Connect with us

APPS

Snapchat launches Bitmoji TV: zany 4-min cartoons of your avatar

Published

on

If you were the star of every show, would you watch more mobile television? Snapchat is betting that narcissism drives resonance for its new weekly videos that put you and your friends’ customizable Bitmoji avatars into a flurry of silly animated situations. Bitmoji TV premieres on Saturday morning, and it’s remarkably funny, exciting, and addictive. Think cartoon SNL on fast-forward with you playing a secret agent, a zombie president, or a Moonlympics athlete.

It’s a style of content only Snapchat could pull off that relies on ubiquitous personalized avatars only Snapchat owns. The company says 70% of its daily active users, or 147 million of its 210 million, have made themselves a Bitmoji. Snapchat bought Bitmoji’s parent company Bitstrips in 2016 for a steal at $62.5 million, and it’s paying off. Amidst a sea of premium video and haphazard Stories that blur together across streaming services and social apps, Snapchat finally found something Facebook can’t copy.

“We really believe that we have invented a new category of entertainment. It’s scripted but it’s personalized. You could take that in a million directions” says Bitmoji co-founder and CEO Ba Blackstock who wrote and directed Bitmoji TV. “First and foremost, I hope that everyone who watches this has kind of a mind blowing experience that they’ve never had before.”

Bitmoji TV, which TechCrunch was first to report Snapchat was building last month, will have its own Snapchat Show page where users can subscribe to get notifications and see new episodes on the Discover Page. Users can visit this page on mobile or tap and hold on the Snapcode below while pointing at it with the Snapchat camera to open Bitmoji TV.

The show is designed to be PG-13 with some bleeped out swearing and a little bloody violence. The shows are made out of Bitmoji’s Toronto office and are based on North American TV, film, and advertising. Each episode cuts away and back to a main story, with the first two centered around an America’s Best Bitmoji game show and a Mime Cops hostage negotiation. Interspersed are ‘channel flips’ between shorter single-gag clips that take your avatar into sit-coms, soap operas, action movies, and informercials.

See also  Facebook pulls ‘pseudoscience’ from its list of targeted ad categories

The gags are ridiculous. At the basketball “Moonlympics”, a player jumps up for a dunk, but low gravity causes him to crash through the glass dome and suck all the other players into space. At Cannibal High, an school announcement says “Attention students, we’re all deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Vice Principal Schneider. To honor his legacy, today the cafeteria will be serving Vice Principal Schneider.”

You’re not alone it Bitmoji TV. There’ll be occassional celebrity guests like Randy Jackson, Andy Richter, and Jon Lovitz. But your co-star in these segments is the Bitmoji of whichever person you last interacted with on Snapchat. That lets you control whether you want your best friend, your significant other, or some rando alongside you. That decision will change the way you interpret the jokes and scenes. Your Bitmoji won’t talk, but their’s will.

Getting philosophical, Blackstock explains that “When you say words to me, it’s not just your words in a vacuum. They’re coming from you. You’re the medium . . . In any narrative fiction you learn about the characters, they have a back story, they have relationships that exist under the story that color it.” Who you make your supporting actor lends personal subtext that enriches each story. That’s one reason you can’t download or easily share clips of your version of Bitmoji TV, and Snap instead just lets you share a link to watch the real thing. Blackstock says it just doesn’t have the same effect if you’re not in the spotlight.

[embedded content]

One thing you won’t find in Bitmoji TV, at least at first, are advertisements. The initial 10 episode season won’t have them. But that does seem to be the plan. When I asked Blackstock about monetizing the show, he said “You can imagine. Discover has a business model of showing ads.” Since it make Bitmoji TV, Snapchat would get to keep that ad money rather than paying it out with revenue shares to partners or by buying content. Just as we’ve seen music and video streaming apps move to cut royalty expenses by creating content in-house, Snap seems to have the same idea.

See also  Jack Dorsey says Twitter will ban all political ads

Snapchat has yet to monetize Bitmoji directly beyond its merchandise store where you can get yours on t-shirts and mugs. Surprisingly, it doesn’t sell premium or branded clothes and looks for Bitmoji, nor does it allow brands to pay to have their apparel featured.

Snap did recently start letting people mix-and-match clothes for their Bitmoji, and when asked if that could foreshadow a revenue opportunity, Blackstock said “You gotta build the store before you start selling the clothes . . . this was a foundational evolution designed to not only improve the experience for users but to set the stage for things to come.” You and your friends seeing your avatar’s fresh outfit on Bitmoji TV might make people care more about what their digital mini-mes wear.

Having watched the first three episodes, I’m pretty certain Bitmoji TV is going to be a hit. The show embodies the whimsy of Snapchat and the youth culture of the community who uses it. It’s rare to see something so premium but so unabashedly kooky. It’s remininscent of the Rick & Morty ‘Interdimensional Cable’ episodes that similarly feature rapid-fire snippets of fake and absurd TV shows.

Yet “the idea for Bitmoji TV actually precedes Bitmoji. It’s something I’ve been thinking about since those days [before Snapchat acquired it.] In a way it precedes Bitstrips. I’ve been making comics and cartoons since I was a little kid” Blackstock tells me. “How I met two of the co-founders of Bitstrips was passing them comics in class. Even after school when we had jobs I would draw comics of my co-founder that were very compromising and I would fax them to his office to try to get him fired” he recalls with a hearty laugh. Now he has the budget to make them TV-worthy but just as crazy.

Snapchat has a good hunch it’s going to work because it’s been testing a comic-stripped down version called Bitmoji Stories. These still or lightly-animated slide shows use the same idea of starring the avatars of you and your friends, but without full-motion video or constant audio. 130 million people have watched Bitmoji Stories since they launched in late 2018.

See also  Lawmakers press Instagram for details on its plans for kids

Blackstock tells me “They were easier to make at a high volume and release ongoingly, which we could put out as a prelude to get our audience ready for personalized content — but also for us to learn from and see how people responded and figure out our own processes in terms of production.” Snapchat had animators and engineers work hand in hand to build a rendering system for Bitmoji Stories and TV. That helps it rapidly produce the personalizable content that can flex to accomodate any shaped avatar without them clipping into their surroundings.

Tonight, Bitmoji TV will receive an in-person ‘silent disco-style’ premiere at Los Angeles’ Soho House. Guests will scan a code on the big screen, don headphones, and each watch on their own phone with themselves as the star.

Snapchat’s head of original content Sean Mills tells me that “New technology will unlock new kinds of storytelling” citing “the power of bringing a user into the experience with their best friends.” Bitmoji TV has certainly found a way to turn vanity into engagement. It’s more compelling than the mediocre originals on Facebook Watch. And it’s technologically innovative, unlike the planned lineup for Quibi.

If the modern era of visual communication began with the selfie, Snap honed it into a messaging tool. A few words were more interesting with a friend’s face behind it. The original Bitmoji chat stickers let your face say whatever you wanted even without having to get on camera. Snapchat’s new Cameo feature grafts your face into GIFs to express even more complex feelings. And now with Bitmoji TV, an animated version of your face can live out your wildest fantasies or weirdest dreams. That’s something worth tuning into.

TechCrunch

APPS

Best ASO Tips To Boost Your App Search In 2022

Published

on

You need your application to be really effective in the overpopulated application market. Then, at that point, you will have to drive downloads to endure. So when it’s all said and done, you must account for yourself. Get your application the consideration it merits.

The uplifting news, however, is that customers love to download applications – last year, we downloaded in excess of 200 billion applications around the world, and that figure is set to increment to 258 billion every year by 2022 as cell phone reception increments.

Assuming you need to be seen and have your application downloaded by however many clients as could reasonably be expected, then, at that point, you should begin by taking a gander at the application store.

Underneath, we’ve assembled probably the best application store improvement methods to assist you with creating more downloads in 2021 and then some…

Start with Your Application Name 

The odds are you as of now have an extraordinary name for your application, yet an appropriately advanced application is about significantly more than marking.

Assuming you need to amplify transparency and guarantee you’re showing up when clients look for applications like yours, you ought to remember the primary keywords for your application name or title, comparable to how you’d make a title label while improving a site page.

You could begin with your application name so it tends to be plainly recognized, thus it appears on the home screen of gadgets.

Then, at that point, you can add a scramble or vertical bar prior to adding a few pertinent watchwords to your speciality, or even put your application name in quotes as we did with FORE Business Golf Networking.

See also  Instagram's Testing Emoji Reactions for Direct Messages

Urge Users to Leave Reviews 

You could ask for reviews by clients through the means of your site, or through an in-application notice toward the finish of their meeting, yet make sure to restrict the number of pop-ups you execute with the goal that you don’t disturb or disappoint your clients, as this could urge them to erase your application.

We’d support all application engineers and entrepreneurs to react to criticism on their applications, as this can further develop client relations and resolve issues in an open arena.

Zero in on Your Application Depiction 

Your application depiction is your principle assemblage of text your landing page content, in a manner of speaking. Utilize a site like KeywordTool.io to discover information on your picked catchphrases to expand your openness. As portrayals are shortened, ensure you remember the main data for the initial three lines of your depiction, and afterwards add things like social confirmation, emoticon, and suggestions to take action to build commitment and downloads.

Incorporate Appealings Screen Captures 

Pictures and recordings won’t help your application rank, yet they will expand changes and assist clients with working out whether it’s an application they truly need.

There’s a little guide in empowering clients toward downloading your application if in any case, they’re not going to interface with it, or download and leave a negative survey when they understand it wasn’t what was promoted.

Assuming you need to ‘tart up’ your item page, then, at that point, you can add marking and extra text and data and designs to your recordings and screen capture, yet they ought not to diminish your item.

See also  Twitter’s political ads ban is a distraction from the real problem with platforms

Pay for App Store or Play Store 

As we have SEO and pay-per-click, you need to work one next to the other (one is a gradual methodology with long haul benefits – the other is a speedy success yet requires an endless spending plan), application store promotions can be utilized to get the message out with regards to your new programming and assist you with positioning at the highest point of query items pages – in front of your opposition and enormous names in the application world.

Keep in mind, you’ll need to focus on the right crowd and art an advertisement that will assist you with changing over and that since you’re paying for situations, that doesn’t mean clients will download or cooperate with your application.

Wrapping Up!

You can employ a group of  App  Store Optimization Services suppliers to benefit a scope of application store improvement administrations, including watchword advancement, resource enhancement, and restriction to guarantee your application is seen by individuals that matter.

We have long periods of involvement in creating and showcasing applications and have assisted different customers with expanding their downloads by infiltrating rewarding and regularly undiscovered business sectors.

Author:
Prachi Gupta likes to write information about Digital Marketing Trends that can help audience to grow their business.

Continue Reading

APPS

WhatsApp will finally let users encrypt their chat backups in the cloud

Published

on

WhatsApp said on Friday it will give its two billion users the option to encrypt their chat backups to the cloud, taking a significant step to put a lid on one of the tricky ways private communication between individuals on the app can be compromised.

The Facebook-owned service has end-to-end encrypted chats between users for more than a decade. But users have had no option but to store their chat backup to their cloud — iCloud on iPhones and Google Drive on Android — in an unencrypted format.

Tapping these unencrypted WhatsApp chat backups on Google and Apple servers is one of the widely known ways law enforcement agencies across the globe have for years been able to access WhatsApp chats of suspect individuals.

Now WhatsApp says it is patching this weak link in the system.

“WhatsApp is the first global messaging service at this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging and backups, and getting there was a really hard technical challenge that required an entirely new framework for key storage and cloud storage across operating systems,” said Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in a post announcing the new feature.

Store your own encryption keys

The company said it has devised a system to enable WhatsApp users on Android and iOS to lock their chat backups with encryption keys. WhatsApp says it will offer users two ways to encrypt their cloud backups, and the feature is optional.

In the “coming weeks,” users on WhatsApp will see an option to generate a 64-digit encryption key to lock their chat backups in the cloud. Users can store the encryption key offline or in a password manager of their choice, or they can create a password that backs up their encryption key in a cloud-based “backup key vault” that WhatsApp has developed. The cloud-stored encryption key can’t be used without the user’s password, which isn’t known by WhatsApp.

Image Credits: WhatsApp/supplied

“We know that some will prefer the 64-digit encryption key whereas others want something they can easily remember, so we will be including both options. Once a user sets their backup password, it is not known to us. They can reset it on their original device if they forget it,” WhatsApp said.

See also  How Google Analyzes Web Page Content and Weights It

“For the 64-digit key, we will notify users multiple times when they sign up for end-to-end encrypted backups that if they lose their 64-digit key, we will not be able to restore their backup and that they should write it down. Before the setup is complete, we’ll ask users to affirm that they’ve saved their password or 64-digit encryption key.”

A WhatsApp spokesperson told TechCrunch that once an encrypted backup is created, previous copies of the backup will be deleted. “This will happen automatically and there is no action that a user will need to take,” the spokesperson added.

Potential regulatory pushback?

The move to introduce this added layer of privacy is significant and one that could have far-reaching implications.

End-to-end encryption remains a thorny topic of discussion as governments continue to lobby for backdoors. Apple was reportedly pressured to not add encryption to iCloud Backups after the FBI complained, and while Google has offered users the ability to encrypt their data stored in Google Drive, the company allegedly didn’t tell governments before it rolled out the feature.

When asked by TechCrunch whether WhatsApp, or its parent firm Facebook, had consulted with government bodies — or if it had received their support — during the development process of this feature, the company declined to discuss any such conversations.

“People’s messages are deeply personal and as we live more of our lives online, we believe companies should enhance the security they provide their users. By releasing this feature, we are providing our users with the option to add this additional layer of security for their backups if they’d like to, and we’re excited to give our users a meaningful advancement in the safety of their personal messages,” the company told TechCrunch.

See also  Lawmakers press Instagram for details on its plans for kids

WhatsApp also confirmed that it will be rolling out this optional feature in every market where its app is operational. It’s not uncommon for companies to withhold privacy features for legal and regulatory reasons. Apple’s upcoming encrypted browsing feature, for instance, won’t be made available to users in certain authoritarian regimes, such as China, Belarus, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uganda and the Philippines.

At any rate, Friday’s announcement comes days after ProPublica reported that private end-to-end encrypted conversations between two users can be read by human contractors when messages are reported by users.

“Making backups fully encrypted is really hard and it’s particularly hard to make it reliable and simple enough for people to use. No other messaging service at this scale has done this and provided this level of security for people’s messages,” Uzma Barlaskar, product lead for privacy at WhatsApp, told TechCrunch.

“We’ve been working on this problem for many years, and to build this, we had to develop an entirely new framework for key storage and cloud storage that can be used across the world’s largest operating systems and that took time.”

TechCrunch

Continue Reading

APPS

Dispo launches a test to gauge user interest in selling their photos as NFTs

Published

on

Dispo, the photo-sharing app that emulates disposable cameras, started rolling out a test yesterday that will record user interest in selling photos as NFTs. Some users will now see a sell button on their photos, and when they tap it, they can sign up to be notified when the ability to sell Dispo photos launches.

CEO and co-founder Daniel Liss told TechCrunch that Dispo is still deciding how it will incorporate NFT sales into the app, which is why the platform is piloting a test with its users. Dispo doesn’t know yet what blockchain it would use, if it would partner with an NFT marketplace or what cut of sales Dispo would take.

“I think it’s safe to say from the test that there will be an experience native to the Dispo app,” Liss said. “There are a number of ways it could look — there could be a native experience within Dispo that then connects through an API to another platform, and in turn, they’re our partner, but to the community, it would look native to the Dispo app.”

Image Credits: Dispo

This marks a new direction for the social media app, which seeks to redefine the photo-sharing experience by only letting users see the photos they took at 9 AM the next morning. From Dispo’s perspective, this gimmick helps users share more authentically, since you take one photo and then you’re done — the app isn’t conducive to taking dozens of selfies and posting the “best” image of yourself. But though it only launched in December 2019, Dispo has already faced both buzzy hype and devastating controversy.

See also  Email marketing: Understanding the elements of Permission

Until about a year ago, the app was called David’s Disposables, named after co-founder and YouTuber David Dobrik. The app was downloaded over a million times in the first week after its release and hit No. 1 on the App Store charts. In March 2021, the app dropped its waitlist and relaunched with social network features, but just weeks later, Insider reported sexual assault allegations against a member of Vlog Squad, Dobrik’s YouTube prank ensemble. In response, Spark Capital severed ties with the company, leading to Dobrik’s departure. Other investors like Seven Seven Six and Unshackled Ventures, which contributed to the company’s $20 million Series A round, announced that they would donate any profits from their investments in Dispo to organizations working with survivors of sexual assault.

Liss told TechCrunch in June, when the company confirmed its Series A, that Dobrik’s role with the company was as a marketing partner — Liss has been CEO since the beginning. In light of the controversy, Liss said the app focused on improving the product itself and took a step back from promotion.

According to data from the app analytics firm SensorTower, Dispo has reached an estimated 4.7 million global installs to date since launch. Though the app saw the most downloads in January 2020, when it was installed over 1 million times, the app’s next best month came in March 2021, when it removed its waitlist — that month, about 616,000 people downloaded Dispo. Between March and the end of August, the app was downloaded around 1.4 million times, which is up 118% year over year compared to the same time frame in 2020 — but it should be expected that this year’s numbers would be higher, since last year, the app’s membership was exclusive.

Image Credits: Dispo

Now, with the announcement that Dispo is pursuing NFTs, Liss hopes that his company won’t just change how people post photos, but what the relationship will be between platforms and the content that users create.

See also  Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps

“Why NFTs? The most powerful memories of our lives have value. And they have economic value, because we created them, and the past of social media fails to recognize that,” Liss told TechCrunch. “As a result, the only way that a creator with a big following is compensated is by selling directly to a brand, as opposed to profiting from the content itself.”

Adding NFT sales to the app offers Dispo a way to profit from a cut of user sales, but it stands to question how adding NFT sales could impact the community-focused feel of Dispo.

“I think there is tremendous curiosity and interest,” Liss said. “But these problems and questions are why we need more data.”

TechCrunch

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending