All tied up – Google introduces Shoelace, a social network to rival Facebook Events
Google is having another crack at launching its own social media app.
Shoelace – the new invitation-only networking app – is aimed at bringing people together for local events and activities. By listing your interests in the app, Shoelace provides tailored activities in your area. You can also organise your own events or explore events through the map interface.
Unlike Google+, which was the company’s failed attempt to launch a social media platform, Shoelace is less a rival to the likes of Facebook or Twitter and more of an application that functions like Facebook’s Events.
Shoelace is currently in an invite-only beta phase and users can request access via a Google Form.
Cash for creations – YouTube and Facebook announce new ways for creators to monetise their content
YouTube and Facebook have both announced additional ways creators on their platforms can earn money.
YouTube’s new monetisation options include new animated click to purchase stickers and membership tiers which charge subscribers for different perks.
Likewise, Facebook is rolling out new monetising tools, including an initiative called Facebook Stars. With this, users can send virtual stars to creators during a live stream – the number of stars received will impact how much revenue the creator earns.
Interestingly, nearly all of these updates are copies of features already available on Twitch; showing how the other platforms are keen to attract the best influencers to their own apps and away from Twitch, which is often seen as the best platform for users to earn revenue.
Hide and tweet – Twitter tests hide reply option
Twitter users are getting more control over which comments are visible in threads they start.
Beginning this week, users in Canada are now able to select a “hide reply” option on posts they don’t want to be included in a conversation they started. The posts will not be permanently deleted, just hidden from view. Twitter users will still be able to reveal the replies by clicking a grey icon near the original tweet.
The feature is just available as a test in Canada and there is no word yet when this feature is expected to roll out globally.
I’ll be snap – Snapchat recruit celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Serena Williams to produce original content
Snap Inc has announced the debut of several new “Creator Shows” featuring high profile stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Serena Williams.
Their first foray into serialised content began last year with reality docu-series Endless Summer, which reached 28 million users on its series finale. It now appears this success has given the company more confidence to expand its streaming service and develop more original content.
By expanding its content away from ephemeral snaps to short-form videos, Snapchat has been growing their revenue through an ad-supported streaming model.
Alexa, let’s go shopping – Online shopping via smart speakers is growing faster than expected
A new report from eMarketer shows that a greater than expected number of users are shopping via smart speakers in the United States.
The report estimates, 31 million people in the US will shop via a smart speaker this year, up 31.6% from 2018. By 2021, it is predicted that 38 million people in the US will shop through their smart speaker.
The main reservation consumers have with shopping via smart speakers, the report highlighted, was not being able to see the product. However, that may become less of a factor as smart speakers with displays gain traction.
Read the report here