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  • Geebo 9:02 am on April 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Evan Spiegel, India, Snapchat   

    Snapchat CEO accused of insulting an entire country 

    Snapchat CEO accused of insulting an entire country

    Snapchat is not having the best week ever. It wasn’t bad enough that Instagram was copying Snapchat’s stories feature, but Instagram was bragging that their stories feature had more users than Snapchat Stories. This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Instagram is owned by the juggernaut that is Facebook. What did come as a surprise was Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel allegedly insulting an entire country. Not just any country but the 2nd most populous country in the world. Late last week, it was made public that Spiegel allegedly said that he did not want to expand into countries like India saying that Snapchat isn’t for poor people.

    This became public buzz after it was unsealed in a lawsuit against Snapchat by former employee Anthony Pompliano. Pompliano alleges that Spiegel said that Snapchat is for rich people only and didn’t want to expand into ‘poor countries’ like India and Spain. This caused not only a multitude of Indian users to boycott the app, many worldwide users have as well. Many of its former users have even taken to the various app stores to give it one star reviews in protest. This has affected Snapchat in the wallet too as their recently made public stock took a big hit in the market.

    If Spiegel did in fact make these comments, it’s incredibly short-sighted on his part to say the least. Some of the most popular apps in the world are used in India that U.S. users never even heard of. Messaging app WhatsApp is massively popular worldwide due to text messaging being overly expensive in certain overseas markets. The main market for WhatsApp users is India. India also has a larger percentage of mobile users than most countries. This is why Facebook bought WhatsApp and didn’t fold it into Messenger, because they knew that India was such a lucrative market.

    Snapchat has denied the allegations, but in today’s start up culture of trying to get rich quick by men with massive egos, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was true. We’re looking at you Uber.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on April 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: April Fools Day, , Snapchat   

    Snapchat wins April Fools Day at Instagram’s expense 

    Snapchat wins April Fools Day at Instagram's expense

    April Fools Day used to be a fun day on the internet. Websites would create jokes, but they were actually clever and enjoyable. For example, Google changed their name to Topeka for April 1st, 2010 after the capital city of Kansas changed its name to Google for a day in an attempt to get Google Fiber. In April of 2009, ThinkGeek posted on their website that they would be offering a Star Wars Tauntaun sleeping bag. If you’ll recall, one of the characters had to sleep inside one of the beasts to prevent himself from freezing to death. The concept was so well done that ThinkGeek actually ended up offering the item later on in the year. Then everyone on the internet felt they needed to get in on the act. The jokes became stale, predictable, or just downright unfunny. That was until this past weekend.

    While most of 2017’s April Fools Day jokes largely went unnoticed, one particular prank was able to garner headlines over the weekend. Snapchat is the photo and video sharing app that has taken over the internet by storm. Many reports have come out and said that Snapchat has more daily active users than Twitter. Facebook owned Instagram has been accused of out and out stealing features from Snapchat, such as the Snapchat Stories feature. Instagram reportedly didn’t even bother to change the name, calling their feature Instagram Stories.

    Over the weekend, Snapchat decided to turn the tables on Instagram. After taking a picture through the Snapchat app, one of the filters made your picture look just like an Instagram photo that is fictitiously liked by only one person, your mom. This is actually a clever prank because not only does take a meaningful but fun jab at Instagram but it’s not mean or annoying to their users. While it’s unlikely that future April Fools Days won’t just be ‘Turn Off the Internet Day’, it is nice to see that not everyone has lost all their creativity.

     
  • Geebo 10:58 am on March 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: filters, International Women's Day, Snapchat   

    Snapchat sparks controversy with International Women’s Day filters 

    Snapchat sparks controversy with International Women's Day filters

    After its successful IPO, photo sharing app Snapchat finds itself in the news again, but not for the same reasons. Since yesterday was International Women’s Day, Snapchat decided to release new filters in honor of the day. With the filters you could make yourself look like either scientist Marie Curie, artist Frida Kahlo, or civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

    A controversy started when some things were noticed about two of the filters. With the Marie Curie filter, not only did it thin out your face but it also gave you full eye make up for some reason. Many considered this to be wildly historically inaccurate. With the Frida Kahlo filter, it seemed to lighten the skin tone while trying to make the user look like the Mexican artist. A number of Snapchat users took to social media to decry this as an instance of ‘whitewashing’.

    Surprisingly, the filter that didn’t cause too much of a kerfuffle was the Rosa Parks filter. With the Rosa Parks filter, it didn’t change the skin tone of the user even though Ms. Parks was African-American. This could be that Snapchat learned from a previous controversy when they released a filter for reggae artist Bob Marley’s birthday which many users said was nothing more than applying ‘blackface’ to the user.

    Even with Snapchat’s faux pas there is something good that can be taken from their attempt to highlight these historical women with their whimsical filters. Snapchats userbase tends to skew young and some of these young people may not have yet learned about these three iconic women from history, and these filters may have sparked an interest into researching them. And nothing is wrong with a little bit more knowledge.

     
  • Geebo 10:49 am on March 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Snapchat   

    Snapchat IPO sees successful first day 

    Snapchat IPO sees successful first day

    Yesterday, Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. had their IPO with the stock finishing at a 44% price increase by the end of trading. This should come as no surprise as the photo sharing app has been a massive success with the much coveted 18 to 34 market.

    Snapchat started out as somewhat of an Instagram clone except with a twist. It first started out as the app where the pictures disappear after a short time. Even though there have been ways to save pictures that were not intended to be saved Snapchat became even more popular with the release of its quirky filters that allow you to do fun manipulations to your photos such as face swapping.

    Then came the limited of release of Snapchat’s video recording glasses known as Snapchat Spectacles. Their viral marketing and pop up vending machines saw the glasses sell out at every location they surprised users at.

    Snapchat’s biggest feature seems to be that it’s the social platform that your parents aren’t on. Basically, they’re the anti-Facebook as it’s specifically designed to appeal to the millennial crowd. That niche focus has made Snapchat a wild success and their IPO’s achievement reflects that.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on September 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Google Glass, , Snapchat, Spectacles   

    Snapchat announces video recording glasses 

    Snapchat announces video recording glasses

    The company behind the ubiquitous photo sharing and messaging Snapchat, has changed their name to Snap Inc., and that wasn’t even their big announcement of the weekend. Snap announced that they were releasing video recording sunglasses called Spectacles.

    For some this brings back memories of the controversial Google Glass. While Google Glass was planned to be a wearable computing device, it ended up not being much more than a video recorder. The main controversy with that aspect of Google Glass was that people could be recorded without them knowing about it, leading to some establishments in the Bay Area to ban Google Glass. Snap claims that Spectacles will not have this issue as they have a set of lights that will light up whenever it’s recording. Also, since they’re sunglasses, you would notice if you were being recorded indoors since the recorder would be wearing sunglasses indoors. Another reason that Spectacles could be more successful that Google Glass is accessibility. While Glass was $1500 a pair, Spectacles are said to be listed at $130.

    The question is, since most people have cameras on their phones do we need another type of camera? Snap CEO Evan Spiegel seems to think so.

    “It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”

    Will that experience be enough for consumers to part with their money? In these days of virtual and augmented realities, it just might.

     
  • Geebo 10:10 am on July 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dani Mathers, , live streaming, , , Snapchat, Stephen Drake Edwards   

    Does live streaming bring out the worst in us? 

    Does live streaming bring out the worst in us?

    Live streaming has proven to be invaluable within the past few years when it comes to not only news but criminal investigations and social movements. Unfortunately, it’s also been used to commit disparaging acts as well.

    In Los Angeles, Playboy model Dani Mathers allegedly sent out a Snapchat of an undressed woman at her gym while making disparaging remarks about the woman’s body. Backlash from that incident not only led to Ms. Mathers being banned from the entire chain of gyms and the loss of her radio job but she’s also being investigated by the LAPD for illegal distribution of the Snapchat.

    Even more disturbing, 20-year-old Stephen Drake Edwards has been arrested in Detroit for allegedly brandishing a gun towards a man while hurling homophobic slurs at him. Edwards streamed the entire event on Periscope. He is even said to have done a second live stream on Periscope where he fielded questions about the incident. While he did receive backlash from the LGBT community he also had a number of supporters and therein lies the problem.

    There have even been more heinous crimes and activities that have been live streamed that have received positive feedback while they were taking place. The internet has always allowed distasteful groups and individuals to organize and communicate but live streaming now allows them to disseminate their messages and activities in real-time. However, live streaming is just a tool and like any tool can be abused for the wrong purposes. It seems these acts are more of a reflection of some of the more intolerant and ignorant subsections of our society.

     
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