#TheStream Issue 12

After last weeks midweek and shorter post we are now back to normal. There have been a number of interesting announcements over the last week, especially for those of you who have been paying attention to E3.

Foursquare 5.0

The #allnew4sq is here! from foursquare on Vimeo.

Last week Foursquare rolled out its latest iteration. After teasing us with #allnew4sq images and information, it pushed the update live on iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. As yet there is no word on the Windows Phone version.

The app has had a major overhaul, and places discovery front and centre whilst also slightly relegating the check-in and its gamification features. The incredible amount of data that Foursquare has, thanks to its 20 million users, has always held a huge amount of promise around their goal to help people make the most of their surroundings. Founder Dennis Crowley gave an in-depth interview to TechCrunch outlining the new app and how their are now delivering on their promise.

For brands this is now the time to revisit Foursquare. The re-design makes the app more user friendly and brings with it the chance for brands to have greater influence on an individual’s real world decisions. Tips have been brought right to the front alongside the ability to now like or dislike a tip or venue. Individual profiles have also been overhauled and photos are now playing a much bigger role.

Airtime

Napster founders Sean Parker (Facebook, Spotify) and Shawn Fanning (Path) launched their new video chat service last week.

Although the launch event was dogged with a few problems, the service itself appears to have a lot of potential and is very compelling. Unsurprisingly Airtime only works through Facebook and uses each individual’s connections, location and interests to create the one-to-one video connection. Many of you may well remember Chatroulette and will notice the similarities with the service, however, you do not need to worry about the…ahem…male issue that dogged that video service. Airtime has all kinds of safeguards built into it, including a way of recognising unsuitable content and blocking that individual. At this moment in time Airtime is only providing one-to-one connections but that hasn’t stopped many pointing out this could well turn into Facebook’s answer to Google+ Hangouts.

Finally, being such a high profile tech launch you never know who you may bump into…

Twitter – A busy week for the flock

Twitter is on a roll as it looks to further cement itself in the mainstream consciousness. First it has introduced a new, simplified logo with the messaging that “…a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibilities.” The new logo comes with some guidelines which you can find on the resource page.

Twitter quietly tweaked how it cross posts to Facebook so that now there is a much cleaner, rich media experience providing links to hastags, @replies and links that are within a user or brand’s tweet.

This is great news for those who do cross promoting, however, we still recommend not cross promoting if you are a brand. Twitter is a platform that encourages regular updating where as with Facebook it can be annoying for a user to have their newsfeed filled with a single brands updates. As such it is best to keep them separate but ensuring that messaging is shared where needed.

Next for Twitter, over the weekend they introduced their first TV ad.

It is very simple and gets the call to action across clearly. The other interesting aspect is the twitter.com/#NASCAR site as it is the start of the new hashtag pages. It curates all the best Twitter users, images and tweets that are using the #NASCAR hashtag.

Google Acquires Meebo

Google is ramping up its talent acquisitions and this announcement shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Meebo created a popular web messenger service and the Meebo bar that is seen on a number of sites across the web, both of which used advertising. Successfully moneitising web chat and raising funding from the likes of Sequoia Capital no doubt put them high on the list of purchases at many of the big tech companies.

“We are always looking for better ways to help users share content and connect with others across the web, just as they do in real life. With the Meebo team’s expertise in social publisher tools, we believe they will be a great fit with the Google+ team. We look forward to closing the transaction and working with the Meebo team to create more ways for users to engage online.”

Sadly for users, the services are going to be shut down as this was a talent acquisition over a product acquisition. What this means for Google+ we can only speculate at this time. It is however a clear statement of intent by Google.

Nintendo Miiverse

Nintendo has long been criticised for its lack of online connectivity, something which has become even more important in the last few years of video gaming. To change this with its new console generation, the Wii U and 3DS, Nintendo is introducing the Miiverse. It is a social network of sorts that allows for easy connectivity across Nintendo devices, chat/messaging and you can also view which games are the most popular at the point in time with your friends and/or across the entire Nintendo Network. For more on this, read this IGN article and watch the video of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata outlining the new service.

IPV6

Last week saw the introduction of IPV6, an incredibly important milestone in the life of the web. In a nutshell we have been quickly running out of space for new devices to be connected to the Internet. The launch of IPV6 means that the web has been given a huge and very important expansion allowing for its continued growth and allowing more and more people to be connected online. If you are interested to learn a bit more, as well as watching the video above, visit this site from Google which explains the transition in further detail.

Lolcat

And there we have it for this week. What are your thoughts on the previous week’s announcements? Are you using Airtime or the new Foursquare? Leave your opinion in the comments below. Don’t forget tonight is WWDC so keep an eye out for a few Apple announcements.

As a bonus for this week check out the below video for a few laughs. Are you suffering from vertical video syndrome?

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