Twitter’s Periscope app is going after South by Southwest (SXSW) darling Meerkat, and Facebook has unveiled its next phase … in business features – this is your tech rewind of the week.
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The livestream space is heating up: On the heels of Meerkat’s SXSW success, Twitter (TWTR) launched its own livestreaming app rival: Periscope. A Periscope tweet said Twitter acquired it in January for $100 million, which the social media platform confirmed in early March. The two apps though similar have some key distinctions: Unlike Meerkat, Periscope incorporates a “like” system, that allows other users to see who is on the stream, and the ability to save and replay streams. Not to be outdone, Meerkat announced new funding the same day as Periscope’s debut.
While reviews are still trickling in, Periscope appeared to be the social platform of choice on Thursday when a building in New York’s East Village exploded and caught fire. Onlookers and media alike took to the app to broadcast the breaking news in real-time.
Meanwhile, you can now elevate your customer service complaints from just your Facebook (FB) statuses to the social networks’ Messenger service. Facebook expanded the business features on its Messenger platform, which will let developers create apps for function inside Messenger and allow retailers to communicate directly with consumers.
NICE Systems Director of Innovation and Solutions Matthew Storm isn’t sold on Facebook’s new business push, saying, “Simply creating another customer touch point isn’t going to fix customer service. Consumers are already using six channels on average to interact with service providers, and Facebook Messenger will just be another stop along the customer’s journey.” NICE works with thousands of large companies to help drive better customer experiences with analytics, and Storm explains these advancements do make service more accessible, but retailers have to be consistent about creating a seamless experience across all platforms in order to enhance communication.
The standalone app currently boasts more than 600 million users.
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Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram also launched an app this week, it’s second to date, called Layout. The app, according to an Instagram blog post, lets users combine multiple pictures into a single image – pitting it in direct competition with similar, long-existing collage apps like Pic Stitch.
Many are wondering whether Google’s (GOOGL) close ties to the White House helped it dodge an FTC antitrust lawsuit earlier this year, after the Wall Street Journal reported weekly meetings between Google executives and top-level White House members. The Journal says the plethora of meetings may have helped end the FTC probe. When asked, the White House deferred the question to the FTC.
And the NFL made waves, suspending its longstanding TV blackout policy for 2015. Also, for the first time in league history, the NFL is going to broadcast one game exclusively online. The league hasn’t named a livestream partner yet, but did pick the game: Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 25. Better hope you have a working Internet connection if you want to tune in.