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September 1, 2015Published by: Anton Perreau

LinkedIn Launches Messaging Platform

LinkedIn mobile messaging

The new LinkedIn messaging platform has a clean, crisp design. Perhaps a hint at the new look of LinkedIn? Image via blog.linkedin.com

For a long time, LinkedIn has relied on a messaging system called 'InMail' - however this was always much more like email than messaging, which feels alot more like texting. Now - a little late to the game, LinkedIn has launched a direct messaging option - fast, casual messaging that works a bit like the features so many other social networks launched  along time ago.

The new interface for LinkedIn's messages is clean, clear and allows you to attach images, GIFs, emojis and stickers. LinkedIn's new feature is only being rolled out to an initial "10 percent ramp to English global members," meaning that many of you may not see it for a little while. But tweet us your first impressions of it when you get a look in. The rest of the userbase will see the update in the coming weeks, the company said.

No surprises too that LinkedIn may be adding a bit of smart artificial intelligence to it's messaging product someday, as explained in re/code“We're excited about concepts like intelligent messaging assistants that can help suggest people you should message or provide you with relevant information about that person before you start a conversation,” wrote Mark Hull, LinkedIn’s director of product management, in a blog post. “Or the possibilities with voice and video to make conversations more compelling.”

To learn more about this new feature from LinkedIn, read about it on the LinkedIn blog. To share your own thoughts, tweet us at @battenhall.


June 23, 2015Published by: Anton Perreau

Quartz launches Atlas: The new home for charts and data


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As data has become a leading back-bone for great articles, the platforms those articles are written on have had to become savvier about how that data is displayed and shared. Design hazardous screenshots don't quite suffice to the real thing, often a deeper dive into the chart is needed and Quartz have made a direct response to this need by launching their new visual companion. Today Quartz has launched Atlas, a new platform for discovering and sharing great charts. You can find it at atlas.qz.com.

Quartz Chartbuilder

Alongside this launch, Quartz will be open-sourcing their highly popular Chartbuilder with a slew of new features. All of this with the hopes of bringing forward more contributions from developers.

To start, all of the charts are made by Quartz staff and select contributors. In time, as they build out the platform, Quartz are hoping to let anyone make charts in Atlas. If you’re interested in getting involved in any way, send an email at atlas@qz.com.

March 2, 2015Published by: Anton Perreau

So long, Google+

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Has the time come to bid Google+ auf wiedersehen?

It has been announced today that Google+ is being officially split into two (or more) parts, named 'Photos' and 'Streams'. The two new elements are being led by Bradley Horowitz, a longtime Google VP of Product Management.

Historically, Google+ has been useful for increasing authorship of a blog or website, focusing on SEO which Google has always had a big stake in through their majority share in the search market. Google+ also automatically backs up users' photos online, aggregates content from location pages, and acts as a contact book for Gmail. However, much of this functionality is already possible without Google+ although more social elements will probably be reduced with this change.

In an interview with Forbes last week, Sundar Pichai hinted that Google+ was being split up. Whilst Horowitz who's now heading up Google+ has confirmed rumours, Google has yet to make an official announcement on what will happen next to the social network. A big element of the social network that is now integrated into Android and Google for Work is 'Hangouts' although its future looks uncertain.

Read more about this Google+ news on The Verge.


December 15, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

Just how super is SUPER?

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This month, a new social network called 'SUPER' launched, created by Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, Inc and also helped to create and launch Xanga, Odeo, The Obvious Corporation and Medium. In 2013, Biz Stone launched Jelly - a visual app that focused on users asking and answering questions. Whilst the app received quite a bit of initial hype, it never really took off.

SUPER's feed is much like any other social network - comparable to secret, but without the anonymity. Users add content or updates into the feed by answering the question of 'WHAT'S UP?' - proceeded by text options like 'the best', 'crazy', 'I'm thinking' and 'OMFG'. Users sign the update as they'd like to and then add a background picture. No surprises that you can edit the text style and filters on the photo.

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When launching the app, a user can find nearby friends, or those from Facebook, Twitter and their phone book. Other users can comment with similar style content, or even just 'heart' your content, which results in an animated flurry of red hearts.

For even more artistic license, it's possible to create as many different profile pages as you want - with different images and shades to match.

Fun and colourful, the app is clearly meant to be a mix of other social network - and whilst for some (including our own Creative Manager) its a colourful headache, for others it might prove to be the next best thing. Super is available to download for iOS and Android now.

 

November 21, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

New Social Network ‘This’ launches

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Whilst many social networks are self-proclaimed 'Facebook killers', few have actually been able to convert a considerable number of the masses that flock to the social network daily. In November, a new social network named 'This' launched, and whilst it doesn't claim to be a Facebook killer, it might just give the social network some serious competition. Why? Because this social network is solving one of the biggest issues at the moment - noise.

It’s no surprise that most of the time, the key things people are sharing on social media networks are links with their own third party endorsement for the content, complemented by some reasoning from the sharer. For those wondering where this fits on the magic triangle of social networks, it's finer curated than Facebook and much more streamlined than Twitter. You don’t really have to go far to find a user that is fed up with the way some existing social networks have become.

Unlike App.net and Ello, this social network doesn't rely on the masses to be a success - it's simply a hat tip to the fact that there is plenty of good content across the web, and that people love sharing content with their communities. Whilst This does have a long way to go, it's already proving a point - follow the right curators on the network and you'll read just the right amount of varied content daily from across the web that you actually need. Anyone familiar with “Media Twitter” will recognise plenty of names on the service’s growing user list. This offers a different experience for those digital natives, as explained by Pando Daily, "This offers sharing without the pressures of The Stream(TM)".

The project, funded incubator-style through Atlantic Media, was envisioned by Andrew Golis - a sort of entrepreneur-in-residence at the company. Every media organisation, newspaper, magazine and outlet has a set of 'must reads' for the day - now with This, everyone can be a curator of their own. To learn more about This or to sign up to become a member, visit: this.cm


June 10, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

President Obama live Tumblr Q&A

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There are firsts for everything in social media and today President Obama performed the first ever Presidential Q&A on Tumblr - the microblogging platform. The subject matter all the more relevant for Tumblr's core audience of teens and college students: education and college cost, value and affordability.

The Q&A, held on The Official White House Tumblr page was moderated by Tumblr’s founder/CEO David Karp and filmed live from The White House in Washington D.C. Users of tumblr were invited to submit their questions through a dedicated URL - then selected ones were asked to the president. Throughout the Q&A, the hashtag #ObamaIRL recieved around 1,500 tweets with a reach of around 42.4 million.

Questions were listed on screen, complete with the question askers tumblr address and profile photo. Some of the questions focused on the future tech entrepreneurs of tomorrow, asking how President Obama would inspire future tech moguls to fulfil their own dreams and build something like Tumblr or Facebook.

Different demographics have always flocked to varied social networks - here on a topic close to the hearts of teens and college students alike, The White House is proving that behind it's politics, legislation and formalities, it is still dedicated to open forum even on the most relevant of platforms. As said by President Obama in the live Q&A,

"We're constantly looking for new ways to reach audiences in ways that are relevant to them."

The White House has continued to push forward with ensuring they cover off the social web with a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Vimeo.

Visit The Official White House Tumblr to read more about this.

June 6, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

Couples saying ‘I do’ to the social media prenup

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In the social media economy, relationships have always been a point of contention, "are you Facebook serious?" being the key teenage question thrown around in class. Now social media has matured, posting photos of your friends on Facebook more often than not requires approval and according to ABC news now couples are even signing social media prenups.

In an ABC report, Ann-Margaret Carrozza - a New York-based attorney who specialises in estate planning explains that as often as five times a week she's being asked to put together social media prenuptial agreements, titled 'love contracts'.As ABC explains,

"A typical social media clause will state that couples can’t post nude photos, embarrassing photos or photos or posts that are likely to harm a spouse’s professional reputation."

Usually the implications of posting a photo, tweet or any other nugget of social media gold can cost your loved one around $50,000 per item - that's $50,000 per unsolicited tweet about them. The argument here is that having a prenup makes the 'should I post this' conversation shorter, simpler and generally much easier to agree on. Carrozza explains that it simplifies a potentially threatening or tricky part of the relationship.

Read a summary of the story on Business Insider.