What Exactly is Musical.ly?

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 8.30.46 AM.pngIf you’ve stumbled across a roughly cut video of a teenager lip syncing to Justin Bieber, chances are it was made on Musical.ly.

Generation Z’s app du jour, which started life in 2014 as an education platform, claims to have over 90 million users sharing song clips daily.

Since hitting the top spot on the U.S. App Store last July, the breakout app has seen huge traction across Europe, Canada and Australia. It has even spawned its own roster of celebrities, who rack up millions of views and likes each day.


Snapchat Just Revealed a New Feature Called ‘Memories’ That Saves Snaps

Snapchat has been hinting for some time that it doesn’t want to be known as an “ephemeral app” anymore, even taking a bit of umbrage with the notion lately.

Now, the company’s pivot from 10-second disappearing messages appears to be complete: The app today revealed a feature called Memories that lets users save posts—still photos or videos—and edit them to create a story collage. According to Snapchat’s blog post, folks will be able to repost the narratives as “flashbacks” or store them in a passcode-protected channel called My Eyes Only.

The Venice, Calif.-based company’s 150 million daily users can swipe up from the app’s camera to open the feature. They can search for particular snaps or stories by typing in keywords such as “dog” or “Hawaii,” Snapchat stated in its post.

“We’ll be rolling out Memories selectively over the next month or so—it’s a big change for our service so we want to make sure everything is running smoothly,” the company stated on its blog. “You’ll receive a chat from Team Snapchat when Memories is ready for you to use.”

It may be a bid to attract more Gen X and older consumers who are used to maintaining collections of photos and other multimedia on platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. At the same time, The Wall Street Journal earlier this week reported that Snapchat is gaining traction with older users.

Check out the video Snapchat put together for today’s announcement:

8 biggest digital entertainment trends in 2016 (so far)

Via Mashable:

It’s the halfway point of 2016, a perfect time to take stock of the best entertainment offerings of the half-year. Check out our picks for the biggest digital entertainment trends of the year are below — and since “The top 16 of 2016” is exactly 50% premature, we chose the Top 8.

#1: All things live https-%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F133658%2Fhttps-_2F_2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com_2Fuploads_2Fcard_2Fimage_2F126438_2FYoutube_-_4

Earlier this months, House Democrats live streamed a sit-in to protest the Republican majority’s inaction on gun control. But to the general public, the House floor footage was only available on social media, with even CSPAN broadcasting Periscope feeds.

That moment in itself was yet another indicator that live streaming is the future. The genre has been growing in popularity over the last year, with many jumping in the space in hopes of rivaling Twitter’s Periscope.

Of all the platforms offering live, Facebook has become a giant. Its service is being used by publications (including Mashable), celebrities and now even digital influencers.

At VidCon, YouTube became the latest to double down its live efforts by finally announcing the live streaming feature for its mobile app.

Others in the live streaming space include: StreamUp, launched by Maker Studios and Endemol alum Will Keenan, recently announced its first slate of live-streaming originals;  YouNow, which also recently launched new original content, including one with RokerLabs, a New York-based video and live streaming studio spearheaded by Today Show co-host Al Roker.

Get the full list here. 

musical.ly is Dominating the Social World of Teens

musicaly2.jpgStep aside Instagram and Snapchat, there’s a new service quietly taking the teen social world by storm. musical.ly is the hot new place where today’s youth gather online to create, listen to, and share music-based videos with each other. The social platform launched two years ago and already boasts around 60 million users, and climbing. The Shanghai-based company is raising $100 million in funding and is currently valued at a whopping $500 million.

Whether through clothing, art, or music, up and coming generations always look for new and inventive ways to express themselves. musical.ly taps into the age old love teens have for singing into a hairbrush or playing enthusiastic air drums and kicks it up a notch.

Read full article here. 

Infographic: Dating Apps Are Sparking Millions of Social Media Conversations

Dating apps chatter reached a fever pitch in 2015. KBS Attention reviewed more than 2.5 million Twitter conversations that included Grindr, Tinder, Happn, OkCupid and Match to gain insights about the trends. What Attention found: there are a bounty of marketing possibilities. “Looking toward the future, brands and advertisers need to identify ways in which to balance science and art as dating apps begin to become more sophisticated in their capabilities,” said KBS Attention associate director Lucas Brockner. “Millennials in particular want practical utility from the brands that advertise to them; otherwise it will provide no value to the consumer and will come off as inauthentic.” swipe-datapoints-03-2016.jpg

The 100 Best iPhone Apps of All Time

organize_apps-home_screenEvery once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” Those words were spoken by Steve Jobs when he unveiled the iPhone in 2007.

He was partially right.

While it was the iPhone that jumpstarted the smartphone industry, it was the introduction of the first third-party apps a year later that really unlocked the potential of this new class of device.

When we set out to pick the 100 best iPhone apps of all time, our intention wasn’t to simply do a list of the most useful or entertaining apps currently available. Just as a great teacher in your youth may have helped shape who you are today, groundbreaking apps of the past have had tremendous impact on the iPhone experience, even if their influence may have since waned or faded entirely.

Ranking them was even more of a challenge. After whittling the list down to 100, we rated each app on its design, usefulness and cultural impact. We also took into account App Store data provided by analytics firm App Annie. Here’s a full breakdown of our methodology.

Though many names on this list are familiar, there are some surprises, too. These are the viral hits, the games we couldn’t put down, the utilities that helped us master our workday, the apps that burned brightly and then faded away, the ones that first made the iPhone feel like magic — and those that still do.

Check out the list here.