According to a leaked email from the Sony Pictures hack, Snapchat has given former Apple executive Scott Forstall a 0.11 percent stake of its company for being an advisor. According to the email, Forstall was given his stake in early 2014 with his advisory occurring in January of that year.
Snapchat today announced a new service, in partnership with mobile-payment service Square, dubbed Snapcash. The new feature allows Snapchat users to quickly and easily send payments to one another. Users can do so by simply swiping right to chat on the main screen in Snapchat and then entering a dollar amount. The money will go directly from one user’s bank account to another.
Microsoft has just joined the ranks of companies looking to capitalize on the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat. Through its Skype division, the company has launched a new cross-platform app for iOS, Android, and (of course) Windows Phone called Skype Qik. The premise of the application, as can be seen in the video above and screenshots below, is simple: you can record a quick video, and then share it to either one person in your address book or multiple groups of people.
Differentiating itself from some of the other players, the Skype-based solution is video-focused, and Skype is positioning it as a communication tool for in between full-scale Skype video chats. Notably, the whole service is connected to your phone number and existing contacts list, so it doesn’t require signing up with a standard Skype account. If you send a message via Qik to a user without the Qik app, the other person will be sent an SMS text message with instructions for downloading the Qik app to view the video message. This app is based on the technology from startup Qik, which Skype acquired a few years ago.
By default, videos will expire after two weeks, and you can also un-send messages at any time. A cool feature of Skype Qik is the ability to pre-record various 5 second GIFs that you can send as instant replies. So, if you don’t have the ability to send a live video reply, you can just choose one of your pre-record defaults. The app is free today on the aforementioned platforms, and Microsoft says that updates, such as one for blocking iPhone contacts (that feature is available today on Android and Windows Phone), will come often to enhance the feature-set.
You can view some screenshots of the iPhone app in action below:
Update: Like clockwork, it’s out.
Facebook plans to launch its long-awaited Snapchat competitor called Slingshot tomorrow, according to a source. The application briefly became available in some international App Stores last week, and then it (appropriately) swiftly disappeared. The new standalone iPhone application allows users to send a photo or video with text or drawings to another person, but the recipient cannot view it unless they acknowledge that they want to view the message…
As we noted a few weeks ago, Facebook is currently in the process of developing a new Snapchat-like chat service separate from its main Messenger/Facebook inbox offering, even though it just recently removed its Poke app from the App Store.
Today Facebook “accidentally” published an early version of the upcoming software, called Slingshot, to the iOS App Store in a few countries. The app allows users to share a photo (or video) with friends, but those friends are unable to view the photo until they respond with a photo of their own. A “react” button allows recipients to quickly snap their reaction to an incoming message and send it back as a response.
If at first you don’t succeed…
Facebook may have recently pulled its Snapchat-like Poke app from the iOS App Store, but the social network is gearing up to take another swipe at the messaging giant later this month, according to a new claim by the Financial Times. Facebook’s new app, currently dubbed “Slingshot” interally, will enable users to send short video messages to one another.
In 2012, Facebook launched its own Snapchat rip-off called Poke, which borrowed its name from an entirely separate feature that had been available on Facebook’s website for years. When Poke failed to attract a significant number of users, Facebook forgot about it and let it sit idle for nearly three years before removing it from the App Store.
The new sharing model will require users to follow each other to send photos and messages privately to individuals or groups of up to 15 people. A pending requests inbox will catch photos and messages from users who are not mutually connected.
Instagram also noted its growth from 80 million users to 150 million users worldwide from the start of 2013 to today. Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, boasted that over half of Instagram’s users use the service daily…