Microsoft to make Skype usable again

Earlier this year, Microsoft brought sweeping changes to Skype's UI, giving it something of a SnapChat makeover. The communication app's user base, I among them, was less than impressed, to say the least. Where it was once an easy way to receive forwarded telephone calls and chat via video or audio with folks across multiple platforms, the changes made it a shit sandwich to do much of anything with. The outcry from Skype users was such that, last month, Microsoft announced that they'd continue to offer the old school version of Skype's desktop app. Now, in the name of not alienating their users, they've taken their software UI rollback one step further. They're bringing back the features that folks actually use Skype for, back to the application and making it easier to ignore the service's new SnapChat-like features.

From Ars Technica:

With this new focus on calling and messaging, the Snapchat-like statuses have been removed. The desktop interface is styled a lot closer to the legacy application, and the use of animations and gradients has been somewhat toned down. The mobile interfaces put the key calling and messaging buttons along the bottom of the screen, providing easier access to the dialer pad. The company is promising to reinstate other features from the legacy client—multiple chat windows, greater control over online status and privacy, better searching, and more. The legacy clients will still be end-of-lifed, but it seems that they'll stay around until the feature disparity is resolved

Good.

Image by Microsoft Corporation - The file was uploaded on the English Wikipedia by user AxG on September 3, 2012., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21862425 Read the rest

Snapchat removes ad that asks people if they would like to "Slap Rihanna"

Rihanna criticized Snap for running an ad on its platform that asked users if they would rather "Slap Rihanna" or "Punch Chris Brown." In 2009 Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly that she was hospitalized.

From BBC News:

Snap told Newsbeat the advert, which was only published in the US, was published "in error" and had been removed immediately.

Ads on the social media platform are subject to a review process, while it also has a list of banned content.

Snap said: "The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware."

[via Digg] Read the rest

How this teen's life changed after deleting all social media

Corey Alexander estimates he spent about three hours a day on social media, almost 5,000 hours since he got a phone at age 13. He lists the seven changes he's noticed since going cold turkey and deleting all of it three months ago: Read the rest

The creeping scourge of vertical video is now embraced by more platforms

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Social media apps have conditioned humans to accept vertical video in the way we now accept microplastics in our sea salt. Mashable is the latest to embrace the vertical video genre with Reels, a series of vertical format stories that were designed for viewing on a phone held vertically. Read the rest

Snap is developing drone for users to share overhead videos and photos: NYT report

One of the products that Snapchat owner Snap Inc. is developing as “a modern-day camera company” is a drone, reports the New York Times today.

Sources for this bold claim are “three people briefed on the project who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential.”

The drone would help users take videos and photographs from overhead, then share that visual data with Snap, and presumably, other users of the service.

Snap is scheduled to go public later this week in a long-anticipated IPO. Read the rest

Snapchat's parent company files for $3 Billion U.S. IPO

Snap Inc., the parent company behind Snapchat, just filed for an initial public offering. They're the first American social media company to file for IPO so since Twitter did more than three years ago. Read the rest

Sickhouse, the Snapchat horror flick released in real time

A Blair Witch Project for the Snapchat generation, Sickhouse originally rolled out on Snapchat star Andrea Russett's account as if it were real and in real time. Read the rest

Snapchat is fighting for your right to take selfies in the voting booth

You know how people like to go vote, then walk around for the rest of the day/week/forever with an “I Voted” sticker on their lapel? Millions of people like to Snapchat their lives online, and they'd like to snapchat “I Voted” with voting booth selfies. Just one problem. Taking pictures of your ballot is illegal in many states. Read the rest