Saturday, April 05, 2014

Twitter And Billboard Will Be Working Together To Give You The Top Music Charts In Real-Time

People love music. Music has been around since the dawn of time it seems, and it still is one of the biggest staples of our humanity. It keeps us sane, gives us a sense of perspective, and makes us what to shake what our mommas gave us. Music means a lot to us as a society. People want to know what is going to be the next big song. Who is going to have the next big hit? Lady Gaga? Macklemore? There is a place that we look to that usually tells us who is leading the charts. Good ol' Billboard! Yes the Billboard charts mean basically everything in terms of who is who in the music world. The only bad part is that songs will be out for at least a week before you see anything solidified. Well, Twitter now plans to work with Billboard to change that wait time around, and give it to us in real-time instead!

How is this all possible? Well, with a lot of paperwork for one. When two super giants team up together, the result can be quite beautiful and beneficial for both parties. Billboard and Twitter together signed an Twitter Amplify partnership. This will essentially boost the availability of the chart and not just leave the ratings on Instead, there will now be in-tweet charts on Twitter to help show the most popular and trending songs, videos, and artists as they happen.

We live in a world where music is constantly discussed, shared, and listened too. We all have that friend who has music A.D.D., and continuously plays a new song every 15 seconds from their phone. With so many songs, it can only be natural to see all of the tweets on Twitter involving artists, songs, screenshots of songs, lyrics, and more. Music is actually the most talked about thing on Twitter today. 2013 saw more than 1 billion tweets all relating to music. Roughly 100 million of these tweets came from Twitter accounts that were relating to music already, like band Twitter accounts for example. In the short time that 2014 has been around, there have already been another 40 million tweets about music from user accounts worldwide.

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Since music is so heavily talked about on Twitter, it would only make sense to have the Billboard charts involved. Think of all of the implications that can go along with this now. Almost everyone has a Twitter these days, including some of the top industry execs. This means that they will be finding out about the numbers and rankings the same time that Andrew and Jessica do. Lets say for example a band trying to get noticed is distributing music via Twitter. By distributing their music and engaging with their fans on Twitter, there is a much higher chance to expand the audience now. How? Well think about how many people tweet about music. All it takes is a simple "Man, Blah Blah Blah should really have made it on Billboard. They are amazing!" and one industry executive to look at the band to be noticed and have a shot at the big time. The Billboard charts will now be viewable by everyone on Twitter as they happen, which means that music will become popular at a quicker rate and even more music will be shared. More artists will have a chance.

You never know who your next favorite band will be now, especially now that so many of them will have more of a chance to be noticed and exposed. Now with Twitter, Billboard and music will know no bounds.


Friday, April 04, 2014

Facebook Updates Messaging App With Free Voice Calling

Facebook recently acquired WhatsApp for a cool $16 billion. This raised a lot of questions for the social media company, namely what would happen to its existing messaging app. However, recent reports have confirmed that people don't have anything to worry about. Facebook recently updated the mobile messaging app and added a very new and cool feature: the ability for users to make free voice calls to their Facebook friends.

The new feature is pretty similar to voice calling found in other messaging apps, like Viber and WebChat. With the new update, users will be able to make calls to friends for free provided they have a WiFi connection. A phone icon now appears when you view your contacts in Messenger. Simply tap the icon to initiate a phone call. Both participants in the phone call need to have a WiFi connection or a data connection.

This update came a mere weeks after pics of voice calling on WhatsApp started popping up on the internet. That feature had been rumored to be in the works for some time before the pictures leaked online. What's really interesting is that the leaked screenshots of WhatsApp's in-call screen and the in-call screen for Facebook Messenger are practically identical to each other and to the in-call screen of iOS 7. The only difference is the in-call screen for the Android app.

The messaging app for Facebook mobile is definitely a handy little tool. It allows users to send messages to other Facebook users without having to be in the actual Facebook app itself. In addition to that, the app also allows users to pop out chat heads for quick access to any ongoing conversations. The chat heads can be a little distracting, though the ability to literally move the chat head around anywhere on the screen (like any other app) gives you complete control over where you want it.

I wonder, however, how users will take to the calling feature for messaging. I personally use the messaging app all the time, though I don't see much use for the phone calling app. If I want to call someone I'll just use my phone like normal. I guess this app could be considered useful if you wanted to or needed to call someone who you are friends with on Facebook but don't have their number. It could also be a good way to call people without actually exchanging numbers, if you ever needed to be in a situation like that.

You can grab this latest version of Facebook's Messaging app on the Google Play store and the Apple App store for iOS and Android users. Users of the app on Windows Phone devices are still waiting on the update.