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Elise Moreau

Web Trends Blog

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Have You Noticed Any of These New Features Twitter Seems to Be Testing?

Monday May 26, 2014

Twitter is always trying out new features across all of its platforms, and whether the company announces them or not, users tend to take notice pretty quickly.

A couple weeks ago, I started noticing pop-up notifications showing up in the bottom right corner on Twitter.com. They appear whenever I receive a new interaction -- like a reply, a favorite or a new follower.

And just last week, Re/code published an article detailing how Twitter is now experimenting with a new way to hep its users share video content. If you open the tweet box on Twitter for iOS and start typing the hashtag #AMillionWaysToDieInTheWest, you should notice a few results automatically pop up, including a video trailer for the new Universal film -- A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Over the past few months, Twitter has gotten really serious about putting more visual content all our profiles and timelines. This latest experiment just appears to be another tactic Twitter might start rolling out in full force to get us to share a lot more videos.

Photo Getty Images

List Management App Any.DO Is Now Available on the Web

Friday May 23, 2014

If you've already read through my list of 10 must-have productivity apps, you must have noticed that Any.DO is listed at number one. That's not random -- I personally use Any.DO on a daily basis to create lists and help me get things done so I'm a lot less likely to fall victim to the perils of chaotic disorganization.

Up until now, Any.DO has only been available on iOS and Android. Today, the popular list management service is introducing web support. You can go ahead and access it now at web.any.do.

This will be great for all of its users who work from a laptop or desktop computer regularly and don't feel like pulling out their iPhone or Android to check another item off the list.

Now you can simply open it up in your browser, make the changes you want to your lists, and have everything synced across your account to be accessible on all your devices.

Photo Any.DO

eBay Has Been Hacked and You Need to Change Your Password Immediately

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Another day, another huge website announcing that it's been hit by a major cyber attack. This time, it's eBay.

The company released a statement today saying that an attack took place sometime between late Februrary and early March, resulting in a compromised database containing customer names, passwords, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and birth dates. Lucky for us, the database did not contain any customer financial data, so you don't have to worry about any unauthorized access concerning your PayPal account or credit card information.

eBay said that it will start sending out emails to its users later today urgning them to change their passwords. If you have an eBay account, you might as well go ahead and do that right now.

Photo eBay Inc.

Flappy Bird Is Officially Being Brought Back from the Dead

Friday May 16, 2014

Surprise, surprise -- everyone's favorite useless mobile game Flappy Bird is on its way back to the iTunes App Store and Google Play. The creator Dong Nguyen told CNBC earlier this week.

August is when you can expect to see Flappy Bird make its triumphant return to the wonderful world of gaming apps. The game will feature a new and improved version 2, complete with multiplayer and an overall "less addictive" gaming style. That's all we know so far.

Flappy Bird went viral early in January and February, but was pulled offline shortly after Nguyen couldn't take all the trolls and Internet hate that often comes with territory of being extremely popular online. He was reportedly earning over $50,000 in ad revenue at the height of Flappy Bird's viral stardom.

Photo Dong Nguyen

Foursquare Launches New Standalone App to Help You Connect Better with Friends

Thursday May 15, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, Foursquare announced that it was planning to split its app up into two separate ones.

The new standalone app, called Swarm, takes most of the interaction with friends out of the main Foursquare app. Instead, users will now only be able to use Foursquare as a location discovery tool. You'll have to turn to Swarm if you want to keep up with your friends and their locations.

"With Swarm, you can easily see which of your friends are out nearby, figure out who is up for grabbing a drink later, and share what you're up to (faster and more easily than you can in Foursquare today)," the Foursquare blog reads.

Unfortunately, the introduction of the new Swarm app also means that you can expect to say goodbye very soon to some good old original Foursquare features -- like mayorships and leaderboards.

You can download Swarm for both iOS and Android devices starting today by visiting SwarmApp.com.

Photo Foursquare

Now You Can Mute Anyone You Follow on Twitter

Monday May 12, 2014

Rumors about a new mute function on Twitter have been floating around for a while, and today the company confirmed that it's going to be a real thing.

Starting today, users will begin to see a new "Mute @Username" option on Twitter.com, Twitter for iOS and Twitter for Android in the "More" section of tweets. You'll also see it listed under the gear icon on any user's profile.

Selecting the mute option allows you to remove a user's tweet and retweets from your timeline without needing to unfollow them. Any user you decide to put on mute will still be able to favorite, retweet and reply to your tweets, but you won't be able to see any of that until you take them off mute.

In case you were wondering -- no, you don't have to worry about hurting anyone's feelings on Twitter since users you put on mute aren't notified about it. It's sort of like a less permanent/more sublte version of blocking for users who just need a temporary solution to filter out an overactive Twitter timeline.

If you don't see the new feature yet, just hang tight. Twitter is rolling it out across all profiles in the coming weeks.

Photo Getty Images

Pinterest Introduces 'Guided Search' to Help You Hunt Through Its 30 Billion Pins

Friday April 25, 2014

Pinterest now has 30 billion pinned posts and 750 million boards. With that much content, it can be hard to find exactly what you're looking for in a reasonable amount of time.

To make the search experience easier and quicker, Pinterest is rolling out its new Guided Search feature on its mobile apps first, followed by its website later on. Any time you start typing a keyword into the searchbar at the top of the screen, a selection of descriptive guides will appear right below to help you explore and sift through relevant content related to your search.

As an example, if you type "plants" into the searchbar, you'll be able to choose and search through a number of more specficic suggestions like outdoor, potted, hanging and so on. You can see exactly how Guided Search works by watching this short video.

This new feature should be able to help a lot of pinners find what they're looking for, even if they don't know what it is yet. More about Guided Search can be found here.

Photo Pinterest, Inc.

Twitter's Latest Web Profile Redesign Now Available to All Users

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Twitter recently introduced a very different looking web layout for user profiles on the web, which only rolled out on a few selected accounts for popular celebs and other high profile individuals. Today, it's available to everyone.

Besides the giant header image and content that now spans across the whole page, there are a few other new feature tidbits you might want to know about that weren't previously available on the old web profile layout:

  • Your best tweets will be highlighted on your profile by appearing in a larger font, reflecting the fact those tweets received the most retweets, favorites and replies.
  • You can now pin specific tweets to the top of your page, making it useful to promote a specific message even when you want to keep on tweeting.
  • Filtered tweet timelines are now available, so you can choose whether you want to view a user's timeline of just their tweets, their tweets with replies to other users, or tweets of just videos and photos.

You can find out more about the new web layout here, and you can even use one of the default header images provided by Twitter if you don't have a personal one on hand.

Photo: Screenshot of Twitter.com

Facebook Takes Location-sharing a Step Further with 'Nearby Friends'

Monday April 21, 2014

Last week, Facebook gave us all new a way to stalk connect even closer with our friends.

Nearby Friends is a new optional feature you can use to receive notifications on your phone whenever a friend is at a nearby location. It's supposed to be useful for when you want to meet up with a friend.

Luckily, if not interested, you can completely ignore it by leaving it turned off without any worry that friends in your network are being notified of your location. Even if you do turn it on, you'll only receive notifications of friends' locations who have also opted in to use the new feature.

Nearby Friends is expected to roll out across the U.S. for both iOS and Android users over the next few weeks, but will it catch on? Who knows. This could mean big trouble for smaller location-based apps trying to stand out against the Facebook bahemoth, like Foursquare.

When Nearby Friends does become available to you, you should be able to find it under the "More" tab in the navigational menu of the Facebook app.

Photo Getty Images

Etsy Products Are Coming to Offline Retail Stores

Wednesday April 16, 2014

This summer, Etsy is opening its Wholesale channel publicly to qualified retailers in the U.S. and abroad. That means that you'll be able to find some of the very same handmade, vintage and artisian goods from Etsy sellers in your favorite physical retail stores -- like Nordstrom, West Elm and Indigo.

Etsy Wholesale, which launched in private beta last year, will require participants to pay a one-time sign up fee of $100 plus a 3.5-percent transaction fee for whoesale orders. Etsy sellers will be able to take advantage of the fact that nearly 90 percent of retail commerce still occurs offline these days by gaining the the opportunity to find more buyers so they can grow their businesses.

The public launch is scheduled for this August, and Etsy is currently taking applications from interested buyers and sellers now.

Photo Etsy, Inc.

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