Are brands in the region becoming increasingly comfortable with social media and digital advertising on the whole? Read Jab Bou Chebl – Senior Project Manager at Eastline’s view.
Snapchat is growing fast worldwide and even faster in the Arab world. In 2014, it was the fastest growing social media app, achieving a growth rate of 56% between the first and the third quarter of the year. The fascination with Snapchat continues as the platform is said to be nearing 200 million active users, with 81% of its users aged between 13 and 24 years old.
As Facebook F8, the company’s annual developers’ conference, comes to an end, it’s time for us to go over the major changes the social network is bringing to the table.
Messenger as a platform
Arguably the most important and most discussed new feature announced at F8 was Messenger. It has gone from app to platform, allowing developers to integrate their own application inside it. Do you see the three little dots next to the microphone? Tap them and you’ll discover an array of GIF makers, voice modifiers and a lot more fun things to play around with, but the best is yet to come as non-featured apps will soon make their way into you smartphone.
Messenger for businesses
While we’re on Messenger, there is now a new feature dedicated to businesses that will allow direct interaction between brands and customers. When a user gets to the checkout page of a website, he will be prompted to use Messenger to fulfill his purchase, allowing the customer service to use the messaging platform to confirm orders, track deliveries and provide direct support.
With the release of Oculus VR approaching, Facebook is preparing its social platform to embrace the change. It will soon support a new format: 360 videos. It will allow users to virtually navigate around a room or given space within their news feed.
Parse gets involved in the internet of things
About two years ago, Facebook bought Parse, a mobile app development platform. This year, Parse will release new tools to help developers make apps that interact with connected objects without having to worry about the backend too much. The SDKs will handle app analytics, sending push notifications to people at the right time, and collecting crash data.
Facebook is going all out on video, and for a good reason: the platform generates 3Bn views daily. In a grand face-punch to YouTube, the social platform will now allow users to embed videos anywhere with a single line of code. This is a powerful move that will drastically increase the number of views and definitely impact videos advertising on the long run.
Facebook wants you to know your users better. It probably also wants to benefit from the data your app can generate. Regardless, the company has developed a tool that allows developers to gather behavioral analytics, measure how people use their app and improve their marketing campaigns.
The iPhone 6 has been out for a while now and we’re already approaching the release of the Apple Watch, so the tech giant has a lot going on. As if it wasn’t enough, recent reports have unveiled the company’s next mobile software update: iOS 9.
In September 2013, Apple launched iOS 7, the major design overhaul of the operating system that marked its transition into flat design. It opened new doors such as the Touch ID and CarPlay, and was dubbed the “biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone”. Then came iOS 8 with many health-focused features, Apple Pay, Continuity, and more. At the same time, Apple launched the iPhone 6 with a total redesign and a lot of new hardware.
With so many new features released across a variety of devices in less than two years, the company hasn’t really had the time to stabilize its ecosystem.
So for the next version of its mobile platform, the tech giant has just announced that it will be focusing on optimizing software and hardware. They are likely to fix many performance issues and, according to 9to5mac, “continue to make efforts to keep the size of the OS and updates manageable, especially for the many millions of iOS device owners with 16GB devices”.
It has also come to light that the iPhone 5c, original iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch will all be discontinued by the end of 2015, leaving only devices equipped with 64-bit A7, A8, and A9 processors. With less outdated hardware, it should be easier to unify the experience across the whole iOS range.
Although there is some speculation about battery life improvements, the main focus will be to create a perfectly stable environment and optimize the existing features to make them faster, smoother, and more user-friendly. There are no dates yet but we’ll be hearing more about it at Apple’s WWDC 2015 (Worldwide Developers Conference).
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