How to Share Tweets Privately

Twitter has introduced a new feature called Share via Direct Message which allows you to share tweets privately. You can find this function in the form of an Envelope button (on iOS and Android apps) in the same row as the Like and Retweet.

(Step 1) Click on the little Envelope button (as shown in the image).

A message button to share tweets privately has been added in the Android & iOS App (April 2016). If you don’t see it yet, it may take a while to roll out.

Sharing Private Tweets via Web

(Step 1) Click on the More (triple dots) option below the tweet.

More Options

(Step 3) Search & select the name(s) of person(s) or group(s) you want to share the tweet with.

Share via Direct Message

(Step 1) Tap & hold a tweet you want to share privately and a pop up menu will appear.

Enter Name

Here’s how you can use this to share tweets privately via Web, Android & iOS App.

Share tweet

Sharing Private Tweets via App

(Step 4) Add any note and click the SEND button to share the tweet privately.

Method 1: Send via Direct Message

(Step 2) Click on Share via Direct Message in the drop down menu.

Method1: Send via Direct Message

(Step 2) Click Send via Direct Message.

Method1: Search Names

(Step 3) Enter name(s) of person(s) or group(s) you want to share the tweet with and click the Next button.

Method1: Share tweet

Method 2: Share With Message button

Images are from the Twitter official blog.

Method2: Message Button

(Step 3) Add any note and click the SEND button to share the tweet privately.

Method2: Search Names

(Step 2) Search & select the name(s) of person(s) or group(s) you want to share the tweet with.

Method2: Share tweet

(Step 4) Add any comment if you want and click the Send button to share the tweet privately in the message.


How to Blur Selected Parts of Your YouTube Video

YouTube editor has recently offered a handy feature to blur any part of a video frame for a customized duration of time. Although, previously YouTube editor has provided an easy way to blur (only) faces automatically but the feature to blurring a specific part of your choice in a video is only recently possible.

(Step 3) Click on Apply button to blur faces automatically in video.

Enhancement Option

By default, the object you select to blur is tracked automatically by YouTube as the video proceeds. But if you don’t want the automated object tracking and prefer to blur a specific portion inside the video frame then click on the Pin inside the same timeline (see image above).

Blurring Effects

(Step 1) Once you are done uploading a video or if you have already uploaded a video on YouTube, click the Enhancements option right below your video.

Blurring Face

Let’s quickly check out how you can do this. The video used for this demonstration is the Top 10 Funny Baby Videos 2015.

Customized Blurring

(Step 2) Click on Blurring effects and you will see the two options.

Customized Blurring

(Step 4) Click on the Edit button to start selecting portions of the video to blur.

(Step 5) Click on the video and a resizable frosted box will appear. Drag this box inside the video frame and adjust its size as per requirements. Finally, you can define the length of time (ie how long) the blur effects should appear in your video. Do this by adjusting the width of the tab in the timeline below your video.

Once you have added the required blurring effects in your video, click on the Done button to apply the process.


Everything You Should Know About Location-based Marketing Technologies

For example, as you are about to walk into your regular coffee shop, you receive a good morning message on your smartphone with special offer on a particular snack on offer that day. As a customer, you might opt for that snack due to being informed about it, even when you had not initially planned to do so.

Beacons work with specific apps installed on the customers’ smartphone, tablet or smartwatch, and trigger specific messages or actions as they walk by a particular micro-location in the store. For instance, walking by a particular product will trigger a push notification about any offer on that product, or as a customer walks out of the store, payment is automatically made by a pre-selected payment channel, and so on.

Beacon is built upon low energy Bluetooth technology. Enhancements it has gone through over the past couple of years have also cut down the battery consumption issue significantly. But on the ground, since spending a couple of hours in supermarkets is normal behavior for customers, they may need to deal with some battery drainage if they want to keep their Bluetooth on for that period as well.

These advanced technologies are certainly taking mobile marketing to a whole new level. By removing friction from customer interaction, they are allowing store owners to provide customers a highly personalized shopping experience.

Targeting customers Based On Location & Timing

Another major challenge with these mobile marketing technologies is that they require customers to install specific apps to interact with them. This may be mor feasible for big retailers like Walmart, Sears and Target whereas smaller retailers might use them to engage only their most loyal of customers.

Small brick and mortar retailers can capitalize on this by using it to understand the local demographics better. For instance, a sportswear store in Manchester can tailor its offers and online promotions better by first knowing where the majority of United and City fans live.

1. Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting allows businesses to send tailored message to customers of a specific geographic area. It is crucial to consider people from different locations to have different interests and needs. Online and large offline retailers with outlets in various locations are already leveraging this technology for better customer targeting.

geo-targeting

Despite the allure of the idea, along with this opportunity comes a handful of significant challenges.

2. Geo-fencing

These technologies offer seamless interaction and convenience to customers. But it is done at the expense of the customer’s privacy. A technology that gets activated based on a customer’s proximity, and having that information stored in a retailers’ analytics application may allow store owners to further target them with this data, for unrelated matters.

geo-fencing

Advanced location-based mobile marketing technologies allow retailers to reach deeper into their customers’ psychology to earn their loyalty by hitting that sweet spot. So far the adoption rate among retailers has been gradual but with the rise of m-Commerce in recent times, a huge surge is expected in their acceptance.

3. Beacon

How long they will take to go mainstream completely depends on how quickly these enhancements take place. However, the important thing for retailers at this stage is to start adopting and using these location based marketing techniques and building upon them as the need arises in the market.

beacon

Through this article, I will shed some light on what these technologies are, the challenges associated with them, and how they will grow with time to help retailers leverage them better.

We have seen an example, although purely theatrical version of this in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report from 2002. In the movie, this happens through retinal scan rather than identification via an app on your smartphone.

These technologies have been around for a good while now but they are still in a somewhat nascent stage. There are still no well-defined patterns for how exactly customers are behaving towards these in-store digital interactions. So to some retailers, investing on them might seem like a gamble at this stage.

geo-fencing

The Downsides

In fact, a study said that about 70% people find location-based push notifications to be useful. These technologies also increase app usage about two times, which consequently gives retailers more time to engage their customers.

Privacy Concerns

What’s your take on the utilization of location based marketing? Share with us.

Annoyance

Taking the example of the coffee shop scenario, if the customer is only walking past the store in a rush instead of entering it, receiving a notification about the coffee shop’s offer can cause annoyance. Of course, it can be prevented by turning off the app, but then making the customer to do something repeatedly only causes further annoyance.

Lack of Data

Information is clouding up more than ever and customers are increasingly performing shopping-related activities on the go. While online retailers are definitively capitalizing on this drift, brick & mortar stores aren’t too far behind. Physical store owners are also becoming adept in modern technology to win back sales that they have been losing to the hands of e-Commerce.

Battery Drainage

Let’s start by understanding what these technologies are and how they work.

Native App Requirement

Editor’s note: This post is written by Manish Bhalla for Hongkiat.com. Manish is the founder and CEO of FATbit Technologies, a web agency that builds cutting-edge ecommerce solutions for startups. Manish counsels businesses on technology, online marketing tactics and help startups formulate the right strategy for their individual needs.

What does The future hold?

The most recent entrant in this list, beacon technology was introduced by Apple in 2013 with the release of iBeacon. Google also launched Eddystone beacons in mid-2015 for Android and other mobile platforms. Beacons are Bluetooth low energy devices that retailers can install in their stores to target customers with high accuracy, in specific micro-locations: aisle by aisle, store entrance and exit.

Using this technology, offline retailers can set a virtual perimeter around their stores, so that whenever opt-in customers (those who have installed store’s app) enter that area, this triggers a message on their mobile devices about the day’s offer and other relevant information.

Business Insider has also estimated that in 2016 beacon based technologies will drive about $44 billion worth of sales for big retailers in the US alone, 10 times higher than in 2015.

Apart from these numbers, the growing trend of the internet of things (IoT) and the idea of gadget speaking to gadgets will also work in favor of these location based marketing technologies (since essentially, that’s exactly what they do).

Conclusion

Several other studies also suggest that in coming times, these technologies will be widely accepted. According to MediaPost, in 2015, 46% US retailers used beacon technology (up from 15% in 2014). And about 71% of them were able to understand customers’ buying patterns.

Despite these challenges, the future of these technologies looks hopeful. After all, nothing is more desirable for customers than knowing about interesting offers without even having to search for them.

So we have established that beacon, geo-targeting and geo-fencing have substantial long-term potential and will gain notable growth in times to come (especially in more mobile-oriented countries). But on the other hand, the challenges associated with them also clearly indicate that they need further enhancements for easier implementation, more precise targeting, and better customer experience.

Apart from using traditional marketing tactics online and offline, offline retailers are also capitalizing on GPS-enabled technologies like beacon, geo-targeting, and geo-fencing which gives customers what they want, when and where they want it.

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How to Play the Hidden Chess Game on FB Messenger

To get started, open up a chat conversation with any friend, preferably one who plays Chess of course. You can do this on desktop or on your iOS or Android app.

You can choose to pick your own color (@fbchess play white) or assign your opponent a color as well. Here’s what chess on Messenger looks like.

Here’s the full list of how to make certain moves on the chessboard, how to resign, offer a draw, claim a draw, undo your last move (well, the option is available but I tried this, and the Undo didn’t work for me), show current position, show stats between players or take the game to another conversation.

Type @fbchess play to start a game. You might be be automatically assigned a color.

Did you know that you can play Chess on Facebook? Well, on Facebook Messenger to be exact. It is a hidden command that can be triggered with @fbchess but be warned it is a very tedious way to play an online chess game (but who knows? You might be a fan).

(Reddit)

You will notice the numbers and letters on the side of the chessboard. Yes, that’s how you are going to "move" those chess pieces across the board. No clicking or dragging here. This is old school algebraic notation chess play.

Like I said, it’s tedious. Wait until you see the instructions, which you can pull up by typing the command @fbchess help.


Tsū Social Network – Cash Cow or Pyramid Scheme? [Op-Ed]

To sum up, while the above-mentioned loopholes may narrowly save Tsū from being deemed illegal, there’s a shadiness factor attached by society to these kinds of practices that rubs some people the wrong way.

The question on everyone’s mind when they hear about this attractive (too good to be true) revenue model is, or should be, what’s the catch? And many detractors have been pretty vocal in their concerns over Tsū being nothing more than a MLM (multi-level marketing) scheme.

You start by populating your profile with the regular stuff (photo, bio, other social accounts) and discovering other users (aka #Tsūalites) you can follow, through the Popular tab.

But what is it about Tsū that’s rubbing Facebook the wrong way? With 4.5 million users to date, there’s still no chance Tsū is going to be a household name, like the billion-strong Facebook, anytime soon.

The business of ads

With Tsū clamping down of late on users posting third-party content, the revenue stream seems particularly tailored for creators and artistic types. But that’s not to say Tsū feels in any way exclusive, like the other anti-Facebook network making some waves not long ago with its no-ads promise to users, might seem at first sight.

If you’re an Internet gadabout, you’ll probably have heard about Tsu.co or Tsū, the social network that’s been getting a lot of hype, and hate, lately. Throughout its year-long existence, the social network exotically called Tsū has been plagued by naysayers and, just recently, had its API and links banned from Facebook.

Revenue from ads is what sustains most publishers these days, although the trend of ad blockers aiming to change that in the name of users’ on-site experience is growing fast. Social media sites aren’t of course exempt unless they’re expressly whitelisted by users.

On the other, practical, side, there’s no doubt Tsū’s pay scheme helps some artists survive and even thrive, while putting a premium on original content can only add value in a digital world suffering from an influx of copyright infringements, that for the most part go unchecked, and a shortage of content.

There are a bunch of advertisers working with Tsū – that well won’t dry up anytime soon – and the network has recently managed to skirt Apple’s ban on pay-for-install practices from apps, so on its mobile version, you can see Twitter, Lyft or other bigwigs shooting you up for installs.

Help me help you make us all some money!

On the face of it, the accusation fits the bill pretty well.

That algorithm runs whenever Tsū disposes and tops up your wallet accordingly – you won’t be eligible to cash out though, until your account (under your "Bank " tab) reaches at least $100.

Still, more and more artists and early adopters are jumping on board, largely as a direct result of the perceived rebellious premise of Tsū. The anti-Facebook rhetoric it’s been employing to attract users over from Facebook seems to be paying off, thanks to their promise to let users keep 90% of the ad revenue on the site.

And the invite-only gateway (that Tsū seems to have dropped as of late) was there mostly for the cachet and the added bonus that any "invited " user would automatically become a money-maker for his/her "parent. "

You can also join a TsūGroup, a new feature currently in Beta and numbering all of seven groups, the most popular one, with almost 32,000 members, being TsūCharities.

So, Tsū can shoot down the MLM charge by pointing at advertisers as the only ones injecting any money into this whole affair – and that, like the Apple ban trick, is both defensible and suspicious, like any loophole ever exploited.

How does Tsū work?

Clicking through to install the apps advertised means more ad revenue for you, so there’s a nifty circularity to the money trail. There’s nothing to lose, not for advertisers as long as Tsū’s user base keeps growing, and certainly not for Tsūalites.

Zuck’s mammoth network is claiming Tsū users have been trying to rig the system, by creating fake accounts to promote their posts and consequently boost their revenue on Tsū (more on that below).

The rulebook feels like a top-down laying of the law in a space that would implode without all the policing. The all around vibe I got from the community is obsequious, as everyone is too busy making nice with everyone else for the sake of ultimately gaining more followers, more views, more shares, more impressions and, yes, more dough.

So what happens after you join Tsū?

The written (more or less) rules of posting: 45 times a day, tops, including no more than 15 shares that you can avail yourself of or not; and other caps: 50 pending friend requests at any given time and a maximum of 1000 people you follow; also cheapen the would-be "networking " ethos, in my opinion.

The proprietary algorithm used to divvy up the sums is defined in the TOC as "the rule of infinite thirds " (don’t worry about keeping up with all the specific jargon, thinking too hard about Tsū defeats the purpose anyway).

Who holds the purse strings?

But Tsū is only cashing 10% of what advertisers send their way, with users getting paid 45% in "royalties " on any original content they create and the rest being divided among their "family tree, " i.e. the "parents " who invited them into the network.

I didn’t care for Tsū for a couple of reasons, though, which may or may not be just me being overly sensitive to these kinds of things.

Everything , to the #TsūTips for "expediting follower growth, " feels sharply focused on one thing only: priming the pump, getting paid. And, while there’s nothing wrong in a (presumably starving) artist wanting to get paid for his/her art, most of the content I’ve seen posted on Tsū is really stretching the notion of "art ".

Sebastian Sobczak (who co-founded Tsū with Drew Ginsburg) and artists who’ve been hit by the ban purport this is just a heavy-handed maneuver meant to weaken a competitor that’s gaining ground. As such, Tsū has now opened its gates to everyone (not that it was that hard to get in before).

IMAGE: Tsū Facebook page

I may be reading the "room " wrong, or just more confrontational than most, but at some point, you have to ask yourself, how many different, eloquent, multi-word ways are there for saying thanks for a post?

There’s a tangible aura of hypocrisy to it, for one: while the site, and Tsūalites, sing the praises of a nice-sounding ultimate goal, that is, working towards building a community, the lay of the ground feels a whole lot more pragmatic than all that.

The latter won’t earn you royalties, but, as is the case with most social networks, it will get your profile seen and, presumably, get you more followers.

From what I could gather over the course of a few weeks on Tsū (under an alias), the features and functionalities are pretty much in line with what you’d expect if you’ve ever used Facebook.

So why the backlash?

So, let me try to clear that up. As far as your digital Tsū wallet goes, the terms and conditions are pretty self-explanatory: on joining, you enter into a contract of sorts with Evacuation Complete, the company operating Tsū, that allows you, whoever invited you (if applicable) and whoever you invite to earn money from ads running on Tsū.

The deal you strike with Tsū and its Monetization Service will get you a trickle of money or a truckload, depending on your follower and "children " counts, and how many shares your posts and your invitees’ get – since more views on a post equal more impressions and clicks on ads.

I don’t mean to offend anyone on Tsū, but from what I could see, the majority of Tsūalites are non-artist types whose idea of original, valuable content is shooting a stickered photo into the interwebs and hoping it soars far enough for a quick payday.

Ello might have fizzled out of the news cycle, but it’s remained a purveyor of "beauty, " making a buck from T-shirts and paraphernalia made from its users’ art (just like VSCO is doing now with its new Artifact Uprising app). Tsū however lies at the other business-centric end of the underdog SNS spectrum: it doesn’t push any lofty or artsy proposition, but stays defiantly grounded in pragmatism.

If you, like me, didn’t know anyone who’s on Tsū, all you needed to do was Google "Tsū invite code " or something to that effect, and you’d find plenty of sites listing existing users whose personal short code you could then use to enter.

But veteran Tsū users will be the first to warn you that the check will be slow to arrive, as the first few months are all about building your network by posting original, properly hashtagged and user-tagged content and (full-sentence, value-adding) comments.

Still, while there is money to be gained from traditional ad practices, you can bet everyone from Facebook to WordPress will be engaging in them to the bitter end.

And users have been quick to answer the clarion call, lining up as a result of what they perceive as their right to monetize their own content.

Considering that, until as recently as this week, it’s been an invite-only network whose content/posts couldn’t be accessed by crawlers, spiders, scrapers etc., the now month-long ban is presumably taking a toll on users who’ve been cross-promoting their Tsū content on Facebook for increased reach.