Snapchat users on Android devices spent about 23% more time on the app on Monday compared with the same day the week before, according to Sensor Tower data shared with Bloomberg. And Telegram, an encrypted messaging app similar to Facebook-owned WhatsApp, gained 70 million new users during the outage, according to the platform’s CEO Pavel Durov.
Telegram has about 500 million monthly active users, meaning the number of signups on Monday was equal to about 10% of the app’s existing user base, The Verge reported. The last time Telegram had a similar surge was in January, when Facebook reported problems with WhatsApp, according to the publication.
“The daily growth rate of Telegram exceeded the norm by an order of magnitude, and we welcomed over 70 million refugees from other platforms in one day,” Durov wrote in a message on Telegram on Monday. He said that the app’s newest users from the US might have experienced some delays on the platform due to the sudden influx of downloaders.
Durov added, “We won’t fail you when others will,” an apparent nod to Facebook’s technical troubles that day.
Facebook documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show the company agonized over how to get “tweens” – children aged between 10 and 12 – onto its platform.
In one document from 2020 viewed by The Journal, the company said tweens were a “valuable but untapped audience.”
In a document from 2019, the company considered whether it could “leverage playdates” to get more tweens on Facebook, specifically by getting them to use Messenger Kids app while hanging out with their friends, The Journal reported.
One of the documents The Journal reviewed said Facebook’s goal was “messaging primacy with US Tweens,” which it said would have the knock-on effect of “winning with Teens.”
The documents also showed the company feared it was losing to rival social-media apps Snapchat and TikTok, who were gaining in popularity among teenagers.
“Global teen penetration on FB is low, and acquisition appears to be slowing down,” one document from March 2021 noted, per The Journal.
Another document said the number of teens using Facebook every day had fallen by 19% over the past two years, according to the report.
Facebook’s researchers found that children and teens viewed the platform as a place for older people. “Facebook is for old people – old as in 40,” one 11-year-old told Facebook’s researchers, per The Journal’s report on the documents.
In a statement published on its blog, Facebook said The Journal’s report was “nothing more than an attempt to recycle previous reporting.”
“Companies that operate in a highly competitive space – including the Wall Street Journal – make efforts to appeal to younger generations. Considering that our competitors are doing the same thing, it would actually be newsworthy if Facebook didn’t do this work,” the company said.
In its statement, Facebook said the language it had used around playdates was badly worded.
“Unfortunately the language we used was an insensitive way to pose a serious question and doesn’t reflect our approach to building the app. It was part of research to better understand how families and kids were using the Messenger Kids app to improve their experiences with it,” Facebook said in the blog post.
Snapchat’s various features can be confusing to the uninitiated. The difference between filters and lenses, for example, may not be clear.
To help, here’s a quick social-media lesson: Snapchat filters are static, and sit on top of your image or video. Snapchat lenses, on the other hand, are augmented reality animations that can change the sound of your voice or appearance as you move on the screen.
And unlike Snaps themselves, filters and lenses are available on your computer via the Snap Camera app. So if you want to add them to a Zoom call, or even to a livestream, you can.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to use Snapchat filters and lenses on your phone or computer.
Enable Snapchat filters
1. Open Snapchat and log in, if needed.
2. Tap your profile icon, located in the top-left corner of the screen.
3. Tap the settings icon, which looks like a gear, located in the top-right corner of the screen.
4. Under Additional Services, select Manage.
5. Toggle Filters to the on position. If you don’t see this option then you likely already have filters automatically enabled.
Use Snapchat filters
1. Open your Snapchat app.
2. Take a photo by tapping the circle in the bottom-center of the screen, or take a video by tapping and holding it down.
3. Swipe right or left over the photo or video you just took to cycle through your filters.
4. If you want to use more than one filter, you can do so by tapping the filter-stacking icon, which appears once you add the first filter to your Snap, and then continue to swipe through additional filters. Otherwise continue to step five.
5. Tap Send To in the bottom-right corner of the screen to send the Snap to friends or add it to your story.
Try Snapchat lenses
1. Open your Snapchat app.
2. Tap the screen. A carousel of icons will then appear at the bottom.
3. Swipe through the assortment of lens options at the bottom of the screen. Be aware that it may take a moment for each one to load.
4. When ready, select the lens you want and tap its icon to capture a quick photo – or tap and hold for video.
Set up Snap Camera to add filters and lenses to video calls
To use the Snap Camera app, your computer needs to meet these system requirements:
Windows 10 (64 bit) or newer; MacOS 10.13 or newer.
Minimum of Intel Core i3 2.5Ghz or AMD FX 4300 2.6Ghz with 4 GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics 4000 / Nvidia GeForce 710 / AMD Radeon HD 6450; screen resolution of 1280×768 or higher.
Assuming your computer meets those requirements, you’re in luck: the Snap Camera app is free to download and use – and you don’t even have to have a Snapchat account to use it.
To use Snap Camera:
1. Download and install the Snap Camera app and be sure to give the app permission to use your camera and mic when prompted.
2. Click the star icon, which appears when you hover over a particular filter or lens, to add it to your favorites and make it easier to access.
3. When you use a video call app or other program that uses your webcam, select Snap Camera in that app’s settings.
4. To use a filter or lens, simply select it from within the Snap Camera app, either via the main page or from your favorites by clicking the star icon in the top-left corner of the screen. Your image will then automatically update with the selected lens or filter.
To turn off the filter or lens, simply click it again in the Snap Camera app.
Keep in mind that the process of selecting the Snap Camera app as your camera source will vary slightly from app to app.
For example, in Zoom, you can do this by simply selecting the up-carrot next to the video icon, and under Select a Camera, you’d choose the Snap Camera app.
But, if you’re on Twitch and use Streamlabs OBS, you’d do this by clicking the plus icon, located in the top-right corner of the Sources panel. Then, select Video Capture Device and click Add Source. Then you can give it a name and add it as a source. From there, select that camera from the device drop-down menu in your settings.
We combed through public data to get a picture of Snap’s salary levels. The data, released by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification, shows how much Snap offered to pay employees who it wanted to hire in the US through work visas.
Snap offered certain US staffers between October 2020 and March 2021 annual salaries ranging $59,000 to $500,000 for various roles, according to the data.
Snap said it’s committed to paying all employees a livable wage that “contributes to healthy work-life integration and to the local economy in which we work.” It offers a minimum of $15,000 in equity grants to new hires, and said its baseline annual pay rate for employees at its headquarters in Santa Monica is $70,000.
Our full analysis breaks down salaries for jobs including product, research, engineering, and marketing roles.
Bitmoji allows users to create and share personalized avatars, which can be used in messaging apps, email, social media, and more. Users can customize their Bitmoji in a thousands of ways to make it look like them or someone completely different.
The Bitmoji Chrome extension brings the user-created avatars from your phone to your computer. With it, you can access all your Bitmoji stickers and then paste them into emails, social media posts, blogs – any text field that allows images.
Here’s how to download and use the Google Chrome Bitmoji extension.
3. Click “Add extension.” You’ll be brought to page where you need to log in with your Snapchat or Bitmoji account.
Once added, the Bitmoji icon will appear next to your other extensions in the top toolbar. If you don’t see it, try clicking the puzzle piece icon.
Now, to use the extension:
1. Click the Bitmoji icon in your top toolbar. It’ll load, and you’ll be shown a variety of different Bitmoji pictures.
2. When you find the Bitmoji picture you want to use, right-click it and then select Copy Image.
3. Find someplace you can paste images – in an email, or when writing a tweet – and paste the image in. You can do this by right-clicking and selecting Paste, or by pressing the keyboard command for paste – Ctrl + V on a PC, or Command + V on a Mac.
A photo-sharing app that bans selfies launched on Monday, generating buzz online and quickly topping the free-downloads chart on the US App Store.
Poparazzi operates as a social-media platform that mimics a paparazzi shoot. It only allows users to take photos of other people. It doesn’t allow filters, follower counts, captions, or photos taken by a phone’s front-facing camera.
In other words, Poparazzi is all about “hyping up your friends,” as the company advertises. SignalFire investor Josh Constantine dubbed the platform “the perfect app for Hot Vax Summer.” Other venture capitalists compared the app’s debut to the launch of popular apps like Clubhouse, Snapchat, and even Facebook.
Here’s how Poparazzi works
A user’s Poparazzi profile is divided between the photos they take of their friends and the ones that are taken of them. The profile also shows which users most frequently catch them on camera.
On the app, users simply take a quick photo and then tag their friends. The photos are designed to be candid and the app doesn’t allow for cropping, adding captions, filters or edits.
Tagged photos do not appear on a user’s account unless the accounts are following each other, though the app automatically follows everyone in an individual’s phone book when it is downloaded.
Each profile also gets a “pop” score, which tracks how many photos you take.
Overall, unlike most social-media apps like Instagram and Snapchat that focus on adding more filters and elements, Poparazzi is all about restricting features and simplifying the platform.
The company wrote in a blog post that they were inspired to create the app as way to develop a more authentic social-media presence for users.
“We built Poparazzi to take away the pressure to be perfect,” the company wrote in a Medium post announcing its launch. “We did this by not allowing you to post photos of yourself, putting the emphasis where it should’ve been all along: on the people you’re with. On Poparazzi, you are your friend’s paparazzi, and they are yours.”
How to get started with the app
The platform is clearly targeted toward Gen Z. When you sign up the app flashes candid pictures of high schoolers and college students at parties. It’s akin to the early days of Snapchat.
The onboarding process is designed to introduce users to a “new age” of social media. It provides haptic feedback, as if you’re actually taking the pictures flitting across the screen.
“Let’s get it poppin’,” highlights the screen, as users are directed to set up their accounts.
The sign-up process is very standard. All it requires is your name, age, and phone number. The app then asks for access to an individual’s camera, contacts, and notifications.
Poparazzi allows users to create their own profile pictures, but once you’re on the app your profile is defined by your friends and how they see you through the lens of a camera. There is massive incentive to invite new users to the app, as a user’s presence on the platform is entirely dependent on having friends on Poparazzi and there is not a lot to do on the app without friends.
On the app, users can take quick photos called “pops” or tap on the camera icon multiple times to create stop-motion-like GIFs.
Poparazzi does not allow captions or comments, but you can provide reactions, as well as find and follow new accounts. Unlike Instagram, the app stays away from follow counts, but each user’s profile shows the number of views they’ve gotten on their Poparazzi pictures, as well as the number of reactions to their photos.
People are given the option to delete and untag pictures they do not want on their profile. They can also block users who they don’t want “popping” pictures of them and prevent the accounts from tagging their name.
You can, however, take photos of people that are not yet on the app by labeling them with the individual’s name. The photos will create a profile that friends can later claim and will appear as a shell profile with the tag “this profile is not claimed yet.”
Poparazzi also allows users to upload photos from their phone, as well as share photos from the app to Snapchat or across other social-media platforms.
To date, Poparazzi is only available for Apple devices on the App Store, though the company plans to eventually release it for Android devices as well.
The app seems to have taken social-media by storm and many investors are saying it could represent a “new age” for social media.
Social media buzzed with news of the app after it was released
The app was created by founders Alex and Austen Ma. They have reportedly raised over $2 million in funding led by investing firm Floodgate, but their list of investors is relatively unknown.
After the app’s debut, many VCs took to Twitter to promote the app, generating speculations as to who else could be funding the new social media platform.
“Poparazzi from @chinesemamba & co. is lighting up the App Store,” Danny Trinh the head designer of Zenly tweeted, reminiscing about when he helped launch SnapChat. “I’m nostalgic because *checks date* 10 years ago, I worked on a small app just for photos of friends. Poparazzi is a lot more fun :).”
Diller criticized Apple for using its “quasi-monopoly” to overcharge companies like his in “a disgusting manner” through its App Store commissions. The company requires developers to pay a 30% fee on purchases made in the marketplace, and many have long seen the practice as a way for Apple to obtain an unfair advantage in the market.
“The idea that they actually justify it by saying, ‘We spend all this money protecting our little App Store,'” Diller told CNBC. “I mean, it’s criminal. Well, it will be criminal.”
Spiegel later spoke with the outlet and said Snap is “happy” to pay the 30% commission fee on in-app purchases.
“We really feel like Snapchat wouldn’t exist without the iPhone and without the amazing platform that Apple has created,” Spiegel said. “In that sense, I’m not sure we have a choice about paying the 30% fee, and of course, we’re happy to do it in exchange for all of the amazing technology that they provide to us in terms of the software but also in terms of their hardware advancements.”
Snap and Expedia did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Apple pulled the wildly popular “Fortnite” from its App Store in 2020 after Epic skirted the company’s rules and fees to add its own in-app payment system. Epic has argued that Apple’s App Store is a monopoly, while Apple says Epic simply broke the rules that govern its developers.
Many social-media apps have a “dark mode” these days, allowing users to change the color of their app’s interface to darker tones instead of bright ones, which can feel easier on the eyes and sometimes save battery life.
For a long time, Snapchat was one of the few major social media apps without a dark mode. But since last year, they’ve been rolling out dark mode to more and more iPhone users. Most iPhone users will be able to use Snapchat’s dark mode now – unfortunately, it’s still missing for Android users.
Here’s how to check if Snapchat’s dark mode is available on your iPhone, and how to enable it.
How to enable Snapchat dark mode on iPhone
1. Open the Snapchat app on your device and log in if you’re prompted to do so.
2. In the upper-left corner of your screen, tap on your profile picture.
3. In the upper-right corner of your profile page, tap on the “Settings” icon that looks like a gear.
4. In the “My Account” section of the Settings menu, scroll down until you see an option called “App Appearance.” If you can’t find “App Appearance” listed, it means you can’t use dark mode yet.
5. In the “App Appearance” menu, tap “Always Dark” to enable Snapchat’s dark mode. You can also choose “Match System” to have the app sync with your iPhone’s settings, so if your iPhone changes between light and dark automatically throughout the day, Snapchat will too.
Maybe we’re just in a calm-before-the-storm moment, but, less than a week before the Apple update is expected, the internet companies in its path are remarkably calm.
Snapchat on Thursday forecast strong revenue growth of up to 85% for its current quarter, despite “anticipated disruptions” of the iPhone update. Snapchat also noted that it now has more Android users than iPhone users– something that should mitigate the impact of Apple’s privacy change.
But one not-so-widely noted development from Facebook this week was the rollout of new ways for marketers to aim ads at its audience of 2 billion viewers based on the types of videos being watched – sports, pet and animals, business, etc. That sounds a lot like old-fashioned “contextual” advertising, which doesn’t require collecting user data. Maybe Facebook’s future is a reversion to the past?
There’s another big development looming for tech companies: the post-pandemic reopening. And it’s already causing some hiccups.
Netflix reported first-quarter subscriber numbers that fell short of expectations. Netflix blamed last year’s “big Covid-19 pull forward” – basically, a surge of signups from homebound consumers that’s made it tougher to find new subscribers today. Netflix also cited the lack of fresh content, as lockdowns have made it harder to produce new movies and shows.
Perhaps one of the most interesting wildcards to watch as the pandemic fades will be what happens to the food delivery business that’s been booming during the lockdowns. The return to restaurants and in-person dining will affect not just the DoorDash and Gubhubs of the world, but also the so-called ghost kitchens – shared, delivery-only kitchen facilities where restaurant workers prepare food for online orders.
One of the pioneers of the ghost kitchen business is former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
CloudKitchens’ employee ranks are made up of numerous Kalanick loyalists from the Uber days, and many of the company’s corporate values are literally the same catchphrases that became infamous at Uber including “always be hustlin'” and “super pumped.” While Kalanick’s methods may be controversial, there’s no denying that he was instrumental in making Uber the global juggernaut that it is. For better or for worse, history may be repeating itself
There’s only one Amazon Salon and you’ll need to go to London’s Spitalfields neighborhood to try it.
Don’t expect Amazon employees to get hands-on with your hair – a team of professional stylists from the city’s Neville Hair & Beauty Salon will handle that part. Still, given Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ thing for robots, it doesn’t take a big leap of imagination to envision future haircuts that don’t involve human hands at all.