Snapchat acquires social map app Zenly for $250M to $350M

 Snapchat’s newest feature Snap Map is based on its latest acquisition, social mapping startup Zenly. TechCrunch has learned that Snapchat has bought Zenly for between $250 million and $350 million in mostly cash and some stock in a deal that closed in late May. Snapchat will keep Zenly running independently similar to how Facebook lets Instagram run independently. Read More

Twist is Slack without the annoying distractions

 When Slack implemented threaded conversations, it seemed like the holy grail for internal communications. Slack finally lets you talk about multiple things in separate conversations. But Slack remains a real-time messaging service at heart, so threads don’t feel native. It works well for many teams, but some companies would prefer something a bit more asynchronous and focused. At the… Read More

Spotify now lets you build playlists with friends inside Messenger

 Earlier this year, Spotify introduced a new Messenger bot that let users share song clips with friends. Today, the company is expanding on that bot’s functionality to now allow a group of friends to build a playlist together via Messenger – even if not everyone in the group is on Spotify. The feature, called simply Group Playlists for Messenger, is accessed through… Read More

Snap taps its IPO price as it continues to crash

 Update: It happened! Snap fell down to its IPO price (for a few seconds) of $17 per share after its continued steady march south over the past several weeks. The company is now barely holding just above its IPO price. Snap’s last earnings report resulted in a disaster, and while the company still managed to stay above $20 for an extended period of time, a string of bad days for the… Read More

Musical.ly gets into original content with new shows from Viacom, NBCU & Hearst

 Lip-syncing social network Musical.ly is getting into original content, thanks to new deals with Viacom, NBCU and Hearst, which will bring short-form video series to the app. However, unlike the original videos found on Snapchat – an app that’s often the next step up for the tween-age Musical.ly audience – these shows are designed to be interactive. That is, the shows… Read More

Twitter tweaks its design again in an attempt to woo newcomers

 In an effort to better cater to newcomers, Twitter once again is redesigning its app across mobile, desktop and the web. The revamp isn’t a radical departure from its prior look-and-feel or user experience – unlike when it introduced its own stories-like feature called Moments, for example, or when began reordering the tweets in your timeline. Instead, the update involves a series… Read More

Facebook rolls out the GIF button for comments to all users

 Reply threads on Facebook are about to get a lot more animated. To mark the 30th anniversary of the GIF format, all users will get the new GIF comment button that Facebook began testing three months ago. Facebook also announced that almost 13 billion GIFs were sent on Messenger over the past year, with 400 million GIFs sent just on New Year’s Day 2017. Read More

Facebook’s Safety Check is a stress-inducing flip of social norms

 Facebook’s Safety Check feature was activated today, following news that a fire had engulfed a 24-storey block of flats in West London, with reports of several fatalities. Clearly this is a tragedy. But should Facebook be reacting by sending push alerts — including to users who are miles away from incident in question? Read More