Instagram Stories blasts past Snapchat in popularity

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Stories is already seeing more users than Snapchat.
Stories is already seeing more users than Snapchat.
Photo: Instagram

You have to feel for Snapchat. Not only are its best features constantly ripped off by the competition, but they’re sometimes even more popular on rival platforms.

Take Stories, for example. Less than a year after being copied, the feature is already more popular on Instagram than the entire Snapchat service.

Microsoft revamps Skype in a bid to do battle with iMessage

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Skype's overhaul is coming to iPhone soon.
Skype's overhaul is coming to iPhone soon.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft is rolling out a complete top-to-bottom overhaul of Skype in an effort to do battle with the likes of iMessage and Snapchat.

Its revamped service combines familiar Skype features like instant messaging and international calling with third-party service integration, improved group chat, and photo sharing with the ability to add annotations and emoji stickers.

Location-based stories are coming soon to Instagram

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Here's what Instagram location stories look like.
Here's what Instagram location stories look like.
Photo: Josh Constantine/TechCrunch

Instagram’s streak of sniping features from Snapchat isn’t about to stop with today’s new addition of Face Filters.

Location-based stories are set to be the next big feature Instagram adds to its toolset, only instead of just copying the way Snapchat curates stories, Instagram plans to tap into one of its ‘hidden gems’ to make stories a powerful tool for all users.

Instagram now offers Snapchat-style Face Filters

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Instagram isn't shy about ripping off Snapchat's best features.
Instagram isn't shy about ripping off Snapchat's best features.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram’s fight to stay ahead of Snapchat involves stealing its best features so that users have no reason to switch. That continues today with the introduction of Face Filters, which, just like Snapchat’s, apply things like glasses, hats, animal ears, and more to your selfies.

To The Moon, Artificial Superintelligence, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend everyone!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

What your favorite apps might look like on iPhone 8

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Instagram will look great on the iPhone 8.
Instagram will look great on the iPhone 8.
Photo: DailyTekk

You can get a good idea of what the iPhone 8 might be like to use, thanks to a new concept video that imagines how redesigned apps will look on the device.

Apple is supposedly going with a bezel-free design this year, which could give developers more space for new features. Viewing pictures will also be an incredible experience if Apple includes an edge-to-edge display that makes it feel like you’re holding a photograph.

Check it out:

TV shows are coming soon to Snapchat

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Snapchat is taking TV serious.
Snapchat is taking TV serious.
Photo: Snap

Snap Inc apparently wants in on the hottest new trend among tech companies: TV shows.

Following the lead of Amazon and Twitter, Snapchat reportedly plans to start showing vertical short films in its app. Only instead of doing all the work on its own, the company is inking deals with some of the biggest names in media.

Spotify job listings hint at hardware ambitions

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mighty-spotify-streaming-player
Could Spotify make a modern iPod?
Photo: Mighty Audio

Apple’s biggest competition in the music streaming business may be preparing to become a hardware rival, too.

Jobs listings posted by Spotify indicate the company is planning to make a hardware play. Spotify says it’s working on a “category defining product,” but based on what the company compares it to, Apple might not have much to worry about.

Snapchat pays record $7.7 million for geofilters patent

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The previous record wasn't even half that amount.
The previous record wasn't even half that amount.
Photo: Snapchat

Snap, Inc., the company behind Snapchat, just paid a staggering $7.7 million to acquire a “geofilters” patent and prevent it being snapped up by Facebook.

It is believed to be “by far the highest amount paid” for a single patent in Israel — the previous record was less than half that — and it goes to local firm Mobli.