Archive for October 2014

Bitstrips’ Bitmoji app for making personalized emoji

Bitmoji is a new app that allows you to create & include personalized emoji for use in messaging or as an avatar.

The app’s developer Bitsrips already has the Bitstrips app that allows users to create cartoon versions of themselves for use in comics, avatars & social media sharing. So clearly, it was not a big leap from there to using the same cartoon version to create a range of personalized emoji that are perfect for different situations.

new emoji appUsing the Bitmoji app, you can create a custom avatar with billions of possible combinations. The app offers a library of “Bitmojis” for every mood, comic scene or sticker – every one of which will include your comic version.

LOL is no longer a generic yellow face laughing. It’s your face peeking out of the “O” in the middle of the letters LOL. If someone sends you a cute kitten picture or video, you an respond back with a “meow” where your face is the O.

You can choose from all kinds of personalized emoji & stickers, including facial expressions for different moods to visual statements & full-body poses.

It’s definitely a whole lot more fun than your generic emoji, which is less cool & trendy now with Vine & other such tools that allow you to create & share instant mini-videos & jpegs that say a whole lot more as a graphic response on social networks.

Putting a stamp of personalization on the emoji makes it fun again, & there’s all kinds of possibilities for further developments.

Using it is exceedingly simple if you are already a user of the original Bitstrips app. You just need to fire up the Bitmoji app & sign in with you Facebook login. You’ll have your comic avatar waiting for you.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based Bitstrips Inc. was founded in Oct 2007 by Jacob Blackstock & Shahan Panth. Blackstock is the company’s CEO & Panth is the VP Marketing. Bitstrips has raised $11 in funding to-date, include $3 million in Series A funding in Dec 2013 & another $8 million in Series B in Oct 2014.

Click here to download the Bitmoji personalized emoji app on your iOS device.

Click here to download the Bitmoji personalized app on your Android device.

Image Credit: Bitmoji

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Flipboard introduces ‘Topics’, powered by millions of curators

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Palo Alto, California, Oct. 30, 2014, PRNewswire: Today Flipboard, Inc. unveiled the third generation of its poplar personal magazine for mobile phones and tablets. Central to this new experience is the addition of more than 34,000 “topics” that can be followed to more quickly tailor Flipboard to each reader’s specific interests. Topics are filled with stories, videos and images being shared on Flipboard and curated into any of the more than 10 million magazines made by readers. Using the Zite technology to index content, Flipboard can surface great, handpicked stories to readers and deliver a broader audience to magazine makers on Flipboard. This people-powered network of content is indexed by algorithms and presented to Flipboard readers through new topic tags on stories and in search.

Flipboard Topics

Now, with topics, when you are browsing Flipboard and come across the amazing articles and videos people have picked, it reminds you that finding the best stories can’t just be done with algorithms alone. There is no algorithm for important or cool—it takes a human perspective. The magazines on Flipboard create these great packages, on just about anything you can imagine, that you can’t find anywhere else,” said Mike McCue, CEO and Co-founder of Flipboard.

Starting today, when people launch Flipboard, they can select topics from the new Topic Picker. They can also search to find a topic or tap on topic tags shown on articles. It’s easy to follow any topic with the new “follow” button. As readers flip through a topic, they’ll see who first shared the article and the name of the magazine it was shared in. Then, if they want to look at the magazine, they can simply tap its title. This deeper level of discovery lets people explore stories and find magazines—while giving magazine makers even more exposure and reach.

The topics engine is based on a technology developed by Zite and is available in English to readers in the United States and Canada at launch. Flipboard acquired Zite from CNN earlier this year.

The Daily Edition

This third generation of Flipboard also introduces the Daily Edition, a news magazine for people who want a quick update on top stories in categories such as world news, sports, business and entertainment—delivering a fresh, focused experience. Flipboard’s team of in-house curators releases a new edition each day at 7 a.m. local time; breaking news stories are added around the clock. In addition to news, there is also a daily audio track and a “parting GIF.”

A Beautiful, Faster Phone Experience

With 70 percent of people on Flipboard now on smartphones, this third generation has beautiful new designs and simplified user interface optimized for the phone. Examples of this include:

  • Upon opening Flipboard, readers are immediately in their Home, a stream of content personalized for them based on the sources, topics, magazines and people they follow on Flipboard.
  • A new tab bar gives readers quick access to the key elements of Flipboard on a phone: Home, Search, Profile, and Notifications.
  • Adding stories, videos and photos to Flipboard magazines is simpler with a single-step “flip” interface. In addition, the new release features beautiful new covers and provides readers with basic analytics quantifying each magazine’s followers, viewers and more.

Finally, with this edition, Flipboard is moving to a “follow” model. For the first time, Flipboard suggests topics, magazines and people to follow, including magazine makers recommended by the editorial team. Flipboard will also recommend people to follow based on someone’s Twitter and Facebook friends if those social networks are connected to Flipboard.

About Flipboard

Flipboard is the world’s most popular personal magazine. It gives people a single place to keep up on the topics, news and events they care about. People using Flipboard can follow their favorite sources from around the world and then collect stories, images and videos in their own magazines. They can then share their magazines to reflect their interests and express their perspectives, or simply save things they want to enjoy later. Start by downloading Flipboard at

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