In this week’s digital news, Vine creator reveals beta version of new video app, Samsung pushes back Galaxy Fold release date, Snapchat integrates Bitmoji with gaming community, and more.
Vine returns as ‘Byte’
Earlier this week, Vine creator Dom Hofman revealed a first look at his new video sharing app, Byte. Following the app’s initial introduction back in November, Hofman proclaims that Byte will be a bigger and better version of his original creation. To ensure success, Hofman developed a more realistic and achievable business strategy. In hopes to avoid repeating past mistakes that caused Vine’s demise. He also recently launched a closed beta program for select users to test the new short video app. However, with growing popularity of TikTok, an app similar to Vine with 500 million active users, Hofman admits growing users will be a difficult challenge. But with the strong supportive fanbase of Vine users, Byte could take off if Hofman’s reformed business strategy follows through.
Samsung delays Galaxy Fold release after screen failures
Samsung recently decided to delay the launch of their Galaxy Fold device due to screen failures. The Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s first ever hybrid phone/tablet, was set to make history as the first foldable smartphone. With a hefty price of $2,000, the device truly is two-in-one.. Samsung engineered the device to alternate between a smartphone and a small tablet at will. The only visible anomaly is of course, a small parting crease in the screen. Unfortunately, the first round of testers quickly learned the device had many display failures.
The failures appeared from various causes, but all issues occurred within the first few days of using the phone. With the Galaxy Fold priced the same as a nice laptop, Samsung should’ve taken more time to test the product before setting a public release date. The company reportedly cancelled all launch events in Shanghai and Hong Kong before delaying in the U.S. earlier this week. As of now, Samsung has not scheduled a new release date, but claims to have one set in the next few weeks.
Snapchat to let users play as Bitmoji in games
Snapchat shared news yesterday that gamers will soon have the ability to use their Bitmoji avatar in various video games. After partnering with Games SDK, Snapchat debuted a new Bitmoji that permits game developers to replace traditional avatars with Snapchat’s iconic Bitmoji characters. Players can access their Bitmoji on any supported game with a quick scan of a Snapcode on the app. As of now, no official games or developers have assimilated with Snapchat’s Bitmoji avatars.
Yet, reports revealed strong support from various companies including ‘PlayCanvas,’ the British VR gaming startup. Currently, the ‘Snapchat for Games’ website says stay tuned for updates. But, the social app has announced six new projects on its gaming platform that also incorporates users’ Bitmoji. Integrating the gaming community has been a big ambition for Snapchat in an attempt to restore popularity and increase user growth. This new feature for video game developers is their latest attempt to build momentum.
‘Mario Kart Tour’ beta arrives on phones next month
Nintendo recently announced dates for a closed beta test, gearing up fans for ‘Mario Kart Tours’ imminent launch. With little public knowledge on the spin-off mobile app as well as continuous push-back dates; Nintendo fans will finally get a taste of what’s to come. Android owners living in the US and Japan can experience the sneak-preview starting May 22nd through June 4th. However, the final version of the mobile app will of course be available on iOS devices as well. Eager participants can sign up for the beta test using the QR code on the official Mario Kart Tour website. Until then, gamers will have to wait for the app’s scheduled release this summer, along with the upcoming game, ‘Doctor Mario.’
Spotify integrates Oracle Data Cloud geared to auto advertisers
Earlier this week, Spotify shared news of a recent partnership with Oracle Data Cloud geared to help auto brands reach listeners using proprietary audience data. This data includes audience segments and intelligent signals such as location data and playlist titles. Armed with this data, advertisers on Spotify can “build audiences of potential car buyers across every vehicle segment and stage of the car buying cycle.” The partnership with Oracle benefits more than auto advertisers though, it benefits retail and CPG as well. But the partnership’s true intentions are to give auto advertisers an in-depth understanding of the car buying process. As well as how to target potential buyers by leveraging what Spotify has accumulated from users steaming patterns. Although the collaboration is rather new, advertisers such as Ford are currently using Oracle Data Cloud on Spotify to help establish custom audiences.