SO MOnday: 16th November 2015
Hewie Dalrymple and Abbey Torrance round up the best social and mobile news from the past week - including YouTube Music, Playstation Vue, and Snapchat's plans to charge to make you 'rainbow sick'...
You might be surprised to hear YouTube is in fact the world’s largest music streaming service ahead of the likes of Spotify and Apple. So it should follow naturally that YouTube has launched an app that devotes itself entirely to music.
The Verge have reviewed the new service and commented:
"You can use the app like a standard music service, searching for artists and playing individual songs or albums… But the service is also optimized to present a vast collection of additional options — from live concert footage to karaoke tracks with embedded lyrics to instructional videos on how to play that bass line — which don’t exist on any other music streaming service."
You can search and listen to any music for free and unlike the current YouTube app you can leave the app to check your mail and the music will continue to run. The standard experience means you still have ads. However, if you’re a YouTube Red subscriber, the ads go away and you get enhanced features, for example, the ability to listen to music offline and seamlessly switch between video or audio-only.
While some other early reviews believe that YouTube Music is a failure, I am tempted to argue that this new app will only help to solidify YouTube as the leader in streamed music services. Just like Facebook did when they introduced Messenger, YouTube have created a streamlined app, enabling them to optimise the user experience. Whether it is as successful as Messenger is something we will have to wait to find out.
Sony’s Playstation’s TV streaming service expands to Amazon Fire
You no longer need a PlayStation to watch PlayStation Vue on your television. Today Sony announced that its streaming TV service is now available on both the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick, with support coming "soon" for Google's Chromecast. Previously if you wanted to watch the service on your big screen you needed either a PS3 or PS4; you can also watch it on the go using an iPhone or iPad.
This is a really interesting update from Pinterest which shows how they have adapted their site for its users to help enable search queries.
‘If you spot something in a pinned image, like a certain piece of furniture or a cool clothing accessory, you can simply tap the new search icon in the top right corner to select the item and look up visually similar results’.
This will make it even easier to find out the source of products that users like on Pinterest, so this is a great development for retail brands that use Pinterest.
Pinterest continues to be one of the best platforms for users who are going through major life events like buying a new home or getting married. It offers brands the opportunity to put their products in front of this audience and this new search function should really help to drive uplift of sales driven by Pinterest.
Remember when Snapchat released the lenses which could make you rainbow sick?
These proved so popular they now want users to pay for it. ‘Snapchat has finally figured out how to monetise its service, and it's going to charge you to be rainbow sick again. Snapchat is now launching a store so you can buy the most popular customisations for your disappearing snaps.
‘Lenses were first introduced back in September and the new store will not replace the free lenses, but will supplement them. There are 30 lenses available for purchase every day (which you can then keep and use forever).
‘To activate lenses, simply switch to the front-facing camera on your phone when snapping a photo in Snapchat and do a long press on your face.’
This will probably mean that brands will soon be able to provide lenses for users that will be free of charge so watch this space.