A Hykoo For You
Apr21

A Hykoo For You

“Twelve second story Showing your world in motion Do not call me bro” -Daiva Jarasius, AC writer Poetry wasn’t my strong suit in seventh grade and it still isn’t today so Always Current writer Daiva Jarasius wrote a haiku about Hykoo for today’s post. For those of you who aren’t familiar with haikus, this isn’t the most informational post but if you want to learn about Hykoo, read on. If you’ve ever wanted to make short videos from your phone, there’s another new app for that! Hykoo is an app that allows users to create 12 second videos on their phones through a combination of video clips and text with a variety of filters to complement the video. Now, with all the other video creating and sharing platforms out there today, why is something like Hykoo a novelty? We found a couple possible answers to that question. What sets Hykoo apart from the rest of the video creation mobile apps out there today, including Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and more, is how the video is shot. Hykoo, pronounced like and influenced by the poetry style “haiku,” is very structured in it’s format. Similar to the poetry, there are three clips that are three seconds, three seconds, and six seconds long (though technically, it should be five, seven, five, or at least three, six, three, but we aren’t filing a complaint just yet). The video has to be shot in those segments; you can’t shoot all 12 seconds in one sitting because the idea behind Hykoo is you’re sharing a story, and stories often have more than one part. Each clip has some text on it to give the video context. Gary Krieg, one of the founders of the app, explained, “So much of the context of why someone is making and sharing a piece of content lives outside of the image itself, so our format allows that information to travel together.” Unlike Instagram, Vine and Snapchat videos, you can save drafts of these videos until they’re completed and ready to share. Hykoos are shareable on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and through email or text so the rest of the world can see your story. Hykoo is an independent startup created by Krieg, the former head of production for ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, Yoni Bloch, founder of interactive video service Interlude, and Jane Rosenthal, a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. The app will officially launch with this years Tribeca Film Festival. As of right now, Hykoo is only available on iOS devices, but the founders are planning to launch a version for Android devices as well. Other changes they’re looking...

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Tinder + Instagram: A Match Made In Heaven
Apr17

Tinder + Instagram: A Match Made In Heaven

Tinder, the popular smartphone-based matchmaking app, rolled out some new features in the last few days, mostly linking Tinder profiles with other social media pages. The intended goal is to help users get more connected, of course. Tinder President Sean Rad said, “If we can provide our users with more relevant information for each connection, we can take them halfway there in terms of getting a conversation going.” As far as we knew, that was never a problem for Tinder users (there’s some explicit language here)…. The primary change is the connection of users’ profiles to their Instagram accounts. The new feature will display your last few dozen Instagram images within your Tinder profile, with the ability to visit your profile on Instagram with just a tap of the screen. Though we haven’t done enough research to be sure, we think this feature makes Tinder the first service of its kind that allows you to assess potential partners based strictly on diet and coffee shop culture. The update will also include more Facebook information – previously Tinder would show common “interests” (i.e. the pages you’ve “liked” on Facebook, a barometer for relationship success if ever there was one), you will now be able to see all the pages a user liked. This, while no less superficial, is at least a more complete profile as far as social media is concerned. Really, the interesting part is that you can now see mutual Facebook friends through the Tinder app – this could help you avoid some seriously awkward situations, and gives you an extra way to deem someone worthy of your time (they’re friends with those guys? Ugh, left-swipe). The Instagram connection is the one in all the headlines, but these changes honestly seem way more important. These changes will be applied to all versions of Tinder, so don’t worry, free users. You may not be able to take back that unfortunate left-swipe that haunts you late at night, but now it won’t take Tinder Plus fill the hole in your heart from that love that died before it had a chance to...

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Twitter Trend: #Discover Dies
Apr10

Twitter Trend: #Discover Dies

Earlier this week, Twitter released an update to it’s mobile app for iOS and Android doing away with the #Discover tab and initiating a new Trend feature. Thank you, Twitter gods.   Twitter introduced the oddity that is Discover in 2011 as a way to piece together news stories, top tweets, trends, events and more. It was the love child of quality content and popular topics that fell short of the mark when Twitter increased in popularity. Discover just couldn’t keep up with the onslaught of tweets and trends compared to Twitter home feeds. Users who were unfamiliar with trending topics also had trouble gauging what the topic was and why it was a big deal because, unlike Facebook’s Trending Topics, Discover didn’t include a summary or explanation. The new layout for Trends has them situated under the search icon instead of their own tab on the lower navigation menu. When users search for something on Twitter, a list under the search bar appears with local, national, and global trending topics and hashtags. The number of tweets about these topics is listed and users can click on a trend to see what it’s about and what tweeters have to say about it. The idea behind the new trend summary blurbs is to clarify the actual topic of conversation but it doesn’t add clarification as to why something is trending. You still have to put your faith in other Twitter users for that. Or go to Google like the rest of us, because they still haven’t adequately explained to me why #1DisFinallyFreeFromModest is important. What does that mean? Were they held captive by an organization that appreciates loose-fit jeans? How unfortunate.   Right now, the Trend update is available for mobile devices throughout the US. Twitter plans on expanding the update globally soon and is currently experimenting with updates to the...

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Snapchat’s Back, All Right
Apr08

Snapchat’s Back, All Right

It’s not like it ever disappeared, but we thoroughly enjoy pop cultural references (#TBT to the Backstreet Boys glory days) and felt it was fitting. Anyways, Snapchat came out with some new updates earlier this week and they are as follows: Friend Emojis Friend emojis replace Snapchat’s Best Friends list. The new feature categorizes your Snapchat friendships with emoticons so you both know where you stand in your snapship. Here’s how Buzzfeed broke it down for us: For those of you who need more information on how these emojis are defining your snapships, please turn your attention to this example of Snapchat’s new system, using the one and only Queen Bey. Also, major props to Josh Constine from TechCrunch for explaining this new concept to us via his Snapchat Story (you’re the real MVP) and bringing this graphic into our lives. The new friend emojis come at a somewhat controversial time for the app users. The Best Friends lists, that you had no option to hide, caused a recent controversy among the pre-teen and teenage demographic when Snapchat removed it. How are you supposed to know if “bae”* is loyal if you can’t check up on who he/she is snapchatting? *It causes me physical pain to use that word. MAKE IT STOP, WORLD. Well, Snapchat removed the feature a couple of weeks ago, only to come out with this alternative method of ranking and defining your Snapchat relationship. Only now you are the only person who can see the emojis on your incoming snap screen. Looks like users are back to the drawing board when it comes to cyberstalking friends on Snapchat. Low-Light Camera Another new feature for Snapchat is the low-light camera. Snapchat’s camera had subpar lighting abilities for dark resolution pictures compared to other apps using cameras. The crescent moon icon at the top of your camera screen fixes that problem. You can turn it on or off to adjust for the dim lighting by brightening the resolution, making Snapchat more usable for concerts, parties, and other night-life adventures. Please snap responsibly. Needs Love List This is a list of snapchat users and friends that you used to snapchat frequently, but haven’t snapped in a while. Snapchat created a list of your friends that need some love from you because the cats just aren’t cutting it these days. All in all, we think Snapchats new features are going to bring some changes to how users go about Snapchatting. I for one am making it a new personal goal to keep my fire emojis blazing day in and day out. We’ll see how long the streak can last....

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Reactions: GIFs that Keep on Giving
Apr07

Reactions: GIFs that Keep on Giving

These days we’re all about using social media to express our thoughts and emotions. When you want to convey your psychological state of being or initial reaction to something you saw or read to a friend, you can choose between an assortment of methods: Emoticons. They’re fine, but aren’t always the most exciting option and they can get repetitive. Pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, but doesn’t always convey the magnitude of emotions you’re feeling. Videos can be funny and accurate as all get out, but they’re sometimes too long to sit through, especially with a slow Internet connection But a GIF, a GIF is perfection. A few seconds of an image from a TV show, movie, or interview can encompass your reactions and feelings for just about anything, And GIFs do so quite accurately, if not dramatically and hilariously, too. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to make GIFs so they just use search engines like Tumblr and Giphy to find the right one. However, a new search engine just launched and changed the competition. Hulu, the popular video streaming service, has launched a GIF search engine powered by Tumblr. The website, called “The Perfect GIF,” allows users to search for GIFs based on different categories such as shows, actions, reactions, current TV, and tags like #dancing or #awkward. At the time of its launch, the website featured 1,400 GIFs, and plans on adding more as shows premiere. These don’t just include GIFs from current shows, but also classics like Star Trek and Twin Peaks. So what’s so special about The Perfect GIF search engine compared to other alternatives? Well, the biggest benefit to Hulu’s GIFs is the high quality. Hulu hosts a variety of shows from different networks including NBC, FOX, Bravo, FX, and more, meaning they have the best quality of videos and can create GIFs using those videos. Hulu’s GIFs are also easy to find and share across social media platforms. The idea behind its GIF search engine is really to promote the Hulu service overall, but hey, if we get free access and an easy way to find GIFs while they do it, we’re not...

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Internet Giants in the Sky
Apr01

Internet Giants in the Sky

Imagine walking your dog one day, gazing up at the sky, when you see it. A giant shape moves across the sky. Your blood starts pumping and you think, “The comic books were right – superheroes DO exist!”  Sorry to break it to you, but that thing you see in the sky is not Superman. That there is a giant drone. These popular little buggers have started showing up everywhere in our skies whether it’s for taking pictures of natural wonders, videos of our wedding days, or super secret government missions. However, last week Facebook announced its first drone launch for something completely different – the Internet. Facebook has been working through its Internet.org initiative to find a way to bring Internet connection to countries that are underserved in Internet availability. They believe this feat will better connect the world because, “they can affordably serve the 10% of the world’s population that live in remote communities without existing internet infrastructure.” The company has been testing different technologies, including lasers and satellites, to see what would work best and drones are up next. Sounds awesome, right? Here’s how it works. The mission, beautifully named Aquila, involves a boomerang-shaped drone that is almost the weight of a small car with a 95-foot wingspan – about the same as a Boeing 737). This unmanned drone is covered in solar panels so that it can spend up to a few months flying up in the sky, somewhere between 60,000 to 90,000 feet, while providing beams of backbone internet access to countries worldwide. The first drone they launched not too long ago was not the actual size of the grand Aquila, but a smaller scaled model so that they could better test the aerodynamics. It’s not certain how long it will take Facebook to successfully launch a drone and provide internet access from the sky, but testing continues, and the hope is to test the full size Aquila this coming summer. But even if they successfully launch the drone, the next step is forming partnerships with mobile carriers to extend the Internet access. We’ll have to wait to see drones working to carry the Internet to the world, but in the meantime we can keep our eyes open and our fingers crossed hoping for those super...

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