Ello rolls out Beta V2
Ad-free social networking site Ello has relaunched as a V2 beta. Having secured $5 million in its latest round of funding, the platform now boasts a range of new features including:
• Full-screen browsing and navigation
• Expanded search and improved discovery
• Drag & drop editing, drafts, and rich publishing
• An improved backend able to manage any upturn in traffic.
In addition, Ello V2 beta includes ‘CodePen integration’, which allows developers to create web apps and embed them into their Ello posts. According to Ello, the changes “set the stage for rapid rollout of more features, including private messaging, private groups, and loves.”
With an interface that acts and feels more like an app than a website, interestingly Ello has yet to launch on mobile. However, iOS and Android apps are expected by the end of May.
Commenting on the direction of the social media platform, Ello CEO Paul Budnitz said: “The Ello community is leading a revolution in how people connect. Where people can be whoever they want to be, and where quality, beauty, and positivity are valued over advertising, manipulation, and exploitation.”
Pinterest launches ‘Pin it’ button
Image sharing site Pinterest has introduced a new way for users to pin to its platform. The new ‘Pin it’ button is designed to reduce the amount of clicks needed to share content on Pinterest, speeding up the user experience.
Prior to the update, users had to make four clicks to save content on the desktop version of the site. This process has now been reduced to just two clicks; bringing the web experience in line with that of its mobile apps. In addition, Pinterest now makes it easier to find and create boards from the web interface.
Testing the new button with a small section of users last week, Pinterest reported a 3% increase in repins since the change. The roll out is now thought to be complete.
LinkedIn acquires Refres.io
LinkedIn has purchased Refresh.io in a bid to improve its ability to predict what users want and need – before they want and need it. The acquisition was confirmed in a blog post written by Refresh.io co-founder, Bhavin Shah.
Refresh.io was started to create a ‘digital briefing book’ that professionals could use to build stronger business relationships.
Commenting on the acquisition, Shah said: Our joint passion for delivering insights that help professionals be more productive is what makes joining LinkedIn so exciting. Plus, LinkedIn gives us an opportunity to share insights with more than 347 million professionals across the globe”.
The 15 strong team at Refresh.io will now join LinkedIn and the current Refresh.io app will shut down on April 15.
Twitter acquires developer and engineer platform
In further acquisition news, last week Twitter bought tenXer; a platform designed to help developers and engineers improve communication. According to reports, the deal cost Twitter just under $50m. It is understood that tenXer will help Twitter to streamline the creation and evolution of its products.
The deal was confirmed by tenXer co-founded Jeff Ma on Twitter, who went on to say that tenXer will be shutting down in its current form. He also added: “We are excited to apply what we’ve learned in the last three years to a world class engineering organization.”
Snapchat replaces best friends list with emojis
Snapchat has introduced a significant update that allows users to recognize their closest friends. Based on an intricate tiered system, a series of friend emoticons (e.g. smiley faces, hearts, etc.) will now appear on incoming snaps from people users connect with the most.
The new feature replaces the ‘best friends’ list, which was dropped last year due to privacy concerns. Friends emojis are 100% private, and only users will be able to see them.
The Snapchat Android and iOS apps have also introduced a new low-light camera mode and a ‘Needs Love’ section that reminds users to connect with old friends they haven’t snapped with in a while.