It was only last month that Twitter finally agreed to start paying Viners after years of the internet celebrities asking and at the same time they increased the length that videos could be, but it could all be in vain. Vine made a name for itself by allowing it's users to create 6-second looping videos, something that they couldn't do anywhere else. It allowed users to make silly videos, most of which would eventually become a series of them doing the same thing in different circumstances. These videos were often curated by users and posted as one video on YouTube so people could go through a lot of short videos at once. And unfortunately, these stars once famous as Viners are moving onto other platforms they may have just used on the side before like YouTube or Snapchat or Instagram. Video is moving on and Viners had to move with the times if they wanted teenagers to continue to know their names. Vine isn't dead just yet though and there is still a dedicated user base, but it isn't as large as it used to be. The video length increase was the first update the app had received in a long time and users just cannot be bothered with Vine anymore. Vine used to be in the top 100 apps in a dozen countries but now the only place it is in the figure is the top 100 is Grenada.

As well as this there has been a recent overhaul in the management of the app. The general manager AJ Frank left recently and since then many other members of staff have left. Twitter will repopulate Vine and they will continue to try to work on Vine, but it may be too little too late. If they do succeed then it will be down to the new breed of Vine stars and only if they can manage Vine with their other social media to draw them back to the app. The people I know who used to check Vine daily have slowly been stopping and that is never a good sign.

Vine could always be saved and it could suddenly burst back on the scenes but this seems unlikely. Vine isn't what it used to be and you pretty much never hear about it apart from their now smaller userbase. Twitter will have a lot of work to do if they want to keep Vine and if there's any service that's managing video well now then it's Twitter.

The Guardian
A lot of people like to complain about children spending too much time on phones, the computer or in front of the TV. They say that kids should be outside playing but while they will also spend a lot of time outside, that doesn't mean that kids don't like watching things too. However, it's starting to look as though children are growing less interested in watching TV and more interested in watching YouTube videos.

This will hardly come as a surprise to most people. There are a lot of videos out there aimed at children from toy unboxing to animations to Minecraft videos. A while ago I wrote about how parents actually felt about letting kids make Minecraft videos and it must mean that kids are watching them. What we didn't know is how much these sorts of videos are taking over how kids view things. According to Ofcom, there has been a 25% decline in children's viewing of linear TV. This actually seems strange as they do spend a lot of time in front of the TV still, but a lot of this time may be whilst doing other things or just whilst someone else is actually watching their programs instead.

The reason why YouTube might be doing so well compared to other TV shows could be the format. YouTube tends to be straight in front of you talking to the camera and though a lot of kids TV shows do that, they act as if they're responding to your answers. In an online video, you just get the honest response of the person recording the video which may be seen as better as sometimes recorded TV shows can feel a little dishonest as we only see the caricatured reactions of how they want children to see them.

The only problem with this is that if a show is on TV, someone is likely to watch it but YouTube requires recommendations for people to watch. This means that it could be just as difficult to get people to love your series as it is to get your show on TV. On social media, however, you can share links and get your friends to push your videos to their kids and their friends so that could be why children are watching more of this than they might be TV, and this is likely going to be a trend that continues.

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