Tinder parent company buys anti-Tinder dating app Hinge

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Match Group, a massive online dating conglomerate, acquired Hinge today in a deal that gives the company a 51 percent stake in the app. Hinge initially marketed itself as a more welcoming version of Tinder in which users could only see potential matches who shared a mutual Facebook friend. The company then redesigned its app to get rid of all swiping features and in its place let users build out full profile pages. Hinge users can answer three questions about themselves, connect their accounts to their Instagram, and also upload multiple photos,…

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Lyft makes it easier to track business travel expenses

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Lyft  announced today that taking a business trip and then actually turning in your travel receipts just got a whole lot easier. A new feature for business profiles will allow employers to create a direct connection between employee trips and travel managers in charge of their reimbursement. While this integrated functionality is not new for the ridesharing company, it is the smoothest it has ever been. In 2016, Lyft launched its business profiles to allow users the ability to easily share receipts via their work emails. Then, in the summer of 2017, the company announced in-app integration…

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Facebook entices content creators with new community-centered video platform

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Facebook announced several new live video features today that will allow creators to make their live streams more like games with polls and quizzes. The features are similar to those that creators on YouTube have had access to for months through the recent addition of the Community tab. These new features could entice established creators to migrate to Facebook’s video platform. Facebook says these features will reinvent traditional entertainment formats as more “community-centric,” and it noted a trend in more collaborative video consumption that relies on audience participation. YouTube integrated polling…

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Instagram’s Video Hub Dubbed IGTV Set to Launch Tomorrow

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The Instagram longer-form video hub that’s launching tomorrow is called IGTV and it will be part of the Explore tab, according to multiple sources. Instagram  has spent the week meeting with online content creators to encourage them to prepare videos closer to 10-minute YouTube vlogs than the 1-minute maximum videos the app allows today. Instagram is focusing its efforts around web celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional, old-school publishers and TV studios that might come off too polished and processed. The idea is to let these creators,  who have a knack for this…

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Gaming Disorder Officially Recognized by WHO

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For most of us, a round or three of Fortnite can serve as a playful escapism. But for a small number of people, the World Health Organisation is warning gaming is developing into an unhealthy addiction. The United Nations’ health agency for the first time listed gaming as an addictive behaviour disorder in its latest international classification of diseases, the ICD-11. The disorder, a “genuine” and “harmful” mental health condition, can also contribute to other problems such as lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet, sleep deprivation and aggressive behaviour. “What…

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Twitter prioritizes breaking news in an app redesign

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Online news and social networking service, Twitter, announced  that it is changing up its service in favour of major events to make it easier for people to access the latest breaking news. This shift in focus sets the service apart from other social media networks such as Facebook who have opted to focus less on live events and news and more on the personal lives and interests of its user base. In terms of what they’re changing, the  app will now feature a “happening now” module to highlight all kinds…

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Blockchain technology may play a major role in equalizing American cities

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The city of Austin is currently piloting a program in which its 2,000 homeless residents will be given a unique identifier that’s safely and securely recorded on the blockchain. This identifier will help individuals consolidate their records and seek out crucial services. Service providers will also be able to access the information. If successful, we’ll have a new, more efficient way to communicate and ensure that the right people are at the table to help the homeless. In Austin and around the country, it seems that blockchain technology is opening a range…

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Facebook’s new AI research is a real eye-opener

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There are plenty of ways to manipulate photos to make you look better, remove red eye or lens flare, and so on. But so far the blink has proven a tenacious opponent of good snapshots. That may change with research from Facebook that replaces closed eyes with open ones in a remarkably convincing manner. It’s far from the only example of intelligent “in-painting,” as the technique is called when a program fills in a space with what it thinks belongs there. Adobe in particular has made good use of it with its…

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Sky.Garden: Revolutionizing Kenya’s E-Commerce Sector

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Upon noticing that the economic sector in Kenya only caters for the top tier in the economic pyramid which leaves little room for individuals and businesses that exist within the lower segments of the economy to reap the benefits of online transactions, Sky.Garden decided to come up with a sophisticated eCommerce platform that they can use to expand their geographical reach. ITBusinessDirect spoke to Isaac Hunja the Chief Marketing Officer about their work. How can you define the technology sector in Kenya? I would describe the technology sector in Kenya…

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Children exposed to horror film ads on YouTube

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Children were left distressed after seeing ads for a horror film on YouTube, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed. Three parents contacted the ASA after their children saw ads for Insidious: The Last Key – rated 15 in the UK. One ad for the film was shown before videos of songs from Frozen, instructions for building a Lego fire station and a clip from the cartoon PJ Masks. The ASA has upheld the complaints. In a second ad, the ASA said a young woman was seen “lying on a…

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