Begin, a new app from Ryan Block, uses natural language to generate tasks from your Slack

 Over two years after leaving Aol (now known as Oath) back in September 2015 to build a new startup, serial entrepreneur Ryan Block, with co-founder Brian LeRoux, is finally taking the wraps off the new venture: Begin, an intelligent app designed to help you keep track of things that you have to do, and when you should do them, as they come up in the stream of a messaging app. By extension,… Read More


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AOL Instant Messenger is shutting down after 20 years

 The pioneering chat app that taught us to text is pulling the plug. On December 15th, AOL Instant Messenger will shut down after running since 1997. AIM dominated online chat in North America at the turn of the century. But with SMS and social apps like Facebook and WhatsApp having conquered chat, AOL is giving up the fight with no planned replacement. “We know there are so many loyal… Read More


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Facebook quietly launches Mac and PC Workplace Chat apps with screen share

 TechCrunch has discovered that Facebook has stealthily launched official desktop PC and Mac chat apps with screen sharing — two features users have been begging for. Right now, they’re only available for Workplace, Facebook’s enterprise collaboration software that competes with Slack and other business apps. But users would surely enjoy if the consumer Messenger app got its… Read More


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Uptime, YouTube’s experimental app for watching videos with friends, opens to all

 YouTube’s experimental app Uptime, which lets you watch videos with friends while reacting and commenting, has now opened up to all users. The app was first launched in March of this year, from Google’s internal incubator, Area 120, as a means of testing a more interactive and social way to watch YouTube. However, it initially required an invite to use it. That requirement was… Read More


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Slack launches threaded messaging to take conversations off to the side

 Slack has spent most of its life as a dead-simple workplace communications tool, with small changes happening here or there. But to keep things dead simple means that you have to be very careful when you decide to make any big changes — even if it’s something users have wanted for a long time.
Today, Slack is finally starting to roll out one of those major changes in threaded… Read More


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Google acquires Fabric developer platform and team from Twitter

 Google is taking over Twitter’s mobile app developer platform Fabric, as well as its Crashlytics crash reporting system, Answers mobile app analytics, Digits SMS login system and FastLane development automation system. Twitter launched Fabric as a modular SDK in 2014 to allow developers to pick and choose different tools to improve their apps, and it now serves apps reaching 2.5… Read More


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Animoto gives businesses an easy way to create social videos

 Animoto is launching a new product for businesses that want to post their own marketing videos for Facebook and other social networks — but don’t necessarily have the team or the skills needed to create something slick.
The company already offers products that automatically assemble your photos and videos into a video slideshow, and it’s been adding more tools for businesses. Read More


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Facebook launches pared back Android chat app to keep growing its messaging empire

 Facebook is seeking to fill in some of the gaps in the reach of its messaging app empire, announcing today a new standalone version of its Messenger app, Messenger Lite, specifically designed for older Android devices with limited storage and for slower, data-constrained Internet connections. Read More


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Pinterest acquires Instapaper, which will live on as a separate app

 Pinterest said today that it would be acquiring the team behind Instapaper, which will continue operating as a separate app. The Instapaper team will both work on the core Pinterest experience and updating Instapaper. Pinterest’s logic here is that one of the company’s core tenets is bookmarking — much like Instapaper’s primary goal with its app. The company has been on… Read More


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