Twitter is testing out app shortcuts and multi-window support with Android app

Android 7.1 launched on the Pixel and as a Developer Preview a little over a week ago. Since then, several third-party apps have already been updated to support the latest system features. Most notably Action Launcher and Nova Launcher are kind of duking it out to see which adds more Pixel features first. Twitter for Android is the latest among the most notable, with shortcuts and a circular app icon already in testing on the latest alpha build. This build also enables multi-window for devices running Android 7.0+ Nougat. Continue reading “Twitter is testing out app shortcuts and multi-window support with Android app”

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Twitter Night Mode Could Be Coming To iOS Soon

In yet another move to boost its user base, micro-blogging website Twitter may now bring the “night mode” for iPhone users, a media report said.

Last month Twitter rolled out a new feature for its Android app which introduced Night Mode. In case you’re unfamiliar, Night Mode on Twitter basically transforms the user interface from a white UI to a darker UI, thus making it easier on the eyes when viewed at night. We figured Twitter would eventually bring this feature to iOS, and sure enough it looks like it is in the works.

Continue reading “Twitter Night Mode Could Be Coming To iOS Soon”

Twitter, Depressingly, Tries to Be Snapchat

Move over Moments, because Twitter is releasing a new feature no one will care about.

This Thursday, Twitter will make its #Stickers feature available to all users, something that already functionally exists on Snapchat. #Stickers allows users to create collage custom emojis over photos.

The difference between #Stickers and what Snapchat already offers as a fundamental feature in their app is that users can tap on a sticker used in a tweeted photo, and scroll through a feed of other photos with that same sticker. Cute idea, but does anyone really care about how someone else is used a played out sunglasses emoji to “enhance” their content?

On Tuesday, Twitter reported that its shares fell 11 percent, marking its “slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013,” according to Reuters.

Twitter, babe, I love you so much. Imitating the features of a more popular app will not save you in the same way that, when a girl in middle school, buying knockoff versions of the rich popular girls’ designer clothes does not make her any cooler. In order to succeed, you must stay true to who you are.

Facebook sees 2 billion searches per day, but it’s attacking Twitter not Google

Facebook wants to be known as a place to search for mentions of current news in hopes of drawing more public chatter that normally ends up on Twitter. While Facebook stumbled with its natural language Graph Search, it refocused on keywords, and is now seeing 2 billion searches per day of its 2.5 trillion posts. That’s compared to 1.5 billion searches per day in July 2015, and 1 billion in September 2012. That’s a 33% climb in just 9 months.

Continue reading “Facebook sees 2 billion searches per day, but it’s attacking Twitter not Google”

Twitter’s growth remains flat as its profit continues to dip

Twitter’s Q2 2016 earnings report tells a story we’ve heard many times before: namely, flat growth and a net loss in terms of profit. For the quarter ending June 30th, Twitter saw revenue of $602 million but a net loss of $107 million. The service boasted 313 million monthly active users, up 3 percent over the previous year. Last quarter, Twitter reported 310 million monthly active users.

Twitter’s main source of revenue is advertisement. For the quarter, advertising revenue accounted for $535 million of the company’s $602 million total, with mobile bringing in 89 percent of all ad dollars. Ad revenue was up 18 percent year-over-year. On a call with investors, Twitter COO Adam Bain noted that video was the platform’s number one format for ad revenue.

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So far in 2016, Twitter has emphasized live video, particularly for sportsand political events, and the company continues to update Periscope, its livestreaming service. Twitter also boosted its GIF size limit to 15MB, made it easier to quote your own tweets and rolled out a few changes aimed at making the site friendlier for casual users. Plus, Twitter is getting in on the augmented reality game with the addition of former Apple UI designer Alessandro Sabatelli.

“We are seeing the direct benefit of our recent product changes in increased engagement and usage,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in today’s report. “We remain focused on improving our service to make it fast, simple and easy to use, like the ability to watch livestreaming video events unfold and the commentary around them.”

On the investor call, Dorsey re-iterated Twitter’s focus on live video going forward, promising more partnerships in this space.

Twitter has taken steps this year to improve its response to reported harassment, including implementing a safety council staffed with advocates from organizations including GLAAD and the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and prominent figures like Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency. The platform even banned notorious conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos after he ignited a trolling campaign againstGhostbusters star Leslie Jones, an act that followed years of provocation and repeated suspensions. Still, many users feel the company hasn’t responded appropriately to claims of abuse.

Dorsey addressed Twitter’s plan to create a safe and honest online environment during today’s investor call.

“We hope — and we recognize it’s a high hope — to elevate civil discourse,” he said. “I emphasize civil discourse there. Abuse is not part of civil discourse. It shuts down conversation and prevents us from understanding each other. Freedom of expression means little if we allow voices to be silenced because of fear of harassment if they speak up. No one deserves to be the target of abuse online and it has no place on Twitter. We haven’t been good enough at ensuring that’s the case and we must do better.”

Today’s report marks Dorsey’s first full year as Twitter CEO since re-joining the company he founded. In July 2015, Dorsey took over as CEO from Dick Costolo after the company’s April earnings report showed slow user growth on top of net losses for the first quarter of the year. Twitter has historically struggled to attract users and generate profit on the same levels as platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Messenger, for example, recently topped 1 billion users.

Twitter helps in discovering X-shaped structure in centre of Milky Way

Taking help from Twitter, two astronomers have uncovered the strongest evidence yet that an enormous X-shaped structure made of stars lies within the central bulge of the galaxy. Tweeting an image of the entire sky taken by a NASA telescope helped in their study of the X-shaped material. Previous computer models and observations of our own galaxy have suggested that the X-shaped structure existed. But no one had observed it directly.

Some astronomers argued that previous research that pointed indirectly to the existence of the X could be explained in other ways. “There was controversy about whether the X-shaped structure existed. But our paper gives a good view of the core of our own galaxy. I think it has provided pretty good evidence for the existence of the X-shaped structure,” said Dustin Lang, Research Associate at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto.

The Milky Way Galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy — a disk-shaped collection of dust, gas and billions of stars, 100,000 light-years in diameter. The central bulge, like other barred galaxy’s bulges, resembles a rectangular box or peanut when viewed — as we view it — from within the plane of the galaxy. The X-shaped structure is an integral component of the bulge. Lang’s analysis was originally intended to aid in his research in mapping the web of galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy.

To help explore the maps he had developed from NASA‘s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope data, he created an interactive map-browsing website and tweeted an image of the entire sky. “Melissa Ness, post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, saw the tweet and immediately recognized the importance of the X-shaped structure,” Lang noted.

“The bulge is a key signature of formation of the Milky Way galaxy. If we understand the bulge we will understand the key processes that have formed and shaped our galaxy,” Ness added in a paper appeared in the Astronomical Journal. It is also evidence that our galaxy did not experience major merging events since the bulge formed. If it had, interactions with other galaxies would have disrupted its shape.

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