Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, will reportedly take to Snapchat to encourage more young Americans to get vaccinated.
Fauci, 80, will make his Snapchat debut as part of a wider White House media campaign to launch on Monday, Axios reported Sunday. As of Monday, everyone aged over 16 in the US is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Fauci and the White House want to reassure Americans who may be hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, an unnamed official told Axios.
Snap reportedly researched ways to skirt Apple’s new privacy rules that will ban apps from tracking people without their permission, The Financial Times reported Friday.
The company explored methods of tracking people’s behavior through third parties and cross-referencing that information with its own user database to keep tabs on users, according to the report, which cited internal documents and unnamed sources familiar with the situation.
The report comes as Apple is preparing to roll out new privacy policies that will ask people if they want to let their apps track them and block apps from doing so if they opt out.
Snap did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. In a statement to FT, Snap confirmed that it explored methods of tracking users’ behavior using third party services, but said that it would discontinue the system once Apple’s new privacy changes go into effect.
“We support and will follow Apple’s upcoming guidelines because we have always believed that advertising should respect consumers’ privacy,” Snap told the outlet.
Snap isn’t the only company to have explored skirting Apple’s new privacy rules. ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, reportedly tested Chinese state-backed tools that would make it possible to keep tracking users in China even after Apple’s new standards go into effect.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If you decide you don’t want your Snapchat account anymore, it’s easy to delete it. However, you can only do so on the Snapchat website, which means you’ll need to know your login information.
Keep in mind that once you complete these steps, your Snapchat account won’t be deleted right away. It’ll be deactivated for 30 days, during which time you’ll have the option to reactivate your account before it’s permanently deleted.
Here’s how to delete Snapchat and deactivate your account.
If you decide to reactivate your Snapchat account before 30 days have passed, you can do so by simply logging back in with your username and password. It may take up to 24 hours for your account to reactivate.
Even though it is still in the early stages, much attention has been focused on how 5G services will effectively power innovation and increase performance, across a broad range of industries.
Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all offer 5G coverage across the US, and last October, Apple rolled out a lineup of iPhone 12 models, all of which will be compatible with 5G.
The technology follows 4G LTE, which is used for streaming and other data-heavy activities, as well as driving Verizon’s national network, for example. 5G networks are anticipated to be 10 times faster than 4G LTE, as Insider previously reported.
Insider spoke to experts in the healthcare, transportation, augmented reality, and retail industries to see how they will be able to leverage this technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of telehealth services in an age where social-distancing measures dominate our lives. Electronic interaction between doctors and patients has been relied upon as people follow stay-at-home orders.
With the implementation of 5G, e-health experts and entrepreneurs are increasingly seeing how the new technology has the potential to advance healthcare to the next level. For example, by accelerating the use of augmented-reality applications and robotics to assist surgeons in complex surgical procedures.
Oliver Kharraz is the chief executive and founder of ZocDoc, a New York-based service that helps people book medical appointments. Kharraz said in an interview with Insider: “Investments in infrastructure, including 5G, will ensure that everyone has seamless access to telehealth and faster access to healthcare overall.”
For Kharraz, making a doctor’s appointment shouldn’t require perseverance. It should be a speedy, convenient process, he said, which is a distinct advantage of 5G, due to its super-short latency.
When asked what problems 5G can solve in telehealth, Kharraz said there are three important ways the technology can resolve issues in telehealth: “Bringing consistency to the experience, offering efficiencies, and enabling more and better relationships.”
He said: “Right now, a patient located in an area with spotty connectivity may have to explain a symptom to their provider two or three times and wait through a screen freeze for answers to their questions; that’s not a great experience. In urban areas, many of us take that connectivity for granted but it’s not the reality everywhere.
The proliferation of 5G will introduce additional efficiencies that will allow providers to minimize their efforts on administrative processes, Kharraz added. “For instance, in areas with good online access, appointments can be made online versus on the phone and documents can easily be shared on a patient portal versus a fax machine.”
5G is poised to revolutionize the transportation industry in two categories – protection and personalization – according to Verizon’s new business incubation VP, Elise Neel.
By protection, Neel refers to the ways in which 5G can drastically improve road safety. Verizon’s partnerships with companies like HERE, a location data and technology platform, demonstrate the possibilities of combining the power of 5G Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) with location intelligence.
Neel said: “One application that was developed leverages HERE’s HD Live Map and HERE’s proprietary Live Sense computer vision technology to create a Vehicle to Network (V2N) communication system that identifies vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and barriers from a vehicle-mounted smartphone.”
The data is then sent in real-time to Verizon’s 5G MEC network, where AI predicts likely travel paths and warns vehicles of impending potential collisions, Neel said.
5G will also enable innovations that help cut congestion by monitoring and controlling traffic lights; alerting drivers of delays; and providing smart parking solutions, according to Neel. She said this will allow cities to personally accommodate individual needs.
Neel believes 5G is paving the way for an array of innovations that will reshape cities, businesses, and society as a whole. “These advances are merging the physical, digital, and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential disruption,” she said.
Advanced technology through 5G will also enable new innovations in manufacturing.
As information technology and operational technology budgets continue to converge, 5G will assist in the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as factories and systems become more automated and autonomous.
Neel cites the example case of autonomous mobile robots and MEC, which will create new opportunities to upskill workers and facilitate a symbiotic relationship between humans and machines.
Transparent and real-time data sharing can also improve response times, and enable predictive maintenance and inventory analyses, all powered by 5G.
4. Augmented reality and artificial intelligence
The future of AR and AI depends on the reliability of 5G networks.
Carolina Arguelles Navas, head of AR product strategy at Snapchat, told Insider about the importance of 5G technology for Snapchat since it enables them to create augmented-reality experiences that far surpass anything they were able to do before.
She said: “For example, our famous AR Lenses are usually around 4mb in file size. With 5G, we’re able to deliver Lenses that are around 50mb in file size! It makes a huge difference in the quality, detail, and amount of content that we can pack into each individual Lens, and allows us to deliver these tech-intensive experiences seamlessly to Snapchatters.”
Last year, Snapchat put 5G to the test with the world’s first 5G Landmarker Lens experience, built in partnership with Verizon. Together with Verizon and the band Black Pumas, they transformed the New York public library into an AR concert venue.
“Snapchatters on Verizon’s 5G network could unlock an AR experience at the Library, where Black Pumas’ lead singer Eric Burton put on a psychedelic performance of their hit song ‘Colors’ as a Bitmoji-style avatar.
Arguelles Navas said the company was excited to “continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible as 5G networks become more widely available.”
When 5G is distributed to enough people, retail operations stand to benefit from incorporating the technology into their business. The technology will be useful for experiences like VR and AR, which retailers can use to enhance their in-store experience, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, an analytics and consulting company.
“From an operational point of view, 5G can be used internally to allow workers to connect to store and company networks remotely via portable devices,” he said.
The potential to further elevate digital communication comes at a time when engaging with consumers through technology has become essential as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
Saunders added: “5G will allow retailers to deliver more information to consumers, which will improve customer service. There are many back-end connectivity issues, such as connecting remote sites and warehouses to the retail ecosystem that it could help with.”
The app aims to create unbiased news in real-time and bills itself as “TikTok for news.”
It creates news stories, averaging at around 70 words, which users can read in less than nine seconds. The stories are listed in-app in a swipe format that’s easy on the eye. This is crucial to make the app attractive to its millennial target market, Vazirani said.
A post shared by Volv ☁️ (@volvmedia)
People in their teens and 20s often check their phones before they even get out of bed, logging into various apps to view the latest newsfeed updates. On Volv, users can scroll through and see all the major news stories at a glance.
In this way, the app can show people the top political and financial stories and covert non-news readers, while also offsetting heavy stories with lighter reads.
This approach is paying off. Volv publishes around 50 stories a day and its articles have been read nearly 8 million times so far. Its founders said it has a high retention rate, too.
A post shared by Volv ☁️ (@volvmedia)
Volv launched a week before the US went into lockdown but perhaps this was fortunate timing. People staying at home spend more time online. In addition, major news events have drawn readers in. This includes the Black Lives Matter movement, tumultuous 2020 presidential election, Capitol siege, and of course, the ongoing pandemic.
“It sort of pushed us in at the deep end,” Almeida told Insider.
Being unbiased is a key part of the app’s identity. Its founders also recently launched a feature called timeline news. This allows readers to get a broader view of the topic and understand how a story has developed, without moving away from the short-format feature.
It has a team of fewer than 10 people – but it’s actively recruiting more so it can diversify its content.
Prior to launching the app, Almeida and Vazirani, emailed billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban on a whim for some advice. To their surprise, Cuban responded. He gave them tips on how to make the content more youthful and in sync with millennials. He also advised them on how to market the app and differentiate it from existing news sites.
Almeida and Vazirani had no tech experience before creating Volv. Instead, they created the app from a consumer angle, the pair told Insider. They also applied this to the interface of the app, which has neutral colors and no bold headlines to create a calm, seamless experience, Vazirani said.
So far, Volv has used purely organic marketing. It’s been featured by YouTubers and tech bloggers, and has a page on Product Hunt, which helps spread the word and give it a global audience, Almeida said. Although it’s shunned paid marketing so far, it’s looking to try it out in the future, she added.
A post shared by Volv ☁️ (@volvmedia)
Volv received pre-seed funding through Snap’s accelerator Yellow, which Vazirani said gave it “instant validation.” As well as the funding, Yellow has also given Volv access to a range of resources, including sessions hosted by guest speakers. Snapchat and Volv share the same target market and are both based around speed and short pieces, so the pairing made sense, Vazirani said.
The founders told Insider Volv is going to be raising its seed round soon but did not provide further details.
The roughly 10,000-square-foot home lies within a gated community in the mountains between Beverly Hills and Studio City and was previously owned by Jennifer Messer, the daughter of Skechers founder Robert Greenberg, Dirt reports.
Reports of Grusd’s purchase follows another multimillion-dollar home purchase by a Snap executive: Dirt’s Mae Hamilton reported last month that Jeremi Gorman, Snap’s chief business officer, paid $15.8 million for a mansion in Hermosa Beach, California, just south of Snap’s headquarters in Venice, California. The hilltop home boasts ocean views and backs up to a property owned by TV host Jimmy Kimmel, Yahoo reports.
And in January, The New York Post’s Mary K. Jacob revealed that Snap cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel dropped $30 million on a mansion in Paris. The 10,000-square-foot house, located near the Seine river in Paris, includes six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a swimming pool, courtyard, garden, library, music room, wine cellar, private dressing rooms, and space for nurses, maids, or chefs, according to the Post.
Spiegel and Kerr reportedly paid $30,358,000 when they purchased the property last May.
Those three major home purchases follow a breakout year for Snap in which shares of the company’s stock have risen roughly 34%. Snap’s stock recently hit a 52-week high of $68.70 following its investor day – Peter Sellis, Snap’s senior director of ad products, said that the company is “in a position to drive multiple years of 50% plus revenue growth,” according to CNBC.
As Insider’s Tanya Dua, Lara O’Reilly, and Dan Whateley reported earlier this month, Snap has been steadily winning back users and advertisers, due in part to the Facebook ad boycott last summer. Gorman told Insider that it was a “tipping point” for Snapchat, the disappearing photo and video app Snap owns – the company was able to convince both new and existing advertisers to spend on Snapchat instead of other social media platforms.
The US Capitol siege by President Donald Trump supporters on Wednesday has set off a range of responses and actions from big tech companies, including deleting the infamous Trump response video and temporarily freezing Trump’s social media accounts.
Following this removal, on Thursday, YouTube announced it would give channels a “strike” if its videos violated the social media platform’s policies. Following the first strike, a channel will be banned from posting for a week. A second strike within 90 days will result in a two-week ban. The third and final strike, if done within 90 days, will result in a permanent ban.
On Thursday, Facebook went one step further and decided to freeze Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, wrote in a post.
“His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” a Snap spokesperson told Insider in June. “Racial violence and injustice have no place in our society and we stand together with all who seek peace, love, equality, and justice in America.”
“Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence,” a Shopify spokesperson said in a statement to Insider on Thursday. “Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”
Twitch has also frozen Trump’s account, and will make further decisions about his account after Biden is inaugurated, The Verge reported.
On Wednesday, Twitter removed the same one-minute video that YouTube and Facebook dismissed. Shortly after, the social media platform locked Trump’s Twitter account and removed three tweets – including one with the aforementioned video – and replaced the posts with “this Tweet is no longer available” messages. As a result, Trump could either delete the tweets to gain access to his account after 12 hours or remain frozen out of his Twitter account.
On Thursday, Trump deleted the three tweets in question, and the tweets now read: “This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules.” Twitter did not confirm with Insider the time the tweets were deleted, but if the original statement still holds, the 12-hour countdown until Trump has access to his Twitter account has already begun.
However, the social media platform isn’t ruling out more serious actions in the future.
“Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” Twitter said in a statement.
Since its inception, one of the biggest use cases of AR on mobile remains the ability to play with your appearance whether through clothes, accessories, or makeup. Snapchat and Instagram are no stranger to this trend, and now Google is making its mark in the space with its own update.
Specifically, the tech giant tapped ModiFace and Perfect Corp, two companies highly involved in AR beauty technologies, to deliver a feature that gives online shoppers a way to virtually try on makeup without having to deviate from their Search results.
Separately, Google teamed up with Snapchat to put an immersive twist on its ‘Year in Search’ trends overview. Here’s a high-level overview of the latest.
Bringing the benefits of in-store shopping to mobile
Similar to YouTube’s AR feature for makeup try-on launched last year, Google’s latest push utilizes top brands including L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, MAC Cosmetics, Black Opal, and Charlotte Tilbury allowing consumers to try on a variety of makeup products without having to set foot in a store to test the look and feel.
Here’s how it works: When a user searches for a particular lipstick or eyeshadow product such as— “L’Oréal’s Infallible Paints Metallic Eyeshadow,” — they’ll be directed to the virtual try-on shopping experience at the top of their search results. From there, they can browse a library of photos of models representing a range of skin tones to help compare the shades and find the right product for them
“Seventy-three percent of U.S. shoppers are planning to buy online,” said Archana Kannan, Group Product Manager, Shopping and author of the announcement regarding this past holiday season’s expectations. “There are plenty of perks with online shopping, from the convenience of doing it from your couch to the multitude of options right at your fingertips.”
Details aside — the key takeaway here is that more than ever consumers are finding out about products from social media, then clicking through direct links to retailers to make purchases or even transacting directly on social platforms like Facebook or Instagram without leaving the app. A big driver of this shift? Influencers.
Endorsements from experts and enthusiasts
As part of the effort, Google is taking into consideration how consumers ultimately make their decision and a big trend as of late is recommendations from trusted sources like influencers.
In this vein, the company is unveiling recommendations from beauty, apparel and home and garden enthusiasts and experts, including online influencers, when a consumer browses Google Shopping on their phone. For example, hear the latest from professional makeup artist Jonet about makeup looks, or get holiday gift ideas from Homesick Candles.
“Sometimes it’s helpful to get recommendations and see how products work for other people,” explained Kannan. “Once you’ve found a product you love, you’ll be able to easily shop these recommendations.” This feature comes from Shoploop, a product formerly part of Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator.
The ‘Year in Search’ AR experience
The end of the year always seems to be nostalgic and Google and Snapchat are leaning into this in an innovative way. A new Google Lens accessible through Snapchat gives users an interactive walk down memory lane of all the key events of 2020 and noteworthy insights.
For instance, clicking on a photo of a Black Lives Matter protest highlights that compared to the previous year, searches of the term were up five-fold. Further, searches for “protest near me” were made in every state in the country for the first time ever.
“As 2020 comes to an end, Snap and Google have partnered to bring Google’s iconic “Year in Search” story to life with an immersive augmented reality experience. This marks the first time Google’s “Year in Search” has been brought to life in AR, and the campaign’s debut on Snapchat.”
Additionally, Snapchat also reports that for the first time Google will run its “Year in Search” video as ads on the platform.
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In days past, if you wanted to share a tweet to Snapchat, you needed to screenshot it and then share your screenshot.
But now, there’s a better, more integrated option: iOS users can share tweets to Snapchat directly with a few taps, allowing their followers to navigate to the tweet and see the replies (or share it themselves).
Here’s how iOS users can get started sharing tweets to Snapchat.
How to add a tweet to Snapchat
1. Open Twitter and navigate to the tweet you want to share. The tweet must be from an account that’s public – if the tweeter’s username has a lock icon next to it, the tweet can’t be shared.
2. Tap the tweet’s sharing icon, which looks like an arrow pointing upwards out of a box. It’ll be in the bottom-right corner of the tweet.
3. You’ll see “Snap Camera” as a share option. Tap it. If you don’t see this option, it means that either Twitter or Snapchat needs to be updated, or you don’t have Snapchat installed and set up.
4. Snapchat will open, with your tweet inserted on the screen. Don’t worry about the placement of the tweet – you can adjust this after you’ve recorded the snap.
5. Take your snap – it can be a picture or video. Add any text, effects, or filters you’d like, and then move the tweet to where you want it. You can also rotate and resize it freely.
6. Tap the send button in the bottom-right corner of the screen and select your recipients, then tap the blue arrow in the bottom-right to send it.
To open the tweet you sent so they can see the replies or share it, your recipient will need to swipe up on your snap.