Snapchat is becoming a search engine

Facebook has spent the better part of a year copying key aspects of Snapchat’s products; now it seems Snapchat is returning the favor. The “camera company” announced today that it is revamping the way users search for Stories—the daily photos and videos that people and brands post to their accounts—as well as opening up a new advertising revenue stream.

j j j

The first app I fell in love with in a long time

by Jacopo Colò

When was the last time you fell in love with an app? There are a handful of apps on my phone I like and I appreciate immensely. They aren’t just tools I use but also meaningful experiences, things so well crafted that using them brings me joy. I also download and try out a lot of stuff. I’m a designer and I think it’s part of my job to try new things, understand how they are made and what experiences they offer. But despite being such a heavy user, very few apps get a permanent spot on my phone. I’m not alone. A 2016 analysis from Andrew Chen, analyst and member of the Uber growth team, says that over 80% of the apps downloaded from the Google Play store are never used again after the first 72 hours. Never. Again.

A few days ago, it happened again. I fell in love with an app. It’s not from a big brand, it doesn’t have a great icon and it doesn’t have a perfect user interface (quite the opposite, actually) but it’s a ton of fun, and I think it fills something that I was missing in my life. It’s called Squigglish and it’s a delightful drawing app that uses a bit of math to breathe some life into drawings 👆 like this 👇.

The developer is Olivia Walch, an American Mathematician and comic artist that clearly found a way to mix her two passions. At first, the app seems to work like any other drawing app… but there’s a twist. After a line is drawn on the canvas, it immediately starts to “wiggle”. So if you draw a face, it will wink and if you draw a bird it will flap its wings. Squigglish also has few brushes, options to add colors or use pictures as background but very little more than that. I already have a long wish list of things I hope Oliva implements in the future versions of Squigglish but, I’m already incredibly happy about it.

I used to draw a lot when I was younger but I slowly stopped and drawing became harder and less interesting for me. Squigglish kind of re-ignited a little flame. The animated effect it adds makes almost everything at least a little interesting and even if I don’t have a tablet and a pen, the drawing I create by swiping my fingers on the phone screen are still good enough that I want to share them and, more importantly, do more of them. It has been a little more than three days since I downloaded Squigglish and I don’t think I’m going to delete it anytime soon.

[originally published on Jacopo’s blog.]

j j j

WTF is happening at Uber?

[Recode’s Johanna Bhuiyan] said it’s extremely unlikely that Kalanick would be pushed out as CEO any time soon because of how many allies he has on the board.

“What could change that is if Arianna Huffington — who’s really smart about her image, really good at managing her PR — if it becomes too toxic to be on Travis’s side, if she flipped,” she said. “Up until now, she’s defended him really staunchly, has said he’s evolving. She’s seen change in him.”

j j j