Snapchat hopes massive app changes will attract new users

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Snapchat icon
Snapchat is making the changes after reporting disappointing earnings.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has revealed that Snapchat’s app will be undergoing a major redesign, after the company fell short of expected growth projections for the quarter.

In a letter to investors, Spiegel blamed the difficulties on the service being too difficult for many users to understand. “One thing we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use,” he wrote — adding that, “Our team has been working on responding to this feedback.”

You can now cross-post your Instagram Stories to Facebook

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Facebook Stories
Facebook Stories could quickly see a lot more users.
Photo: Facebook

Instagram has started giving users the ability to cross-post their Stories to Facebook Stories.

After testing the feature in Portugal last month, the company is now migrating it to U.S. users. Facebook says it should be available to everyone soon, if not already.

Yay? Snapchat is ready to bring us augmented reality ads

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This guy
Who knows? Your corporate mascot could become as popular as this guy!
Photo: Snapchat

Advertising is the life blood of many tech companies, so it’s no surprise that people are already tripping over themselves to find a good way of monetizing augmented reality, the technology Apple has brought to the masses with ARKit.

The company that’s first out of the gate with AR spam is Snapchat, which has just announced that it’s opening up its 3D World Lenses to advertisers. Ever wanted to have fun™ by interacting with a beloved corporate mascot? Well, now you can.

Pikachu Snapchat filter lets you turn yourself into a Pokémon

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Pikachu
Pika the new Snapchat filter to turn yourself into a Pokémon
Photo: Snapchat

Snapchat has paired up with The Pokémon Company to debut a Pikachu filter that turns users’ faces into that of the famous yellow electric Pokémon.

Best of all, whenever you open your mouth you’ll hear Pikachu’s instantly recognizable voice as the animated character leaps onto the screen to strike a pose!

Facebook shuts down the Snapchat clone you never heard of

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Lifestage iPhone
Remember Lifestage? Me neither!
Photo: Facebook

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.