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Discord takes on Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces by pointing users to audio chats

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Jason Citron is the CEO of Discord, a chat app that has long been popular among gamers but is beginning to expand to other audiences.

Courtesy of Discord

Discord, the online consumer chat service that first became popular among gamers, on Thursday announced a new live audio feature that will put it in competition with Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.

Stage Discovery will make it possible for Discord users to easily find live audio conversations happening across the various communities — or “servers” — on the app. 

This feature will launch in early June and is similar to Clubhouse, a start-up that quickly gained popularity in 2020 among venture capitalists, which presents audio conversations to users in a feed. It’s also similar to Spaces, a feature Twitter began testing in November and launched this month that shows users audio conversations at the top of the company’s mobile app. Facebook has also announced plans to launch a similar product this summer.

Discord was launched in 2015 as a chat service specifically for video gamers, but since then, more users have begun to adopt the popular app for other interests, such as TV shows, fantasy sports and geographic regions. Typically, users join Discord when they receive an invite to a specific server form someone they already know. With Stage Discovery, Discord is taking its first steps to help users find communities they may want to join.

“This is making it so it’s easy to find your interest groups and find activities that are happening,” Discord COO Mak Azadi told CNBC.

Although Discord has always had audio features that allow users to chat in real time, the company recently introduced Stage Channels, which are a type of audio room where a handful of users can talk while many other users just listen. Ironically, this feature was used by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to announce that his social media company is also working on features to compete in the real-time audio market. 

“We’ll see how big the market is, but we certainly continue to be excited and surprised by the usage of voice in general on Discord and then how quickly Stage Channels have been adopted,” Azadi said. “We’re very optimistic about it as an opportunity for us.”

Discord will also begin testing ticketed events for Stage Channel conversations, which will allow users to charge others to access Stage Channel events held on their servers. 

The company has not decided yet if it will take a cut of ticket sales for Stage Channel events. “The revenue model is that we will align our incentives as a company with those of our users,” Azadi said. 

But if Discord decides to take a cut of ticket sales, it would be the company’s second form of revenue. 

Unlike most other social apps, Discord does not rely on advertising for revenue. Instead, the company makes money through Nitro, a service it sells for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year that gives users additional features, such as animated emoji and high-resolution video. Discord has not said how much revenue it generates, but Azadi told CNBC that the company’s revenue tripled between 2019 and 2020.

“Nitro is our main driver of revenue, and we think there’s a ton of upside remaining for Nitro,” Azadi said. “But we’re always experimenting with ways we can better optimize the platform and find other ways that potentially either drive revenue for us or drive revenue for users.” 

The company will also launch a marketing campaign intended specifically to attract nongamers to the service. 

The company on Thursday announced that it now counts 150 million monthly active users, up from 140 million in December. Among those users, 80% say they use the app for gaming and other purposes, up from 30% in early 2020. Half of all active users are in at least three servers, the company said. 

“It’s more about how do we open up and let people know that we are actually for anybody and everybody,” Azadi said. “This is not us moving away from gaming. This is just us being more inclusive to everyone.”

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NBA Twitter erupts after Luka Doncic’s hot Game 3 start vs. Clippers

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Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks wasted no time in Game 3 of their first-round matchup with the LA Clippers, and NBA Twitter erupted over their hot start.

Game 3 Friday night was arguably the biggest game in LA Clippers franchise history. After falling down 0-2 at home to the Dallas Mavericks, winning this road game was critical for a team that entered the 2021 NBA Playoffs with legitimate title aspirations.

Unfortunately for the Clippers, Luka Doncic and the Mavs came out laser-focused to put their opponent in another early hole.

Just over two minutes into Game 3, Dallas already had an 8-0 lead in its first playoff game at home since 2016 … and all eight points belonged to Doncic, who’s rapidly become a Clippers killer. As such, NBA Twitter could immediately smell the blood in the water, erupting over the early deficit and how frazzled LA looked.

NBA Twitter was eating it up as Luka Doncic went off on the Clippers yet again

For starters, we can’t go any further without acknowledging how much Doncic personally torments this LA team. The disrespect on these step-backs!

It was awesome seeing Doncic so fired up in front of a massive Mavs crowd at the American Airlines Center, and the home team quickly built up a 28-11 lead.

People quickly noticed how ruthless Doncic was as he repeatedly targeted poor Ivica Zubac on his step-backs.

Three Ivica Zubac switches, three Luka Doncic buckets. Mavs 8, Clippers 0 and a perhaps concerned Ty Lue calls timeout.

— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 29, 2021

Others couldn’t help but point out how the Clippers’ defensive strategy has had absolutely no answers for Doncic for the last two years now:

Clippers have had absolutely no clue how to stop Luka for two yrs now

— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) May 29, 2021

luka really don’t like them boys 😂

— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) May 29, 2021

Either way, there’s no question we are witnessing greatness from a superstar who’s still only 22 years old.

I mean, if Luka wants the be the best player ever, I would not object

— Josh Eberley🇨🇦 (@JoshEberley) May 29, 2021

LUKA ALREADY IN THAT MODE AND TALKING SHIT

— Ahmed🇸🇴/Mach Hommy’s Pray For Haiti AOTY (@big_business_) May 29, 2021

Luka is quickly moving up my favorite players list, this guy doesn’t make sense

— Jacob (AKA Rusty Buckets) (@RustyBUCKETS321) May 29, 2021

“Make Luka a scorer.”

/Luka later holds up the 100 sign

— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 29, 2021

It’s still early, and the Clippers went on a late first-quarter run to cut Dallas’ lead back down to single digits (with Doncic sidelined, of course), but there’s no question Luka’s early run was a memorable moment with LA on the ropes.

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Why Kylie Jenner’s Shoe Collection Has Desi Twitter Abuzz

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Why Kylie Jenner's Shoe Collection Has Desi Twitter Abuzz

Kylie Jenner shared a pics of shoes that instantly created a buzz on desi Twitter.

At 23, Kylie Jenner is one of the most popular entrepreneurs of our times. The fashionista — born to Caitlyn and Kris Jenner and sister to the famous Kardashian siblings — has an enviable career. Fans have been hooked to the minutest of details of the star’s life, thanks to the reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians (and its several spin-offs) as well as her gigantic social media presence. Given this, Kylie Jenner may not have thought twice before sharing a photo of her collection of high-end footwear in just about every colour of the rainbow. The post, as is the norm with her, went viral.

fittings ✨???????????? pic.twitter.com/jL89z8ZL7B

— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) May 10, 2021

While Kylie Jenner surely caught the Internet’s attention with the jaw-dropping collection, what she didn’t take into account was desi Twitter users. Her desi followers had a very unique take on the image. In short, the first thought that popped into many minds on seeing the photo was that they resembled the slippers that line up outside our homes when we host a prayer meeting or a satsang.

Losing no time, one user said that this looked like “every Indian house during satyanarayan pooja.”

Every Indian House during Satyanarayan Pooja ????????#KylieKeGharPoojaHaihttps://t.co/XbzWJ1nQu7

— Prathmesh Thaker (@PrathmeshThaker) May 26, 2021

“When you have keertan at home,” read another comment.

When you have keertan at home https://t.co/frV0uytNSh

— Ritik Gupta (@ritik571) May 26, 2021

Another was sure you could find similar designs in Agra’s local shoe market. Well, that was brutal.

Agra ke Sadar Bazaar mei khub milti hain esi???? https://t.co/u0EiXWdR3L

— ईशान शर्मा???????? (@ishaaaaansharma) May 26, 2021

Some users said that the shoes looked like the ones that were available on sale in local stores for Rs 100.

Sale 100 Di Sale… ???????? https://t.co/TV03inYyS0

— ਕਰਨਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਕੌਰ????✨ (@KannuOyee) May 26, 2021

Why does this look like a Bata showroom that prices each pair at Rs.999 https://t.co/ins54KrO3o

— Vaishnavi Suresh (@vaishnaviisure1) May 25, 2021

“Where are the Punjabi juttis,” demanded one user.

Only heels?

No flats, no wedges, no ballerinas and most important not even a single Punjabi jutti. https://t.co/N6ic6aRavL

— Aman Kaur Grewal (@talk2amanjot) May 26, 2021

It was not just prayer meetings and shoe sales, some also felt that the photo reminded them of the days they would go for tuition and line their slippers outside the class. 

Home tuitions in India: https://t.co/zbZExIt0Tj

— star (@wordsindisguise) May 25, 2021

Take a look at the other reactions:

Why does this look like a Bata showroom that prices each pair at Rs.999 https://t.co/ins54KrO3o

— Vaishnavi Suresh (@vaishnaviisure1) May 25, 2021

Kylie making the world aware about all these new fungi … billionaire for a reason???????? https://t.co/YSl3RWV1ep

— Viraj (@lmaonade9) May 25, 2021

Kylie Jenner is the founder and owner of the cosmetic brand Kylie Cosmetics. She has a daughter named Stormi Webster with American rapper Travis Scott.

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Twitter: Social media giant lists new ‘Blue’ subscription service

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image copyrightGetty Images

image captionTwitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has previously said the company would diversify its revenue sources.

Twitter has listed a new subscription service on app stores, in an indication that the social media giant is preparing to trial the offering soon.

“Twitter Blue” is listed as an in-app purchase, priced at £2.49 in the UK and $2.99 in the US.

Twitter has given no further details, and declined to confirm online claims that the service could allow users to “undo” tweets.

It previously said it was working on special features for paid subscribers.

The firm wouldn’t comment directly on the listing but highlighted to the BBC that it had previously announced plans to diversify its revenue sources.

Although “Twitter Blue” is now listed on app stores, it isn’t yet fully enabled for users.

The BBC understands that pilot offerings of the subscription service are likely to start soon although it is unclear which countries it will be available in first.

According to technology blogger Jane Manchun Wong, who claims to be the first paying user of the service, it includes an “undo tweet” feature as well as a “reader mode” to make reading long threads easier. But Twitter has declined to confirm her claims.

The social media giant told the BBC that increasing “revenue durability” is the company’s top objective.

The firm also plans to continue developing and experimenting with other ways to diversify its revenues beyond advertising this year and further ahead.

These plans could also include subscription services and other ways to offer individuals and businesses access to special features on the platform.

Twitter has also made clear that it will continue to focus on growing its advertising business.

image copyrightTwitter

image captionThe “Twitter Blue” listing has appeared on app stores.

Last month, the company launched a new “tip jar” feature that allowed people to send money to others on the social network.

Twitter said the feature was “an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation”.

To begin with, only a select group of people can receive tips – a group Twitter said was made up of “creators”, journalists, experts, and non-profits.

The function adds a small icon to a user’s profile – on mobile devices only for now – with a drop-down menu for other payment providers such as PayPal, Venmo, or the Cash App, the latter two of which are popular in the United States.

But the announcement was not without controversy. Because the payment is made through those external systems, some Twitter users noticed that tipping a PayPal account lets the recipient know the postal address of the tip sender.

In other cases, the recipient’s email address could be seen, whether or not any money was sent.

Reporting by Peter Hoskins.

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media captionTwitter’s Jack Dorsey: “Like anything else, these tools can be addictive”

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