Subscribe to:

Subscribe to :: ::

Snapchat Launches Re-design

November 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Snap Inc is redesigning its disappearing-message app Snapchat hoping to attract a broader audience, going back to the drawing board as Wall Street clobbered it for another quarter of slowing user growth.

The Venice, California-based firm, whose March stock market debut was the hottest of any tech stock in years, reported revenue and user growth for the third quarter well below Wall Street expectations as it struggles to compete with Facebook Inc’s Instagram.

Snap has disappointed investors each quarter of its brief existence as a public company.

User growth in the last three months was well below what investment analysts expected. Daily active users rose to 178 million in the third quarter from 173 million in the second quarter. Analysts had expected 181.8 million, according to research firm FactSet.

Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said the company was launching the redesign after hearing for years that Snapchat was difficult to understand or hard to use.

“We are going to make it easier to discover the vast quantity of content on our platform that goes undiscovered or unseen every day,” Spiegel told analysts on a conference call.

The 27-year-old CEO said there was a “strong likelihood” the redesign would be disruptive in the short term, but said Snap was willing to take the risk for long-term gain.

Such a radical change so soon after an IPO is unusual.

Snap is not the only social media company looking to revive growth by changing its look. Microblogging service Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it would roll out 280-character tweets to users across the world, double the length of its iconic 140-character tweets.

Asked on the analyst call what Snapchat’s redesign would look like, Spiegel said the company had been studying the evolution of mobile content feeds such as Twitter streams and the Facebook News Feed and saw room for a “personalized content service.”

Spiegel said the company next year would also build more tools for people to share with broad audiences beyond their friends, the type of public broadcasting common on Instagram and Twitter.

“It seems like a significant amount of change in a short period of time,” analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG told Spiegel on the call. He asked what led to the shifts.

Spiegel said Snap needed to evolve rapidly. “We’re just not afraid to make changes in the long-term interest of the business,” he said.

iPhone 6 Plus Already Delayed Due To High Demand

September 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Mobile

Customers may have to wait three to four weeks to get their hands on Apple Inc’s  iPhone 6 Plus, after a record number of orders for the company’s latest smartphones put a huge dent in the available supply.

The new iPhone 6 goes on sale on Sept. 19 in the United States but the company began taking online orders on Thursday. While the larger 5.5-inch “Plus” models now display a wait time of up to a month, the 4.7-inch version remains available for delivery on Sept. 19, Apple’s website showed.

Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint Corp, also showed shipment delays of up to six weeks on their respective websites. Apple said the pace of orders has so far outstripped any of its previous iPhones.

“Response to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been incredible, with a record number of pre-orders overnight. Pre-orders are currently available online or through the Apple Store App,” spokeswoman Trudy Muller said.

Apple routinely grapples with iPhone supply constraints, particularly in years that involve a smartphone re-design. The latest iPhones come with larger screens and some analysts had anticipated that production issues may keep a lid on initial runs.

Its suppliers had scrambled to get enough screens ready because the need to redesign a key component had disrupted panel production, supply chain sources told Reuters last month.

It was unclear whether the hiccup could limit the number of phones available to consumers, the sources said at the time. Apple declined to comment on supply chain issues.

In addition, Chinese customers may also have to wait until the year-end before they can buy the iPhone 6. Apple is yet to set a release date for China, the world’s biggest smartphone market.

The company unveiled its latest iPhones along with a watch and a mobile payments service last Tuesday.


Twitter Unveils Redesign Of User Profile Pages

April 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter Inc has revealed a redesign of its user profile pages, the latest in a series of steps promised by the company to bring new users to the seven-year-old service.

In response to an all-time low in user growth figures during the recent quarter, Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo informed worried Wall Street analysts that the company would make a number of changes to freshen up the service.

The redesign, while mostly cosmetic, hinted at what Costolo described in February as a willingness to experiment with new ways to organize content. Users can now “pin” a tweet to stay at the top of their feed, a rare instance of Twitter departing from the continuously rolling format that has defined the service.

Tweets that have received more re-tweets or replies will also appear slightly larger to spur more user engagement.

The new layout, which will be available to a small group of users initially, will be widely deployed to Twitter’s 241 million users in the coming weeks, the company said.

Twitter reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue on February 6, but investors focused on user growth of just 3.8 percent, the lowest rate of quarter-on-quarter growth since Twitter began disclosing user figures. The San Francisco-based company went public in November.

In recent weeks, Twitter has also reportedly been testing a number of new advertising units, such as ads that include download links for mobile apps.

As part of Tuesday’s refresh, Twitter said users will also be allowed to select a large banner picture to display across the top of their profile page, as well as a much larger profile picture, two features that resemble another social network familiar to most of the world’s Internet users: Facebook.


Updated Gmail App Adds A Touch Of Color

June 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Google has completed and rolled out an update of its mobile Gmail app, and has added a color tile scheme that will look somewhat familiar to Windows 8 users.

The tiles integrate pictures of contacts and when a photo isn’t available it uses letters and coloring that may — or may not — offer up a fast, visual clue about the sender.

But the makeover has also raised concern. Users interested in deleting emails easily will have to go into their menu settings and change how emails are disposed of. Otherwise, the default is archive, not delete.

The need to manually restore the delete function has caused some confusion,evident in forums, and illustrates why change management remains a leading challenge for IT departments. In Google’s case, a user base of hundreds of millions of Gmail users ensures that just about anything it does to change its interface will provoke reactions, good and bad.

One mobile app provider and developer, Ferhan Hamid, CEO of Inadev, generally likes the redesign; when asked to rank it on a scale of one to 10, he gave it an eight.

Hamid said there is so much information coming at users that any effort to make an interface cleaner and easier is always welcome. “I think that’s what this new Gmail app attempts to do, and I think they’ve done a good job of it,” he said.

The color tiles help differentiate between emails, and including photos of the sender “is actually very helpful when you’re on the go,” said Hamid.

Hamid also said he’d like to see email delete process restored without requiring manual adjustments.

“Delete is going to be one of your most commonly used functions, and to not have that on your top bar menu is actually a problem,” said Hamid. To make it harder to delete emails, “was a bit surprising to me.”

The redesign reviews are mixed. Stephen Shankland at CNet calls the update dumb. Lifehacker says the layout is super confusing.




Will Google Battle Amazon

December 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Google is thinking about setting up an internet service to help consumers shop online and take advantage of same-day delivery. The move could be the first shots in a war to stop the loss of Web traffic to

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Internet search leader is in talks with major retailers and shippers, including Macy’s, Gap and OfficeMax, to set up the service. No one else has commented, but it all makes sense. Google is worried about’s Prime service which offers free two-day shipping for $79 a year in the US.

More than 40 percent of Google’s revenue comes from retail sources and Amazon Prime has been such a big success in recent years. If the WSJ is right then Google will instead work with retailers’ websites, combining an existing product-search feature that directs shoppers to those sites, with a new shipping service that it intends to create and oversee.

That new feature is designed to determine if a nearby physical store has a desired product in stock. Google could then offer the consumer an option to receive their goods within a day or two, for a fee, the newspaper said.




Amazon Redesigns Website In Advance Of Its Tablet

September 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics Inc is rolling out a near overhaul of its familiar website as it makes preparations to offer a new $250 tablet device to rival Apple Inc’s iPad.

The changes in Amazon’s online store “practically scream ‘tablet-optimized’,” TechCrunch blogger Sarah Perez wrote over the weekend after her site reported seeing a prototype of the company’s new device.

The new web pages show a bigger search bar and less clutter to better highlight music, e-books, digital games and applications from the Amazon Appstore using Google’s Android operating system, the blog said.

Amazon started rolling out the new design in the last days of August, spokeswoman Sally Fouts said in an email on Sunday.

“We are continuing to roll out the new design to additional customers, but I can’t speculate on when the new design will be live for everyone,” Fouts wrote.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is introducing the new site and tablet device as the company goes beyond its roots selling through personal computers to reaching customers via the kind of mobile connections they increasingly use.

Getting more mobile devices into the hands of Amazon customers is important, too, because it may enable more impulse buying and increased regular purchases.

The device Amazon is developing sports a back-lit, 7-inch (17.8-cm) screen — smaller than the iPad’s and about the same as Research in Motion’s PlayBook, TechCrunch reported earlier. The Amazon tablet is geared toward playing music and movies off the Internet.