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Channel roundup – essential intelligence on the latest developments from the world’s leading digital networks and channels

Yahoo unveils Livetext, the silent video chatting app
In a bid to compete with the likes of Snapchat, Yahoo has unveiled its very own video chat app – Livetext. The app launched officially on Thursday in the US, UK, Canada, Germany and France for iOS and Android.

The key difference between Livetext and Snapchat is there’s no audio – according to Yahoo’s blog post:

‘While texting is quick and easy, you often miss the meaning of a message, have to explain your reaction (« LOL »), or wait hours before getting a response. And to actually talk on the phone, you not only have to be available, but you also have to be in a place where you can chat.’

Facebook reports second quarter results
This week Facebook announced its second quarter results for 2015 and revealed some pretty impressive stats:

  • 1 in every 5 minutes on a mobile phone is spent on Facebook
  • Users spend an average of 46 minutes a day on Facebook’s apps and make 1.5 billion searches a day on the site
  • As of 30th June, monthly active users were as high as 1.49 billion (up 13% from the previous year)
  • Of the 1.49 billion monthly active users, 1.3 billion accessed the service through mobile devices (a rise of 23%)

‘Mobile is the engine of our revenue growth,’ said David Wehner, Facebook’s Chief Financial Officer.

LinkedIn-style endorsements coming to Facebook
Following an internal hackathon, Facebook is reportedly testing descriptive tags for users to endorse one another. The new feature is modelled around LinkedIn’s endorsement infrastructure that allows users to vouch for others’ skills and qualifications. It’s currently only being tested in New Zealand and it’s not yet clear what Facebook will end up doing with the feature long-term. However, Facebook is continuously looking at ways to become the ultimate go-to portal to the internet, so we can expect to see even more of these types of features being introduced.

Xiaomi now controls 18% of the Chinese smartphone market
According to IHS Technology, Xiaomi has now left Apple, Samsung and other foreign competitors in the dust as it takes 18% of the smartphone market in China. In less than five years, Xiaomi has transformed from a start-up to a company worth $45 billion, with more than 100 million people using its MIUI operating system.

Xiaomi’s climb in the Chinese market comes at a time when the company continues its global expansion with the manufacture and launch of its new $160 device, the Redmi2, for the Brazilian market. It has also started developing a wider range of consumer electronics, including a smart home device ecosystem and affordable GoPro challenger Xiaoyi.

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