Tiny tales. Short videos featured on the messaging app Snapchat, known as Snapchat Stories, are the future of social media, at least according to Casey Neistat, a YouTube filmmaker with more than 480,000 subscribers. Neistat attributes what he says has been the unprecedented response to his Snapchat Stories to two things: (1) the fact that the app requires viewers to keep a finger pressed down on the screen in order to view content, therefore ensuring viewers’ undivided attention; and (2) the freedom that the app instills in its users as a result of its disappearing content. Since the videos posted on Snapchat last only 24 hours, there’s no time for an online army of critics to assemble and the content can’t haunt its creator for eternity. Snapchat Stories creators therefore tend to be more willing to take risks, and the viewers of those videos are treated to less edited, more realistic, content than what’s typically available on social media.
Social work. Enterprise social media platforms – i.e., Facebook-like platforms used by companies to facilitate communication and collaboration among their employees – are incredibly popular these days; by some estimates, it has grown into a $2.3 billion market. But why settle for a Facebook-like platform when you can get the real thing? Well, now you can. The Silicon Valley company has begun pilot testing “Facebook at Work,” a new product that will allow a company’s employees to interact with one another in very much the same way they interact with their friends on the Facebook.com site. Once a company signs up for Facebook at Work, all of its employees are automatically members of the same network (there’s no “friending” required). Among other things, users will be able to determine exactly which of their often far-flung colleagues can help them by searching their co-workers’ profiles for specialties. There are currently a lot of other products in the enterprise social media space; Microsoft’s Yammer is among the most popular. TechCrunch notes that Facebook might be able to set itself apart in the enterprise collaboration arena by having the most relevant newsfeed; it stands to reason that the company that’s spent several years on an algorithm that predicts and prioritizes what people actually want to see would do a good job of keeping a business’s news feed focused. The Facebook at Work app is currently available in the iOS App Store, but only for employees of companies that have signed up and, for now, those companies are limited to the few businesses around the world that are participating in Facebook at Work’s beta testing. The service is currently free, but—like other enterprise-collaboration-tool providers—Facebook likely will eventually charge users a subscription fee.
Hair razing research. The folks behind the matchmaking app Tinder have tapped into an unlikely source of potential revenue: research. In exchange for compensation, the online dating company agreed to facilitate experiments intended to help the razor-brand Gillette prove that women prefer clean-shaven men to scruffy or bearded ones. Analysis of the responses received by 100,000 male Tinder users supposedly showed that twice as many women preferred the “groomed” to the “grungy” (the clean-shaven guys got 74% more “right swipes”; swiping a photo to the right on Tinder is a user’s way of signaling that he or she approves of it). Gillette then publicized the results by posting them to a web site and touting them in a YouTube video. Tinder is extremely popular among college students, but it apparently has yet to bring in money. Its parent company, IAC/InterActiveCorp, has said that it intends to eventually profit from the online dating giant, which one Internet analyst reportedly expects to have as many as 20 million daily active users by the end of this year. Tinder’s partnership with Gillette may be a sign of deals to come. The company has experimented with promotional tie-ins before. It recently featured fake profiles for characters on Fox network’s “The Mindy Project.”