Facebook Pulls Facebook Live API Access From Prisma

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Photo- and video-editing application Prisma announced earlier this month that iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 users could stream live on Facebook with the iOS app’s visual effects applied to their streams, but not anymore.

Natasha Lomas of TechCrunch reported that Facebook revoked Prisma’s access to its application-programming interface, telling the app’s developers:

Your app streams video from a mobile device camera, which can already be done through the Facebook app. The live video API is meant to let people publish live video content from other sources such as professional cameras, multicamera setups, games or screencasts.

Lomas pointed out that the frequently asked questions page in the Facebook Live API documentation for developers does not explicitly state that streaming is prohibited from smartphone cameras, and it also says the API can be used to apply special effects to videos, which is what Prisma does.

Prisma co-founder Aram Airapetyan spoke with Lomas, saying there are still big plans for Facebook Live at Prisma, and adding that a new social-focused release is slated for mid-December. He said:

We were trying to fix the issue, but Facebook has a strong policy. It only lets us broadcast to different cameras, drones. Our app is no drone or camera. So this means we cannot do it.

The priority is the social feature coming soon. But after we launch it, we’ll seriously consider giving our users an alternative for Facebook Live.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s action against Prisma?

Mobile Devices Driving Longer Holiday Shopping Season

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

During this time of year, a lot of the conversation focuses on Black Friday marketing strategies and executions. But it’s important to pay attention to Cyber Monday as the shopping season kicks off in earnest. In a report from marketing platform HookLogic, it’s clear that mobile is starting to take over Cyber Monday.

According to the report, both the number of people shopping and the number of purchases were up 11 percent this year compared with same-day averages from 2015. Mobile shoppers accounted for 43 percent of total Cyber Monday shoppers, versus 46 percent shopping on desktop and 11 percent shopping on tablet devices. Indeed, mobile shopping has increased in recent years, particularly when it comes to pre-purchase research.

However as much as Cyber Monday is expanding, there’s a broader trend toward a much longer sale period. According to trend data, traffic and conversions in 2015 were highest from Nov. 23 through Dec. 14, and with longer marketing campaigns, 2016 is likely to show similar trends with regard to expanded holiday shopping.

Steve Elson, vice president of retail strategy for HookLogic, suggested that more devices are leading to more shopping:

People shopped over the weekend and then went online at work at lunch on Monday and bought through high-speed connections. With the combination of deals starting even earlier, high broadband penetration and 4G smartphones, we’re really talking about “Cyber Months.”

For more information from HookLogic, including insights from last year and this, visit its holiday hub.

Image on homepage courtesy of Shutterstock.

Survey: 50% of Users Have Never Paid to Download an App

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Google released the results of a recent survey of smartphone users in the U.S., which revealed how users discover and engage with mobile applications.

For this survey, Google partnered with Ipsos to survey 999 smartphone users in the U.S. aged 16 through 64 during October.

On the topic of discovering mobile apps, the survey showed that friends and family were the top way users did so, followed by “browsing app stores.”

When it comes to actually downloading apps, price was found to be the most important factor. Specifically, 85 percent of respondents said that price was either “extremely” or “very important.” Price was followed by “privacy or security of information,” at 84 percent. Overall, the survey showed that 50 percent of users have never paid to download an app.

Elsewhere, the survey showed that the average user has 35 apps installed on their smartphone, and that 52 percent of those apps are used at least weekly. Breaking this second number down, the survey found that 31 percent of apps are used daily and 21 percent are used weekly, while another 17 percent of apps are “never” used.

The survey showed that a variety of factors can cause users to abandon apps. The top “personal” reason users cited was that they no longer needed the particular app (55 percent). This was followed by a need to free up space on their devices, at 53 percent.

Freeing up phone space was also found to be the top app-related reason for abandoning an app (46 percent). Clearing phone space was followed by technical problems (39 percent) and too many advertisements (32 percent) in the top three.

Check out Google’s complete survey results here.

New Look for Pinterest Business Profiles

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Pinterest announced several updates to its business profiles: a new rotating showcase, the ability to highlight boards and Buyable Pins and a consistent design across the web and mobile.

Product manager Adam Barton detailed the updates in a blog post, saying that the updates will begin rolling out to desktop and mobile users Wednesday, and citing the work of Burberry, Swanson Broth, Corey Egan Jewelry and Lowe’s as examples of creative use of showcases.

Pinterest said in an email to SocialTimes that more than 1 million businesses are on the social network, and 75 percent of the content saved by users comes from those businesses, and Barton wrote of the new features:

Now when your customers visit you on Pinterest, you can greet them with a hand-picked showcase of the best ideas you have to offer. The new rotating showcase sits right at the top of your profile, so it’s the first thing people see. You get to decide how you introduce yourself and how you shape the story of your business.

When you’re on the web, you can choose up to five of your boards to feature. If you have any Buyable Pins to share, you also have the option to highlight them in the first “Shop” slot. Update your showcase as often as you want to highlight what’s new this season, what’s on sale or whatever else makes sense for your business.

We’ve also given your profile a good winter cleaning, so now things look consistent across the web and our applications. The boards you showcase, the cover images you choose for each board—they look the same no matter where people choose to view your profile.

Along with the bright new design, we’ve also made some updates to where things live. Now when people visit your profile, they see a tab for your boards and a tab for your Pins—the things they’re most interested in. So if someone wants the total number of ideas you’ve saved, they just switch over to your Pins tab. Meanwhile the Pins you’ve liked, which other people don’t really care about, are only visible to you.

Readers: What are your initial thoughts on the updates to business profiles on Pinterest?

Apple Launches 2016 Games for (RED) Campaign

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

To mark World AIDS Day Dec. 1, Apple partnered with (RED) and a group of mobile game developers to launch a new Games for (RED) campaign on the iTunes App Store.

During this campaign, players can purchase (RED)-themed content in 20 participating mobile games, including Best Fiends Forever, Clash of Clans and Marvel Contest of Champions. All of the proceeds from the associated in-application purchases will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

For instance, in Best Fiends Forever, players can purchase a (FOREVER)RED bundle, which includes a new souvenir, a two times damage bonus for all red Fiends and limited-edition stickers for use in iMessage. Users can also purchase a special Slap Damage boost.

In Marvel Contest of Champions, meanwhile, players can purchase the (POWER PACK)RED package, which contains a three-star Daredevil (classic) character, a three-star Elektra character, two Tier 5 Skill ISO-8 and a ticket that can be used to unlock a special in-game quest. When users complete the quest with 100 percent mastery, they’ll receive a three-star (CRYSTAL RED) for Elektra, Daredevil (classic), Iron Man, Red Hulk, Hulkbuster or Guillotine.

Here’s the complete list of the participating games:

Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds POP!
Best Fiends
Best Fiends Forever
Boom Beach
Candy Crush Jelly Saga
Clash of Clans
Clash Royale
Farm Heroes Saga
FarmVille: Tropic Escape
FIFA Mobile
Hay Day
Marvel Contest of Champions
PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator
Plants vs. Zombies Heroes
SimCity BuildIt
War Dragons
Yahtzee With Buddies

The Games for (RED) campaign will run from Nov. 30 through Dec. 6.

Readers: Will you purchase any (RED)-themed content in these mobile games?

Image courtesy of Apple.

Twitter Moments Goes Mobile

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Twitter gave all users the ability to create Moments via desktop in late September, and the feature was extended to iPhone and Android users Wednesday.

The social network said in an email to SocialTimes that the extension of the Moments feature to its mobile users marked “an effort to give people, brands and creators a new and dynamic way to tell their stories,” and it shared the news via tweet (embedded below):

The tweet contained a link to this page, which outlined the basics behind creating Moments:

Choose a tweet to get started.
Add your favorite tweets and find new ones.
Reorder. Remix. Refine.
Wrap it up with a cover and perfect title.

Twitter users: What have your experiences with Moments been like?

SSL Is Now the Default on Tumblr

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

SSL (secure sockets layer) is finally the default for new blogs on Tumblr.

Security engineer Josh Hixson announced the move via tweet (embedded below), crediting fellow Tumblr security engineer Kelly Lum:

Tumblr actually introduced its SSL option for blogs in February 2014, but it was not made the default until now.

Readers: What are your thoughts on this move by Tumblr?

Facebook’s being a bully again, this time over Prisma’s live video filters

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

In yet another case of “giant tech company choking out startup,” Facebook has reportedly blocked Prisma‘s super gnarly art filters from working with Facebook Live videos.

Facebook claims the Prisma app’s use of its Live Video API doesn’t comply with terms and conditions, according to TechCrunch. Facebook claims the API is only for publishing live video from non-mobile devices such as professional cameras and drones.

SEE ALSO: Prisma brings its trippy video filters to Facebook Live

“Your app streams video from a mobile device camera, which can already be done through the Facebook app. The Live Video API is meant to let people publish live video content from other sources such as professional cameras, multi-camera setups, games or screencasts,” Facebook told Prisma. Read more…

More about Filters, Video, Facebook Live, Prisma, and Facebook

Twitter Adds Conversation Ranking, Direct Reply Count to Mobile Apps

By Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

A feature Twitter introduced on desktop in June 2015 has finally made it way to the social network’s mobile applications.

Twitter announced via a Twitter Support tweet (embedded below) that it has added conversation ranking and direct reply count to the replies section of its apps.

The tweet directed users to a Help Center page that provided the following details on the new features:

You may notice that some replies in a conversation are not shown in chronological order. Replies are grouped by sub-conversations because we strive to show you the best content first and what we think you’d be most interested in. For example, when ranking a reply higher, we consider factors such as if the original tweet author has replied, or if a reply is from someone you follow.

Just like you can see the total number of likes and retweets for any tweet, you can also see how many people are participating in the conversation by the reply count. You’ll see a number next to the reply icon indicating how many direct replies the original tweet has received. This number is not the total number of replies in the entire conversation.

Readers: What are your thoughts on these changes to replies on Twitter’s mobile apps?