Omnyway raises $12.75M to connect advertising and mobile commerce

 Omnyway announced today that it has raised $12.75 million in Series A funding. Previously known as OmnyPay, Omnyway has built technology around what it calls “augmented digital commerce” — basically, helping retailers stay connected to consumers through their mobile phone during the in-store shopping process. Read More

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Facebook Stories open to Pages, bringing brands to the ghost town

 No one’s posting to Facebook Stories. Only eight of my 2,800 friends have Stories up right now, and three came from the new “cross-post from Instagram Stories” feature. It’s slow adoption for a feature cloned from Snapchat that’s proven wildly popular elsewhere, and lives prominently at the top of perhaps the world’s most-used app. Read More

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Games account for over half of the 3M+ ARKit-powered app downloads, 62% of revenue

 ARKit, Apple’s augmented reality framework that CEO Tim Cook recently likened to being as “dramatic” a development as the App Store itself, has now been installed more than 3 million times worldwide through a host of ARKit-powered apps and games, according to a new report out today from Sensor Tower. Read More

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Toonstar lets you bring cartoon characters to life thanks to facial recognition

Toonstar John Attanasio, CEO of Toonstar, said his goal is to create “a new Cartoon Network.”
Attanasio and his co-founder Luisa Huang were both executives at Warner Brothers, so they both worked under the same corporate umbrella as the Cartoon Network. Attanasio said the key to Toonstar’s approach is to create animated content that’s “mobile, snackable… Read More

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Spotify launches an app for artists with real-time streaming data, audience demographics

 In the music streaming era, access to data is king. Artists want to know how their music is being discovered, who’s listening, where, how many have streamed their release, and what else their fans are into, among other things. Today, Spotify is releasing an app for artists that aims to answer these questions, while also giving artists a way to update their profile and connect with… Read More

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Facebook “3D Posts” let you play with VR objects in News Feed

 Facebook wants to let you create virtual objects in its Oculus Medium sculpting platform or Facebook Spaces VR hangouts and then share them with friends who don’t have a VR headset. Today at Oculus Connect 4, Facebook previewed 3D posts, a new type of News Feed post where users can grab, spin, and interact with a 3D object to look at it from all angles. Below you can see how you can… Read More

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U.S. consumers are spending 10 hours per year in shopping apps

 Mobile shopping is on the rise, with U.S. consumers now spending nearly 50 minutes in shopping apps per month, or 10 hours per year, according to a new report out this morning from App Annie. Digital-first shopping apps, like those from Amazon, Etsy, Wish and others, are also growing more quickly in terms of total sessions and monthly usage, compared to shopping apps from traditional… Read More

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Zenefits rolls out a performance management tool

 When we last saw Zenefits, the company essentially handed off one of its initial core selling points — insurance brokerage — off to partners. Since that rebrand rolled out, Zenefits seems to be following the sort of drip-drip-drip of updates that many startups trying to create a sort of “home” for a core employee experience.
That continues today with the launch of… Read More

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Facebook seriously needs its own Bitmoji

 Your Facebook profile used to be the online version of “you”. But over the past year, Bitmoji has usurped Facebook to become the preferred way to share your identity over the web. The Facebook profile assembles a collection of text and real-world photos into a fixed set of poses, making it more of a snapshot of the offline you ported into the digital realm rather than a vision of… Read More

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Twitter launches ‘Happening Now’ to showcase tweets about events, starting with sports

 Twitter is today releasing a new feature called “Happening Now” aimed to make its service more accessible to newcomers by highlighting groups of tweets about a topic, beginning with sports, before expanding to other areas like entertainment and breaking news. If this sounds similar to Twitter’s existing Moments feature….well, it is. Moments, too, offers a way to learn… Read More

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