Slingshot – Facebook’s answer to Snapchat
Snapchat wouldn’t sell out to them, so enter Facebook’s very own fleeting photo messaging app, Slingshot.
Slingshot allows users to send photos which time out after being viewed, just like Snapchat. However there are a few Facebook twists to Slingshot, like the ability to message all of your friends at once, a bit like a visual status update.
The main flaws seem to be that photos received from friends must be unlocked by ‘slinging’ a different photo back to the sender, meaning you are responding to an unknown image – this doesn’t really make any sense, plus, unlike Snapchat, Slingshot will not notify users when their ‘slingshot’ has been screenshot, leaving it open to all sorts of abuse and reckless use.
Lego – making sure ‘everything is awesome!’
Getting kids away from the screen can be almost impossible, and finding the balance between real life experiences and the virtual fun they crave, is tricky. Last week, Lego announced their first online/offline game sets, Lego Fusion, a new game that blends online to offline simply.
The 200 piece sets let you build and play in an augmented reality app-based virtual world. You create a real world structure that can be captured and uploaded to Apple and Android and then imported into free, downloadable games. The real life structure then becomes part of your ‘Lego world’, or can be uploaded to the Lego social community, to interact with other fans who are using their Lego Fusion sets to build their own worlds.
Currently only available in the US, the sets are limited to the ‘Lego Fusion Town Master,’ users build houses on the plates and import them into a game that simulates a small town, ‘Battle Towers,’ they build sections of a medieval-style tower and defend it and ‘Create & Race,’ they build cars and race them on a virtual track.
The game highlights the importance of online interaction in conjunction with real world play for children – kids are craving experiences that take them further, allowing them to interact past the physical and into the virtual.
Path – combining commerce and messaging
Through its recent ups and downs, Path, the private social networking site, has kept quietly plodding along. But on Friday it announced plans that have been developed behind the scenes, with the aim to change the business.
Path Talk has been introduced – a private messaging application that was built as a way for users to quickly connect through a combination of text, media, and stickers that it already knows its users love, with the addition of a few new features that it hopes will help to set it apart from the numerous other messaging platforms out there — messages that disappear after 24 hours and the option of sending voice messages to other users.
Additionally, it has acquired business messaging platform Talkto, in an attempt to provide consumers with a new way of communicating with businesses. They believe that consumers expect a near-instantaneous response from each other via text and the same should be applied to business.
Twitter looks to turn up the volume
Following twitter’s hefty push towards the visual and video, it is thought that the mega micro blogging site is now also looking into ways to introduce more audio content, whether that be speech or music.
There has been significant investment in video for twitter, with users now able to embed them into tweets, rather than having to click onto an external site, so a movement into audio based content seems natural.
Kevin Weil, vice-president of product for revenue, said: “Video is just the jumping-off point.Anything you can do within your phone you should be able to do within Twitter.” Watch this space!
Hi, Hey… I mean, Yo!
Yo is a new cult messaging app that lets you send only one word to your friends: ‘Yo’. No more and no less… that is it, what it means to you is down to the interpretation. You download the app (available for iPhone and Android), create a username, add your friends and then tap their name to send them their ‘Yo’.
Yo has received conflicting views about its place in the market, with many believing that it is pointless, plus it has been hacked numerous time recently with the developers working hard to fix the security errors (it was apparently developed in 8 hours for April Fools, so what would you expect!) – but actually, this could be a really simple marketing tool, for example, the sales are about to begin in your store, give your fans a heads up ‘Democracy’s Boutique says “Yo”‘ and they’ll know it’s ready to start.
Although user data is unclear, recent reports suggest that it has attracted some 50,000 users who have sent more than 4 million ‘yo’s to one another since launch.