Phhhoto Launches On Android

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 11.35.51 AM Phhhoto, the animated photo-sharing app that started out as an iPad-powered photo booth for parties, has finally gone live on Android. The app lets users capture four frames in a row, threads them together and makes them sharable to social networks alongside the main Phhhoto feed. Users can speed up or slow down the frame rate, and Phhhotos that get the most engagement pop up on the #wow feed. Read More

CMO roundtable: Mobile user engagement is the new user acquisition (webinar)

mobile engagement

Join us for this live webinar on Thursday, November 5th at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. Register here for free

Since Apple’s app store first opened seven years ago, app publishers have been keenly focused on new installs. That made sense — an entire new ecosystem had to be developed, and users were like a blank slate, eager to discover new, shiny apps and fill up their mobile devices with the best available.

But as fierce competition has flooded the market now totaling more than 3 million apps between Apple and Google. The average cost-per-loyal-user is reaching $4.04 in August, representing a 117 percent year-over-year increase. An old marketing maxim is catching up to mobile marketers: It’s cheaper — and more lucrative — to retain and monetize existing customers, than go after new ones.

Enter the age of engagement.

To monetize effectively, the best mobile app marketers now realize they have to be boldly focused on engaging their existing base of users. That includes ways to maximize revenue from loyal users, as well as moving lapsed or less active users further down the funnel.

That said, engagement strategies encompass a vast range of tactics including the right push notification messaging (starting with getting users to opt in in the first place), deep linking within notifications, making social shares dead simple, and most critical, capturing vital data — event-based interactions — to inform your strategy among different cohorts.

In this webinar, mobile economist John Koetsier of mobile measurement platform Tune will be sitting down with a few CMOs who are killing it in mobile engagement — and will be sharing best practices they’ve learned to get where they are. Of course, user acquisition can’t be ignored at the expense of engagement — it’s all about the right mix — and this stellar panel will be talking about how to balance the two in this age of mobile explosion.

If you’re a mobile marketer, this is an hour of discussion you won’t want to miss.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

What you’ll learn:

  • Hear the mobile strategies that top tier B2C companies are using to engage consumers.
  • Discover the mistakes some marketers make in measuring mobile engagement.
  • Achieve the sweet balance between mobile customer engagement and user acquisition.
  • Get top notch industry survey results from VB Insight’s latest mobile report.


John Koetsier, Mobile Economist, Tune
Robin Zucker, SVP Marketing, Digital Research, Playboy Media
Jason Allen, VP, Multichannel, GameStop


Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This webinar is sponsored by Tune.

Instagram launches Boomerang, an app that creates crazy looping 1-second videos


Instagram has launched yet another standalone mobile app called Boomerang, which lets you “turn everyday moments into something fun and unexpected.”

Available for Android (not yet live) and iOS, Boomerang lets you click once to capture a rapid-fire series of 10 photos, which it then stitches into a 1 second-long GIF-like moving video that loops over and over.

The app is about as minimalist as you can get — a single button which you tap, and then you can share the outcome to Facebook (which owns Instagram), Instagram itself, or your camera roll.


Above: Boomerang

While the Instagram app itself already offers video, it’s clear the company doesn’t want to bloat out the main app with too many add-on features. This seems like a quirky enough tool to just about merit its own brand.

Boomerang is the latest in a number of separate apps Instagram has launched. On Android and iOS it has Layout which is all about collages, while on iOS it has Hyperlapse too.

General Assembly And Google Team Up To Crank Out An Army Of Android Developers

android Education startup General Assembly, hot off raising a monster $70M round of funding, has partnered up with Google to offer an immersive course on Android development. It’s 12 weeks, full-time and will start being offered next year in NYC (January) and San Francisco (February), expanding to other campuses as the year goes on. The cost for students? $13,500, which can be financed. This is… Read More

The Internet Archive is rebuilding the Wayback Machine to make the web’s history easier to search

Internet Archive - Wayback Machine

The Internet Archive has been documenting the Web’s evolution since the dawdling days of dial-up. Or 1996, to be exact. Anyone wishing to return to the Apple homepage of 1998, or the New York Times of the early 2000s, simply plug their desired URL into the Wayback Machine, and it takes care of the rest.

The Internet Archive crawls the Web taking snapshots at intermittent periods, serving as a public record of how the internet is changing. At the time of writing, it has snapped almost 440 billion “captures,” covering Web pages, video, and images. But the online world has changed greatly the past 19 years and, as such, the Internet Archive is evolving too.

Apple Homepage 1998

Above: Apple Homepage: May, 1998

The San Francisco-based not-for-profit has received a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), to help rebuild the Wayback Machine for the modern era — the update is intended to make the Wayback Machine easier to search and more user-friendly.

“The Internet Archive is helping to preserve the world’s digital history in a transformational way,” said Kelli Rhee, vice president of venture development at LJAF. “Taking the Wayback Machine to the next level will make the entire web more reliable, stable, and retrievable for everyone.”

The entire Wayback Machine code will be rewritten to “improve reliability and functionality,” and a new interface will make it easier to dig out archived websites. This includes being able to find websites by keywords — at present, you have to type in the Web address manually. But it won’t include every single page — only homepages will be indexed.

The Internet Archive says it’s looking to improve multimedia websites it has crawled, which will include supporting new formats and ensuring so-called “bit-rot” doesn’t set in through supporting older formats. It’s also partnering with third-party services such as Wikipedia to help repair broken links — so if a link on a Wikipedia page directs to a now-deleted page, for example, it will link to an archived page on the Wayback Machine instead.

“Today, people’s work, and to some extent their lives, are conducted and shared largely online,” said Wendy Hanamura, director of partnerships at the Internet Archive. “That means a portion of the world’s cultural heritage now resides only on the Web. And we estimate the average life of a Web page is only one hundred days before it is either altered or deleted.”

The all-new Wayback Machine is expected to be finished some time in 2017.

Zentri, a Fast Growing Start-Up Delivering Secure Connected Product Experiences for the Internet of Things, Announces a Unified New Brand

Zentri, a Fast Growing Start-Up Delivering Secure Connected Product Experiences for the Internet of Things, Announces a Unified New Brand

Building on the tremendous traction of ACKme Networks and, Zentri symbolizes the essential integration of secure hardware, software and services to help product companies launch connected experiences in a matter of weeks!

LOS GATOS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 22, 2015–

Zentri builds on ACKme Networks’ embedded product software excellence and’s cloud management services to create a single platform stack to help product companies build securely connected products for the IoT market. Zentri already powers over 650 customers’ products in a wide range of product verticals. Whether it is an industrial lighting system, energy management system or a home automation product, connecting the product securely to the cloud and providing a mobile first experience to control the product is at the center of Zentri’s platform design.

Zentri’s Silicon-to-Cloud Secure Connected Product Platform has three core components that work in concert to deliver a delightful connected experience: ZentriOS, Zentri Cloud Services, and Zentri Mobile App Software Development Kit (SDK). The platform has security weaved into every element that increases the security posture of connected products without burdening the product developer.

ZentriOS, the heart of the Silicon-to-Cloud Connected Product Platform, is the industry’s first purpose built secure operating system for IoT products. Rich embedded features such as device identification, authentication, simple one-click Wi-Fi setup and encryption are built right into ZentriOS. Products that are powered by ZentriOS can natively take advantage of Zentri Device Management Service which instantly enables reliable, secure OTA software updates to products, a real-time live map of in-market product status, etc.

A unique part of the Silicon-to-Cloud architecture is the Zentri Cloud Connector which enables customers to use their existing cloud service provider to control and monitor the products that are in the field. This allows customers to own the product data that is collected and securely sent to the customer cloud service. Optionally, customers can choose Zentri’s managed cloud service to control and monitor products, as well as analyze product data, in the event the customer does not have their own cloud service provider.

The platform is complete with a mobile app SDK that helps customers build mobile apps for IoT on Apple iOS and Google Android products in weeks. The mobile app SDK simplifies secure app-to-product connectivity, product setup using the mobile app, and determining the fastest way to connect to a product. This helps developers deliver a responsive, delightful app experience for the users.

“This brand launch is in response to the experience we have gained working with customers to integrate the key elements of connected product platforms,” said Paul Fulton, CEO of Zentri. “Time and again, we heard that a complete and secure flexible stack that spans the software on the device, mobile apps and flexible cloud services to manage connected devices is essential to our customers’ success.”

Zentri is radically changing the way product companies deliver secure mobile and cloud connected products that deliver rich connected experiences. Leveraging Zentri’s Silicon-to-Cloud Secure Connected Product Platform, our customers get to market in weeks instead of years with highly secure and robust products. In addition to delivering the connected experience product buyers expect, we enable secure product authentication, seamless OTA software update, remote product diagnosis and analytics, and more. The heart of our platform is ZentriOS, a complete product operating system embedded into Zentri’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE modules or available as standalone software, cloud device management software available as a service or as a connector for your existing cloud partner, and iOS/Android SDK’s for mobile app developers. Over 650 customers trust Zentri to securely connect their products and drive deep customer engagement. Learn more at

Nick Dutton, 408-402-8160 x101

Shyp removes shipping addresses, adds tracking tags for recipients in refresh


Shyp has released two new product updates that are aimed at streamlining the delivery process. Starting today, customers can send items to people using only their name, not mailing address (sort of), and also now has a “track this item” capability available for package recipients.

In conjunction with the introduction of these two features, Shyp has also undergone a bit of a change, refreshing its entire experience and launching an updated logo.

“Shyp brings a fresh perspective to a massive shipping industry in which the customer experience has remained largely unimproved decades,” wrote Shyp’s Vice President of Marketing Lauren Sherman in a blog post. “We’re focused on replacing customer dread with customer delight.”

If you’re frequently sending packages to friends, one of the things that has been eliminated is the need to repeatedly enter in the recipient’s mailing address. Now it can be referenced by username, so if I wanted to send a package to VentureBeat’s office more than once, I’d just enter the company’s username, and Shyp should know — most likely pulling in data from information provided by the recipient in their Shyp account. The username contains not only your delivery address but also preferences.


Once you’ve cast something off to be delivered to someone, you’re able to track that package since you’re the sender. But what about the recipient? How will they know where the item is and when it’ll arrive? Recognizing this pain point, Shyp has launched Shyp for Recipients, which provides in-app tracking once a shipment has been shared with them.

The company says that recipients will receive a notification when a shipment is on its way and from there, they can specify delivery preferences.

Shyp for Recipients is only available to those in the United States.

Shyp launch logo green

During this time, Shyp has decided to give its identity a bit of a facelift, following in the footsteps of companies like Medium which recently opted for a more modern look. Sherman explains that the new look is “classic yet confident” and that it no longer includes the wing logo, instead moving towards a bold, angular wordmark.

Both Shyp’s iOS and Android apps have also undergone a reboot to reflect this new experience.

For some, Shyp has some striking similarities with FedEx and UPS and it has certainly come a long way since its founding in 2014. Today’s rebrand debut appears to be the culmination of all that effort. Over the past year or so, the company has made some significant changes, including the transition from 1099 workers to W2 employees and it has brought on board Pinterest’s former brand creative lead to help Shyp really tell its shipping story.

The debut of these new features and a updated brand might signify that Shyp is gearing up for a major push to be be more mainstream and tell customers that it’s a more viable choice than the incumbents UPS and FedEx.

More information:

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Shyp Overhauls Its Look, And Brand, With A Big App Update

IMG_0923 Gone is the little wing in Shyp’s logo. The company is going through a major overhaul that not only changes the look and feel of the app, but also the way the entire company looks. It’s essentially a rebranding geared toward better demonstrating the company’s core competencies, CEO Kevin Gibbon said. “We’ve been working on this for over a year, and the reason… Read More

Amazon expands Prime Now 1-hour deliveries to San Francisco Bay Area and San Antonio

Amazon Prime Now

Amazon’s continuing the rollout of its one-hour Prime Now delivery service today, with the news that it’s launching in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Prime Now is available from 8am to midnight, seven days a week, to those who subscribe to Amazon’s annual $99 Prime membership, which also offers other perks such as a Netflix-style on-demand video service and music-streaming.

To use the service, you must download the Prime Now app for Android and iOS. The one-hour delivery isn’t free, however, and it will cost $8 per-order for a 60-minute time-slot — but if you’re happy to wait up to two hours, this is free for Prime members.

The service first launched in New York last December, and has been expanding into new markets ever since — it’s now available in 17 metropolitan areas globally, with San Antonio also launching today. London became its first non-U.S. city back in June.

The Bay Area launch means those in most of San Francisco and San Jose, including Mountain View and Cupertino, can use the one-hour service. More San Francisco neighborhoods, as well as areas throughout Palo Alto and Silicon Valley, will be added shortly.

Elsewhere in California, Prime Now as already available in Los Angeles and Orange County, and Amazon has five fulfillment centers across the state, staffed by more than 10,000 people, and six specific Prime Now hubs to help expedite deliveries.