Get Your Game On, Facebook

Instant Games, Instant Bucks

Facebook launched “Instant Games” in 2016, letting user play games like Pac-Man and Words with Friends directly within the Messenger app. Developers can now add in-app purchases and “rewarded video ads” to their games. This should attract higher-quality games to the platform, which is a huge opportunity for Facebook to compete with Google Play and Apple App Store, especially since Facebook’s desktop gaming platform has withered away. Are you a developer ready to cash-in? Click here to get more information. (Source: TechCrunch)

Spotify Spotting The Next Big Hit

Spotify announced the launch of Rise, a program that identifies and features 16 emerging artists per year. The selected artists are promoted through “multi-tiered marketing” and “editorial programming” on Spotify, and will be treated to “one-of-a-kind experiential events.” They will also release audio and video content to tell their personal stories. In a nutshell, these artists will be given free marketing out of Spotify’s pocket. Jam out to the first four Rise artists by clicking on their names: Kim Petras, Lauv, Russell Dickerson, and Trippie Redd. (Source: CNET)

A Safer Nest for Twitter

Twitter released a schedule of updates for the remainder of 2017 that address harassment and abuse. Some measures include suspending accounts that promote violence, expanding its definition of “non-consensual nudity,” and cracking down on abusive display names. Twitter also aims to respond to reports faster and provided more transparency concerning account suspensions. For the full calendar of updates that should lead to a safe start for 2018, click here. (Source: The Verge)

tbh, i luv u

tbh, or “to be honest” for us older folks, is an iOS app popular with teens that delivers anonymous compliments. The app presents pre-written prompts like “Who has the best smile?” and “Who makes me laugh the hardest?” followed by four of your phone contacts to choose from. Whoever you select gets a notification about how great they are. The app has over 5 million downloads and has sent over a billion tiny love letters since its launch in August. Facebook has acquired tbh to share good vibes with an even larger community. (Source: The Verge)

Name A More Iconic Duo. I’ll wait.

ZTE’s Axon M phone will have dual screens. Open the phone like a book to use two 5.2-inch screens with endless possibilities. Watch Netflix on one screen while answering emails on the other. Expand an article to fill up both screens. Share your phone with a friend and scroll through your half of the phone at your leisure. Play a gaming app like you would on a Nintendo 3DS. The phone launches in November, as if we needed another reason to see double after our Thanksgiving feast! (Source: CNET)

 A Better Way to Play

Former Vine founders have a new trivia app called HQ, which feels like a hybrid between Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Facebook Live. At 3pm and 9pm eastern, thousands of people open the app to answer dozens of multiple choice questions presented by a host. Those who answer wrong stay online to cheer on those still in the running. The winners split the prize money they cash out through PayPal. Think you could answer “What are the Bildungsroman genre of stories about?” I may have to phone a friend with my ZTE Axon M. (Source: TechCrunch)

Oculess is More

Facebook wants one billion people to try out its new VR headset. Cheaper headsets from its Oculus brand will hopefully boost Facebook’s attempt to make virtual reality a part of everyday life. In addition to offering Rift headsets for $399, they also plan on rolling out Oculus Go sometime next year. Oculus Go, a wireless mobile VR headset, might just be the perfect gateway for customers wanting to dip their feet into VR. “We want to bring people from ‘it’s crazy to own a VR device’ to ‘it’s crazy not to,’” Nate Mitchell, Oculus co-founder said in an interview. “I think demand is there at the right price and with the right content.” (Source: CNET)

Weinstein Gets the Boot

Amazon has decided to cut ties with The Weinstein Company (aka TWC) following sexual harassment allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein. While Weinstein has been fired from TWC, that wasn’t enough to calm the storm. Amazon completely cancelled an untitled project by director David O. Russell and will move forward with The Romanoffs without the involvement of TWC. Apple also cancelled a series associated with TWC. Apparently the company plans on renaming itself – a smart move now that not only one but two Harvey’s have wreaked havoc on our nation. (Source: TechCrunch)

Wag Hits a Ruff Patch

Wag, an app that serves as an “Uber for dogs,” is facing criticism after reports of missing dogs. Buddy, a Beagle-Labrador mix went missing under the care of a Wag contractor, and the dog owner called out the company big time. Wag allegedly tried to buy the owner’s silence with $2,500, and its parent company, Wag Labs Inc., fired off a cease and desist letter. Thankfully, Buddy was eventually found, but Wag’s reputation was still tainted. Pet-care startups such as Wag and Rover are trying to revolutionize the industry and have already received over $200 million from venture capitalists. But they need to handle their customer relationships better if they want a clean online presence. Maybe Wag should get their own walker to clean up after their mess! (Source: TechCrunch)


About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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