Gaming has been becoming increasingly more mainstream through the years, growing alongside the growth social media has seen as well. With so many different companies diving head first into video games, it shouldn’t really be a shock that reports are stating that Snapchat will be the latest to join this market with their own version of a mobile gaming platform for its app.
Apple is constantly working to improve the security on its devices and protect our data. This has led to improved encryption and a shift from simple passcodes to fingerprint and most recently facial recognition on its smartphones. The security measures are so good, police seizing an iPhone have to be careful not to look directly at it. There is one thorn in Apple’s side when it comes to security, though, and that’s the company Grayshift. Founded in 2016, it offers law enforcement agencies around the world an iPhone unlocking device called GrayKey. It works, or at least it did until now, and has won Grayshift many customers. However, that all changed with iOS 12.
Snapchat’s poor Android app is still proving to be a major problem for the company. The app lost users for the second straight quarter, with its daily active users declining by 2 million, and Snapchat’s lackluster Android app may be to blame. “The decline was primarily among Android users,” CEO Evan Spiegel said in his prepared remarks during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.
Just before the launch of No Man’s Sky back in August of 2016, Hello Games chief Sean Murray released an open letter to fans. There was something just a tiny bit odd about the note. After all, it opened with this line: I feel sick writing this. You are about to play ‘No Man’s Sky’ and I don’t know what you’ll think. “Believe the hype” this was decidedly not. And sure enough, upon its release the gaming community descended into that place only the gaming community really can: Collective fury, a sense of betrayal, and outrage all mixed into a frothing stew that quickly bubbled over.
Pokémon Go has encouraged more than a few people to step up their physical exercise, and Niantic wants to reward that. It’s launching an Adventure Sync feature in its augmented reality games (starting with Pokémon Go) that syncs with Google Fit and iOS’ HealthKit to translate steps into game progress without having the app open or using a smartwatch. If you regularly go for a run before work, you’ll see that reflected in more Pokémon candy or more efficient egg hatching. You’ll get weekly milestones, too.
Short of an actual apocalypse (which should be coming any day now), this Nerf-branded gun from Hasbro is (thankfully) probably the closest you’re going to come to any real life Fortnite action in the near future. The dart-firing gun was announced recently, alongside a Fortnite version of Monopoly (which launched earlier this month), and now we’ve got some pictures and a June 1 release date. The AR-L Blaster was inspired by the firearm in the wildly popular sandbox survival game and has the giant Fortnite branding across its body to provide it.
Samsung today announced results of the #NinjaGalaxySquad contest, which called for gamers to showcase their best moments while wearing the super elite Galaxy skin within Fortnite to secure a spot on Ninja’s coveted gaming squad. Grand prize winner Hector Diaz will join the celebrity-packed squad – including Fortnite streaming legend Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Crazy Rich Asians and Oceans 8 actor Nora “Awkwafina” Lum and award-winning artist Travis Scott – for an exclusive livestream. The exciting Fortnite gameplay is set to take place on Tuesday, October 30, which will also exclusively debut the all-new Galaxy accessory kit.
It’s not just Instagram Stories that Snapchat has to worry about. Facebook and Messenger Stories now have 300 million daily active users, the company announced Wednesday. A user counts as one person, meaning they would not be counted twice across both apps. Facebook did not share the breakdown between each app. By comparison, Snap-owned Snapchat reported 188 million daily active users in its second quarter earnings report in August.
TWO YEARS AGO, Facebook-owned Oculus quietly began demoing a prototype of a stand-alone VR headset codenamed Santa Cruz. Unlike the Oculus Rift, this prototype didn’t need to be wired to a PC to work. Like the Oculus Rift, it promised an immersive quality that might help people actually understand why they’d want to hang out in a virtual environment, wearing a device on their face. Now that prototype is coming out. At its annual developer conference today in San Jose, Oculus unveiled the Quest, the official name for the Santa Cruz headset. Oculus plans to ship it next spring for $399.
About two weeks ago, AppleInsider compared the iPhone X to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 while playing Fortnite, but some complained putting a just-released phone against last year’s model. With the release of the iPhone XS and XS Max, is there as much of a difference between the flagship models of both companies as last time?
Sony Interactive Entertainment boss John Kodera announced the news in a blog post today. “The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems. We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective. ”
And just when you thought that it couldn’t be more popular (or controversial), Facebook according to the Pew Research (Internet and Technology) is losing its foothold in this demographic to Youtube, Snapchat, and Instagram. The teens are speaking out and expressing their ambivalence over social media. Some say it makes them feel connected, others say that the “closeness” is superficial and that it encourages isolation, while others fear bullying and the pressure to go with whatever is popular at the moment.
In a prior Pew Research study in 2015, 71% of teens (12-17 years old) were still on Facebook. Today, that has dropped significantly to 51%. But why are American kids abandoning the ship and migrating to Youtube (used by 85% of teens), Instagram (72%), and Snapchat (69%). Coincidentally, these three more popular platforms are primarily “camera-based” platforms. Facebook is more popular among kids from lower income families: 70% came from those with incomes of $30,000 and lower. Those who patronized Facebook like the fact that it is easier to connect with friends and families from different age groups, find people with the same interests and ferret relevant news. But for those who don’t use Facebook or had reduced their exposure, some claimed that a lot of it had to do with parents “shutting down Facebook”. A disturbing finding is that over a quarter of users find bullying and spreading false rumors rampant on Facebook. One fifth complained that it actually destroyed relationships because of decreased interaction and led to some sort of digital”addiction”.
When asked which social media platform they used the most, only 10% chose Facebook while 35% chose Snapchat followed closely followed by 32% who preferred Youtube. Girls were more loyal to Snapchat while boys gravitated to Youtube more. The slide is so serious that E-Marketer predicts that ” Facebook would lose a further 2.1 million American users under the age of 25 this year”. With 95% of U.S. teens owning smartphones currently, that’s a huge number that can be lost through the cracks – advertising wise since 45% claim to be on the Internet constantly. The Pew Research also revealed 83% of girls play video games while 97% play video games; another reason why the quality and safety of games should be monitored.
“When the 17-year-old turned 13, getting a Facebook account was a rite of passage. Not long after she got the account she realised she didn’t have much use for it.” – Paul Verna (E-marketer analyst)
Personally, although ensuring privacy is now a battle cry at Facebook, the fact that they are playing “matchmaker’ soon is in some weird way, anti-teen and possibly could open a whole new can of worms. Perhaps if Facebook kept it more simple and not push its dendrites into all directions like battling Google on the “apps for business” end, Youtube for video and Match.com for pairings then it could focus on what had made it extremely popular in the first place. Some habits die hard and the older demographics are apparently still happy with the appeal of Facebook; but the downside is that tweens may skip Facebook together and flock to Snapchat and Instagram making the user population an aging one.
Instagram posts are now shareable in Stories, showing up as stickers.
After rolling out changes for Instagram meant for business such as action buttons, the company is now unveiling a new feature for all users.
Instagram now lets you share public posts to your Stories, eliminating the need to screenshot posts for sharing. This feature is now available to Android users and is coming to iOS users soon.
Android users can find this feature under the share option in posts. To use it, click the share button (that paperplane looking thing) below the post. You will see the new Create a story with this post option. Clicking that will bring you to your Stories section, where the post will appear as a sticker. It works the same way with other stickers, allowing users to scale, rotate and move them around.
This new feature also gives due credit to the original poster of an image. When you share a post, the original user’s handle will appear below the sticker. Users can click it to go that user’s profile and see the original post.
Do take note that you can only share posts from public accounts. If you don’t like users sharing your own posts, you can also choose not to disable this in the settings.
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Facebook has upgraded its Stories experience by adding a dedicated Save Photos and Videos feature as well as audio posts.
Facebook just announced three new features to its Facebook Stories. All three will be initially available in India before rolling out globally shortly thereafter.
Photos and videos captured through Facebook Camera can soon be saved privately to users’ account. According to the company, it helps address the issue of having limited space on their devices.
In a select video conference in New Delhi, Director of Product Management Connor Hayes explains the feature further. “The feature will allow you to save the photos and videos that you’ve captured through your Facebook Camera to a separate space from the rest of your shared photos so that other people can’t see them.”
“This is going to be an option for people to save the photos that they might want to share later as well.”
The second feature that Facebook added is the ability to share voice posts to their Stories. It can be posted as a combined audio with a coloured background or photo. Recording the audio works similarly to sending voice messages in the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp.
“The important thing that we’ve learnt from WhatsApp is that voice messaging is an increasingly popular way for people to communicate when they don’t want to type up messages.”
According to the company, this will also be useful for people who has difficulty in typing out messages. Some people have keyboards that aren’t in their native languages so this can be a helpful tool.
Finally, users will soon be able to archive their posted Stories. Currently, Stories disappear after 24 hours from posting. After the 24-hour window, users can now choose to re-share or re-post them on the social network as long as they are archived.
Don’t hold your breathe for Vine 2, it won’t be coming anytime soon.
The company’s co-founder, Dom Hofmann, announced on Friday the indefinite postponement of Vine 2’s launch.
Hofmann outlined the reasons for coming to the “very difficult decision” of postponing the project on the v2 forums. Among those, and probably the biggest reason, is the financial aspect.
When he first revealed Vine 2, which was dubbed V2, he announced that it would be a personal project and will be personally funded. Apparently the response was overwhelming and the larger-than-expected audience for the project would cost A LOT to run. Way more than his personal funding could cover. Legal issues have also surfaced and the “legal fees have been overwhelming.”
“Long story short, in order to work, the V2 project needs to operate as a company with sizeable external funding, probably from investors.”
However, investors weren’t too keen to jump in on the project. “I already run an early-stage company that is in the middle of development. Very few backers would be happy with the split attention, and I wouldn’t be either. This is potentially solvable, but it’s going to take time for the space and resources to become available.”
Hoffmann explains what their future plans are.
“We take a step back. The code and ideas still exist, but until everything else comes together, we can’t move forward. Again, this is indefinite, which means that it could take a long time. But it’s necessary.”