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Tag Archives: stories

Instagram shopping invades the Explore tab

Like it or not, Instagram is continuing its quest to make shopping ubiquitous inside its app. The social service is launching a dedicated Shopping channel in the Explore tab that offers a personalized selection of goods. If money is burning a hole...

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Snapchat enlists 20 partners to curate Our Stories from submissions

Themed collections of user generated content chosen by news publishers for viewing on and off Snapchat are the teen social network’s next great hope for relevance. Today Snap launches Curated Our Stories with the help of 20 partners like CNN, Cosmopolitan, Lad Bible, and NowThis. Instead of sifting through and selecting submissions to Our Story all by itself around events, holidays, and fads, these publishers can create slideshows of Snaps about whatever they want. They’ll both be featured in Snapchat Discover that sees 75 million Our Stories viewers per month, but also on the publishers’ own properties thanks to Snap’s embeds that have been underused since their January launch. To entice partners, Snap has built in monetization from day one, splitting revenue with publishers from ads run in the Our Stories they curate. That’s in sharp contrast to Snap’s work with independent creators, where it still won’t split revenue with them directly, though at least it’s finally connecting them with brand sponsors . Snap’s head of Stories everywhere Rahul Chopra tells me that in exchange for its cut, Snap provides a content management system that publishers can use to search through submitted Snaps using a variety of filters like keywords in captions and locations. A human at Snap will also moderate Curated Our Stories to ensure nothing objectionable slips through. Snapchat shares hit all-time low as search acquisition Vurb’s CEO bails The new revenue stream could help Snap offset its declining user count by squeezing more cash out of each user by exposing them to more content and ads, or score it new users through embedded Curated Our Stories on its partners’ apps and sites. Snap beat revenue expectations last quarter but it still lost $353 million, contributing to a share price decline that hit an all-time low yesterday . Snap first created Our Stories in 2014 to let people get the perspectives of tons of different attendees to music festivals and sporting matches. With time it expanded to creating college-specific Our Stories and ones of more relatable activities like enjoying Fridays.

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You need to finish ‘Dragon Quest XI’

Most role playing games live and die by the characters and the stories they weave. The decades-old Dragon Quest series has reached its 11th iteration, and Dragon Quest XI attempts to both both celebrate the series so far, and court a new audience.

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Instagram’s CEO on vindication after 2 years of reinventing Stories

“I think the mistake everyone made was to think that Stories was a photography product,” says Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. “If you look at all these interactivity features we’ve added, we’ve really made Stories something else. We’ve really innovated and made it our own.” His version of the ephemeral slideshow format turns two years old today . By all accounts, it’s a wild success. Instagram Stories has 400 million daily users, compared to 191 million on Snapchat, which pioneered Stories. While the first year was about getting to parity with augmented reality filters and stickers, the two have since diverged. Instagram chose the viral path. Interactivity > Photoshop Snapchat has become more and more like Photoshop, with its magic eraser for removing objects, its green screen-style background changer, scissors for cut-and-pasting things and its fill-in paint bucket. These tools are remarkably powerful for living in a teen-centric consumer app. But many of these artistic concepts are too complicated for day-to-day Snapping. People don’t even think of using them when they could. And while what they produce is beautiful, the slides get tapped past and disappear just like any other photo or video. Instagram could have become Photoshop. Its early photo-only feed’s editing filters and brightness sliders pointed in that direction

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Why unskippable Stories ads could revive Facebook

Prepare for the invasion of the unskippables. If the Stories social media slideshow format is the future of mobile TV, it’s going to end up with commercials. Users won’t love them. And done wrong they could pester people away from spending so much time watching what friends do day-to-day. But there’s no way Facebook and its family of apps will keep letting us fast-forward past Stories ads just a split-second after they appear on our screens. We’re on the cusp of the shift to Stories. Facebook estimates that across social media apps, sharing to Stories will surpass sharing through feeds some time in 2019. One big reason is they don’t take a ton of thought to create. Hold up your phone, shoot a photo or short video and you’ve instantly got immersive, eye-catching, full-screen content. And you never had to think. Facebook CPO Chris Cox at F8 2018 charts the rise of Stories that will see the format surpass feed sharing in 2019 Unlike text, which requires pre-meditated reflection that can be daunting to some, Stories are point and shoot. They don’t even require a caption. Sure, if you’re witty or artistic you can embellish them with all sorts of commentary and creativity. They can be a way to project your inner monologue over the outside world

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Instagram tests questions in Stories

Instagram has been incredibly busy of late, announcing IGTV , Instagram Lite and a slate of features including Stories Soundtracks . But the Facebook-owned photo sharing service doesn’t show any signs of letting up. Android Police today noted that Instagram is testing a feature that would allow users to post questions to their followers and receive answers. Instagram already offers the ability to publish polls to followers with multiple-choice options for answering. But this test seems to point toward the option to offer lengthier responses to user’s questions. One user in Indonesia sent a screencap of the feature in to Android Police (pictured above), and a user in Spain also spotted the feature. That said, we still have very little information on just how this might work. Right now, when a user posts to their Story, their followers can respond via DM. With more open-ended questions and responses, it’s unclear if responses will still come in via DM or be bundled together as part of the story. The latter seems more in keeping with Instagram’s push to make Stories as interactive as possible. The open-ended question could serve as a jumping off point for a collaborative story comprised of everyone’s responses.

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Instagram tests questions in Stories

Instagram has been incredibly busy of late, announcing IGTV , Instagram Lite and a slate of features including Stories Soundtracks . But the Facebook-owned photo sharing service doesn’t show any signs of letting up. Android Police today noted that Instagram is testing a feature that would allow users to post questions to their followers and receive answers. Instagram already offers the ability to publish polls to followers with multiple-choice options for answering. But this test seems to point toward the option to offer lengthier responses to user’s questions. One user in Indonesia sent a screencap of the feature in to Android Police (pictured above), and a user in Spain also spotted the feature. That said, we still have very little information on just how this might work. Right now, when a user posts to their Story, their followers can respond via DM. With more open-ended questions and responses, it’s unclear if responses will still come in via DM or be bundled together as part of the story. The latter seems more in keeping with Instagram’s push to make Stories as interactive as possible. The open-ended question could serve as a jumping off point for a collaborative story comprised of everyone’s responses. That said, this feature hasn’t been confirmed by Instagram, though we’ve reached out and will update the post when we learn more.

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CTRL+T podcast: That time we talked about Apple, Kanye West and slavery

Welcome back to CTRL+T, the TechCrunch podcast where Megan Rose Dickey and I talk about the stories we want to talk about and figure out what they mean in relation to life. This week is Apple’s big developer conference, creatively called Worldwide Developers Conference (or WWDC), and TechCrunch was there . Each year the company showcases the things developers will be able to do in upcoming versions of Apple’s various operating systems (iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS). While there were a bunch of features that didn’t really elicit much excitement from either of us, there was one in particular that we are quite looking forward to: Memoji. We talk about it all and what messaging in general means out there in that big bad world of ours. Also this week, Kanye West made his latest album , ye , available on platforms other than Tidal, which is a departure from what he did for the release of his 2016 release,  Pablo . We talked about that for a second. Because these days you can’t have a conversation about the rapper without getting into his recent comments about American slavery having been a choice. So we did that. Click play on the little player below or, better yet, subscribe on  Apple Podcasts ,  Stitcher ,  Overcast ,  CastBox  or whatever other podcast platform you can find.

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