Just days ago, WhatsApp announced it had hit 400 million monthly active users globally — a phenomenal achievement. But in the fickle and trendsetting U.S. app market, Apple’s app store shows just how much WhatsApp’s grip on American consumers has weakened. The period right after Christmas is closely followed by the app industry. These are the days when a flood of new iPhones are being activated, many by teenagers getting their first smartphone. The current trends reflect the priorities of a new generation of smartphone owners. More →
2013 was the year of the selfie, according to the Oxford English Dictionary — but self-snaps aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Everybody is taking selfies, from President Obama to astronaut Aki Hoshide. With the proliferation of smartphones with front-facing cameras, selfies have become mainstream. And with apps like Snapchat and Instagram that encourage people to take photos of themselves, the selfie will likely grow in popularity in 2014. More →
The core Facebook product is looking increasingly middle-aged and teens’ growing revulsion towards the service has been among the biggest tech themes of 2013. Arguably, the success of sizzling teen apps like Snapchat, Kik and Viber can be directly traced to Facebook’s inability to evolve. But even though the core service may be stumbling, Facebook holds two aces: Two of the company’s standalone apps — Facebook Messenger and Instagram — are ripping off core features from rival apps with splendid success. More →
As Google’s share price soars beyond $1,100, it seems like nothing can stop the Internet juggernaut as its land grab strategies continue to win over the eyes of its users and the wallets of its advertising clients. But an analysis published over this past weekend by The Wall Street Journal’s Farhad Manjoo raises an interesting question surrounding a new business model that could someday lead to Google’s downfall. Do we want an erasable Internet? More →
Younity is a new service from Entangled Media that brings Snapchat-like sharing features that apply to all the possible files users would have on their mobile devices and PCs, all without the company seeing or storing any of them. While in Snapchat shared images and pictures are actually stored on the company’s servers, and users at the receiving end can still find ways to copy the content that’s briefly shared with them, Younity will only manage the connection between two devices. More →
When Snapchat isn’t turning down multi-billion dollar offers from Facebook, it’s apparently dealing with some of the same issues that the world’s most popular social network dealt with in its fledgling years. Reuters reports that Snapchat “has filed for a temporary restraining order against Frank Reginald Brown,” a man who claims to have devised the concept of Snapchat in the first place. The company says that Brown leaked confidential testimony to the public in a separate suit, one in which he states that the company is refusing to acknowledge his contribution to the project. The videos that Brown leaked make a case for his side of the story, and Brown says that “he reserves the right to disclose the information to the public at any time.”
Snapchat users now send more “snaps” per day than Facebook users are uploading photos, according to a Business Insider report. Snapchat users send 400 million snaps every day, while Facebook users upload 350 million photos uploaded every day. Although Snapchat counts both videos and photos in its “snap” counts, it’s still very likely that its total number of daily photos shared beats out Facebook because the vast majority of its snaps are user pictures. More →
Snapchat must be very, very confident in itself because it’s apparently been turning down multibillion-dollar buyout offers left and right. Unnamed sources tell Valleywag that after Snapchat turned down Facebook’s $3 billion offer, Google swooped in with its own $4 billion offer that the company similarly turned down. Valleywag’s sources say that Snapchat has decided to wait until next year to raise cash because it wants to grow the number of photos its users share every day to more than the number of photos shared on Facebook every day. If that happens, the company expects its value to go through the roof, at which point $4 billion will look like chump change.
There aren’t many companies who would refuse to be bought by Facebook for $3 billion, as Snapchat is reported to have just done. But few companies can deliver the kind of engagement performance that new research from Mobidia now reveals. According to the mobile analytics firm, while the number of American Android phone owners who are active on Twitter stayed at 19% between January and October, the number of active Snapchat users exploded from 7% to 18% during the same time period. More →
If you don’t already, it might be time to think twice before sending any incriminating Snapchats to your friends. Business Insider stumbled upon a new app called SnapHack Pro on the App Store, which allows you to log in to your Snapchat profile and open photos without a timer. The photos are then stored in the SnapHack app for as long as you want to keep them. The trick is that the photos must be opened in SnapHack first — not the official Snapchat app — or SnapHack Pro will be unable to locate the images. As of October 14th, SnapHack Pro is still available on the App Store for $0.99, and it’s just the latest in a series of troubling backdoors surrounding the popular messaging app Snapchat.
It is surprising that Twitter only grew its U.S. monthly active user base by 1 million between the March and June quarters — from 48 million to 49 million. One year earlier, Twitter’s MAU base in America grew from 34 million to 37 million. The growth is slowing at a fairly surprising rate. But what is even more shocking is that according to Onavo, the number of U.S. iPhone owners using Twitter has stalled completely between March and August, moving from 27.2% to 27% over a five-month period. Why does Twitter have a growth problem in its core market? One explanation is that American smartphone users are extremely sophisticated and alert to new trends. Twitter and Facebook broke out first in America, and it is in their home market where these giants are now witnessing the explosive growth of alternative services. More →
Snapchat has taken the mobile world by storm. The application allows users to send pictures and videos to friends that will self-destruct after a maximum of 10 seconds. Even better, if someone tries to take a screenshot of the image, the sender is automatically notified. Although its founders may not be proud of it, the application has become rather popular among the “sexting” crowd, a practice in which you send naked pictures and videos to another person. The application isn’t perfect, however. As we saw earlier this year, SnapChat videos can be secretly saved. The truth of the matter is that while Snapchat deletes the images from its servers, they are still stored deep inside the receiver’s smartphone and can be retrieved with the proper knowledge. There are ways to permanently delete Snapchat photos, though. More →
Popular sexting app maker Snapchat on Thursday updated its Android application of the same name with the ability to send self-destructing videos to Snapchat contacts. The video function had been available in the Snapchat Android app as part of a closed beta, but it is now available to all users in Snapchat 2.0. Snapchat bills its app as a way to “build relationships, collect points, and view your best friends,” though the most widely discussed use for the service is sending nude photos — and now, videos — between devices that are automatically deleted after a set amount of time… unless the recipient decides to use a simple trick to save the files permanently. Snapchat 2.0 is available immediately for free in the Google Play store, which is linked below.