posted 6 days ago on the next web
Facebook’s Creative Labs loves creating new apps. From Slingshot, to Paper, to Rooms, the team seems to be pumping out new apps every time we turn around. The latest to come from the potentially over-caffeinated team is for fans of Facebook’s Groups feature. Starting today, Facebook Groups gets its very own app. The Groups app is available for iOS and Android and streamlines the UI of the Facebook feature on mobile. Facebook says that 700 million people interact with a Facebook group every month. With that in mind, the Creative Labs team wanted to build something to make the mobile experience... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Twitter has announced via its engineering blog that it’s making its entire public tweet archive searchable to everyone. Previously it had only made the archive accessible to select partners. From today, Twitter’s search engine will index roughly half a trillion tweets. It promises it will serve up queries with an average latency of under 100ms. The move means historic tweets will now be accessible to everyone through Twitter’s public search. ➤ Building A Complete Tweet Index [Twitter] Feature image: Shutterstock

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
A lot has been said and written about Taylor Swift and her reasons for culling her music on Spotify. Ultimately, it’s all about the perceived value of her tunes – she doesn’t want people on a free, ad-supported service listening to her music on-demand. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on the debate, all this hullabaloo does raise an interesting question about the value of music today. With online piracy still rife, and pretty much every song ever recorded (give or take) available anyway on the likes of Vevo or YouTube, how much is a song or... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
No less than three TNW staff clamored in excitement when we stumbled upon this gorgeous and adorable rendition of Final Fantasy VII recreated through Little Big Planet 2. The project, created by Anglia Ruskin University student Jamie Colliver, has been two years in the making, and was finally uploaded in full this past weekend. Memorable scenes from the one of the most beloved RPGs have been divided into a 113 different parts – beginning with the opening Mako Reactor scene to the final battle between Cloud and Sephiroth. No details were spared – everything from the dialogue to Cloud’s Buster Sword have been beautifully... This story continues at The Next Web

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Earlier this year we looked at The White List, a project that aims to identify interesting new startups by looking at who influential tech investors follow and interact with on Twitter. After seeing some success, it’s now been expanded to track rising hip-hop and electronic music acts. While it doesn’t look as good and it’s nowhere near as interactive, The White List has an air of Product Hunt about it – albeit an automated version built on the premise that influential people follow startups they’re interested in on Twitter. There might be something in that too, The White List co-founder Robert Ronaldson... This story continues at The Next Web

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Facebook has today launched its own page, called FB Techwire, that will surface breaking tech news, debates and other events to users of the social network in real-time. In a post today, the organization said Techwire is being powered by Storyful and will feature content that can be embedded into news stories by journalists. Content will also be distributed on Twitter via a dedicated account. The move is clearly an attempt to draw attention away from Twitter, which has become known as a valuable resource for journalists in breaking news stories. The launch of FB Techwire follows the introduction of FB Newswire in April... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
PayPal announced today that users of the service who also own a Pebble smartwatch can now download a special app to make payments directly from the device. Announced in a blog post, the company said the app allows users to make payments at local retailers, restaurants or anywhere else that accepts PayPal. It’ll also allow you to receive payment notifications on your wrist without needing to reach into your bag or pocket to check they are correct. The support for payments on-the-go joins a wealth of other apps, such as Glympse location sharing, which arrived earlier this year. On the PayPal... This story continues at The Next Web

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Whether you’re looking to gift or buy your own first drone for some outdoor R/C action, there’s never been a better looking choice than the sleek Code Black Drone. Finished in stunning matte black, the Code Black Drone features beginner and expert flight modes so you can execute simple flight patterns and tricks right out of the box, and more complex maneuvers once you’ve got in some practice. The Code Black Drone includes an easy-to-learn remote control to guide your drone from up to 100 feet away, and also features a built-in camera to record HD-quality footage of every thrilling... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Nearly a year after the first case of Ebola was reported in West Africa, the epidemic still rages, having claimed more than 5,100 lives to date and acknowledged as the largest outbreak in history. Local governments, international organizations and aid groups – to list but a few – are scrambling to put together a coherent and effective response to the crisis; both preventative and treatment-based. One group making a significant contribution to the Ebola response – but with little publicity – are telecoms companies across Africa, who are leveraging their existing infrastructure, data, brand awareness and trust to provide information... This story continues at The Next Web

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Silicon Valley accelerator 500 Startups just announced that it is launching 500 Mobile Collective, a $10m micro-fund for innovators in mobile, with RightVentures founder Edith Yeung at the helm. 500 Mobile Collective (500 MC) will invest in mobile founders, apps and starters from across the globe, help them out with connections to mobile OEMs and carriers, and advise them on distribution, monetization, commerce and payments. Edith Yeung In addition to Edith Yeung, 500 MC includes notable partners and advisors like Jay Sullivan, former COO and interim CEO of Mozilla, and Yongzhi Yang, founder and CEO of Dolphin Browser. Yeung herself... This story continues at The Next Web

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IBM is the latest company promising to reinvent email for enterprise following the launch of its new, all-encompassing email service called Verse. While the promise of killing or redefining the inbox comes along fairly frequently, few services get close to solving the core problem. IBM’s Verse approaches the situation by providing a one-stop-shop for all your enterprise communications. So, whether that’s social updates, video chats, instant messages, calendars, meetings, or actual email, it’s all managed through Verse’s ‘faceted search’ and remains easy to find, IBM says. There is also an analytics feature that allows you to see an organizational view of the people you’re... This story continues at The Next Web

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After letting you control music during your Uber rides, Spotify today announced it is also giving BMW and Mini drivers some added control for their music. The integration will let iOS users access Spotify on all BMW cars with the BMW Apps feature, as well as Minis with MINI Connected Apps installed. Android users are out of luck, however. Users can then use Spotify directly from their car’s control panel and control playback through their car’s own controls, and can use Spotify-specific features like its Radio and Browse tools. To get started, users need only have Spotify installed on their phones, connect their devices... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
It can be pretty annoying when you’re browsing the Web on a mobile device, only to find out the site you’re visiting has a terrible layout on your phone. Google wants to make your life a bit easier by highlighting sites that have been optimized for mobile devices in its search results. Of course, with so many different ideas about web design, it can be tricky defining what’s truly mobile friendly. For Google, such a page does the following: Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash Uses text that is readable without zooming Sizes content to the... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
WhatsApp users can now enjoy encrypted communications across the platform thanks to a deal with Open Whisper Systems. According to a blog post, the encryption feature is available in the most recent build of the Android app and currently only supports one-on-one text messaging. Support for group chat and messages with media will be added in the future, Open Whisper Systems said. “WhatsApp runs on an incredible number of mobile platforms, so full deployment will be an incremental process as we add TextSecure protocol support into each WhatsApp client platform. We have a ways to go until all mobile platforms... This story continues at The Next Web

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If you travel frequently for work or pleasure, you know how difficult it can be to keep your gadgets charged and connected while on the move. But now, you can solve all those hassles with just one essential gadget: the Satechi Smart Travel Router. Globally compatible with power outlets in over 150 countries, the Smart Travel Router lets you charge up your mobile devices with a USB port and AC output that can work simultaneously. Plus, it packs a wireless router that can enable Wi-Fi access for all your devices, act as a repeater to boost the available signal, and... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
This post is part of a new series titled “Business Social,” and is brought to you by Hootsuite.Avinash Kaushik, an Indian entrepreneur, author and public speaker, once tweeted that “Social media is like teen sex, Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.” That was in 2009. Today, social media has transformed the way we do sales, marketing and public relations – yet there are still many misconceptions about social media. We’ve rounded up nine common myths and research to debunk them. Myth 1: Social media is defined as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Business professors Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of internet-based... This story continues at The Next Web

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Sharetribe today launched its full-service marketplace platform for niche communities. The service lets you build hosted sites that can be the “Airbnb for X” or the “Etsy for Y.” With today’s launch, Sharetribe now accepts payments outside the US. As the sharing economy takes off in full force, Sharetribe provides an easy way for members of affinity groups to sell or rent out goods and services. Pricing starts at $39 a month for up to 300 members and scales up to $239 a month for 100,000 members. Administrators can take a 10 percent cut of transactions in order to fund... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Nokia’s a different beast to what it once was after selling its Devices and Services division to Microsoft earlier this year. Even though it has started dabbling in the hardware realm once more, most of the consumer-centric focus from the Finnish company of late has been in relation to its HERE mapping platform. Today marks a milestone moment for the service, as HERE is being opened to third-party developers to access through a dedicated self-service portal. There is a free 90-day trial of the various consumer- and enterprise-focused services, but after that you will have to pay to access most... This story continues at The Next Web

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The Internet of Things (or connected home) is pretty sweet. You can turn on lights from the couch or across the country. You can start a delicious stew in a crook pot on your way home. All of which are great, as long as you buy the products that actually do those things. So if you want to do something out of the ordinary, there’s littleBits. The company launched its cloudBit device back in July to let users add virtually anything to their connected home via the littleBits hardware and the companion app. Today it’s introducing its Smart Home kit with 14 bits including... This story continues at The Next Web

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When people wondered how Ello would make money without ads, this is probably not what they had in mind. The company today announced a partnership with Threadless to sell Ello-themed shirts designed by independent artists. The Threadless store will cycle through new designs on the 1st and 15th of each month – the custom designs will only be sold for 14 days each. The first design was created by Chuck Anderson, a Chicago based commercial artist, and costs $35. Although the custom designs are limited edition, Threadless will be selling standard black and white shirts for $25 indefinitely. Artists whose designs are featured will be compensated 20... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Microsoft has launched a new feature for its Office 365 productivity suite called Office 365 Videos that promises to make the process of disseminating business info and updates via video clips far easier for Office 365 customers. Announced in a blog post today, the feature is being introduced through what Microsoft is calling its NextGen portals for Office 365. These portals, the company said, will leverage the Office Graph to deliver relevant information to users and will have social and mobile functionality baked into them from the start. As such, Office 365 Video allows users to create clips via the Web interface... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Kickstarter-backed Ukrainian startup Petcube has announced the beginning of shipments of its combined HD webcam, speaker and laser pointer that lets pet owners play with their furry (or sometimes hairless) friends remotely. Starting from today, the device is available for order on Amazon, Fab.com, and the startup’s own website for $199. “The first run of shipment is pretty big, much bigger than the number of pre-orders on Kickstarter,” Petcube CEO Yaroslav Azhnyuk told The Next Web. Explaining the problem solved by its gadget, Petcube cites research showing that 60 percent of American households own a pet, while 20 percent of them... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
Square and its little white card readers have helped many a coffee shop handle transactions through mobile devices, but it can still be hard for small businesses to match the perks offered by larger corporations, like gift cards. To help remedy this, Square is has has introduced physical gift cards of its own for businesses on its platform. Sellers can use Square’s Register app to offer, redeem and track the cards directly. To use them, you just swipe them like a regular credit card, and the balance on the card will automatically update. Customers can also choose to reload a card if they wish.... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
We love TV. Really, we do. But, like most people, we’re less keen when the viewing experience is continually interrupted by ads. As a publisher, we appreciate that monetization is necessary if you want to keep producing (or buying) content, and advertising is clearly one of the main revenue streams for TV channels. However, that doesn’t stop those ads being annoying and intrusive, which is what Playmute is hoping to solve if its Kickstarter campaign is successful. In a nutshell, it’s an Android-based HDMI dongle you plug into your (regular) TV that allows you to clap, click your fingers or use the... This story continues at The Next Web

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posted 6 days ago on the next web
If you frequently find yourself with not enough time to run all your errands, a new startup, Alfred, has officially launched to fix that for you, as long as you live in Manhattan or Boston. Alfred is a subscription service that assigns you a client manager to take care of mundane tasks like buying groceries, dropping off laundry and dry cleaning, and taking packages to the post office. You’ll pay $99 a month to have your runner come by once a week for a main visit, followed by a second visit a couple days later to drop off items like clean laundry.... This story continues at The Next Web

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