New Sephora Chatbot Aids Customers in Finding the Right Beauty Products

Sephora's Virtual Artist app is giving customers a chance to see how makeup and other cosmetics will look on them with the help of a chatbot.

Trying a new lipstick or make up on your face is so yesterday! A new chatbot from Sephora Virtual Artist powered by Modiface will let you see every imaginable color combination without ever touching your face.

This type of collaboration for product discovery using Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a first for a large retailer. With this new application, Sephora can connect and interact with its customers in a new way. From now on, Sephora customers can virtually try-on actual lipsticks, glosses, shadows, mascara and foundation products on their own photograph, without setting foot in a store.

The Modiface patented technology has been integrated with Sephora Virtual Artist to analyze a picture taken by a camera or smartphone. After it analyzes the image, the chatbot can find relevant products based on the user’s selection.

Modiface is a technology based on automatic face analysis research that started at Stanford University in 1999. Today it is used by dermatologists, dentists, hairstylists, make-up artists, nail salons and consumers to see how they will look without actually undergoing any procedure or style change.

A Look at How Sephora’s Virtual Artist App Works

The Mirror device is its augmented-reality technology that shows makeup, hair, skin, and anti-aging changes in LIVE 3D.

The use of AI and chatbots is not reserved for large retailers like Sephora. Small businesses can use this technology to engage with their customers for a more personalized experience.

Huge corporations aren’t the only businsses that benefit from using chatbots. There are numerous ways a small business can benefit from using chatbots. You can deploy your own chatbots to boost your small business strategy and add to your overall marketing mix. The bots you create can be used as a consumer resource, streamline sales, influence buying decisions, answer customer queries, boost social media engagement, and simplify payment.

You can try the Sephora Virtual Artist right here.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Top 13 U.S. Microlenders for Small Businesses Right Now

13 Top Small Business Microlenders for Small Businesses in the U.S. Right Now

What is a microloan, and is one right for your small business?

If you’re a small-business owner on a quest for capital, there are several smart reasons to turn to nonprofit microlenders. These lenders go beyond making small loans to entrepreneurs and provide some benefits that traditional lenders don’t:

  • Profit is not their objective. Many microlenders are called mission-focused or mission-based lenders. They offer loans from government or nonprofit programs geared to helping disadvantaged communities, including areas that are struggling economically. Some microlenders also operate internationally, helping entrepreneurs in developing nations.
  • Microlenders typically offer loans of $50,000 or less to startups and other small-scale operations. Some make bigger loans to more established businesses.
  • Many microlenders and nonprofits provide pro bono consulting and training, including helping small businesses build credit.

Good Options for Nonprofit Financing

Top U.S. microlenders by loan volume

SBA Microloan Program lenders

Other notable nonprofit microlenders

Below, we list 13 sources for nonprofit financing. They include the top lenders based on information from two major small-business institutions, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Aspen Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based policy and educational research nonprofit.

When considering these lenders, keep in mind that microloans have limitations. Because many nonprofits rely on grants, donations or government guarantees or allocations, the number of loans they offer and the amount you can borrow are limited. Funding constraints can also mean strict borrower requirements. And many nonprofits operate only in specific states or regions.

Nonprofit microlenders are also grappling with a major trend in small-business financing: the rapid rise of online lending. It offers quicker but usually more expensive access to cash, says Steven Cohen, president of Excelsior Growth Fund, a New York-based community development lender.

“You see a lot of businesses trading off speed and efficiency for cost,” he says. “But you also see an incredibly crowded marketplace where there isn’t a whole lot of transparency. Nonprofits have the challenge of getting the word out there that, ‘We’re here. … We’re more affordable.’ ”

Top Small Business Microlenders in the U.S.

The Aspen Institute’s FIELD program runs the U.S. Microenterprise Census, which collects data from microlenders across the country. Here are the top five microlenders by total loan amount disbursed, according to the program’s 2014 survey, the most recent data available.

Grameen America

Grameen America is affiliated with the Grameen Foundation, an international organization known for programs that help poor communities address their own needs. Grameen America has disbursed more than $490 million in loans to tens of thousands of women in the U.S. The organization has a nontraditional lending system: Borrowers must form a group with four other women they trust. That group then participates in a week of financial training, at the end of which each member opens a savings account and receives a $1,500 microloan to build a small business.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $100.7 million

LiftFund

San Antonio-based LiftFund offers microloans in the southern U.S., including Texas, Georgia and Florida. Borrowers typically use the financing to buy equipment and supplies. The microloans are also meant to help small-business owners improve their credit and more likely to qualify for a bank loan in the future, the lender says on its website. LiftFund got a boost in October 2016 when JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced almost $5 million in funding for its new small-business loan program in New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $18.7 million

Opportunity Fund

California-based Opportunity Fund has been serving residents of the state since 1994, with more than $160 million in microloans. Its borrowers have a median household income of $31,000 per year. Around 90% are minority-owned businesses, and about 30% are women-owned businesses. Opportunity Fund also provides financial literacy education to business owners.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $17.7 million

Accion New Mexico

Accion New Mexico offers small-business loans from $1,000 to $1 million in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. The nonprofit also provides business counseling and marketing support and sponsors educational events. It’s part of the Accion U.S. Network, which also has major chapters in New York, Chicago and San Diego. The international Accion nonprofit offers financing services and assistance, including microloans, in 32 countries.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $8.9 million

Justine Petersen

Justine Petersen, which is based in St. Louis, offers small-business loans, typically of less than $10,000. The nonprofit also finances businesses in rural areas through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Intermediary Relending Program and originates loans of up to $150,000 as part of the SBA’s Community Advantage Program.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $8.4 million

Top SBA Nonprofit Lenders

Aside from its signature 7(a) term loans, the SBA issues low-cost small-business financing through a network of nonprofits.

The SBA Microloan Program offers loans of up to $50,000 administered through community-based nonprofit groups. The SBA Community Advantage Program offers loans of up to $250,000 in communities that historically have had limited access to capital. The federal agency guarantees up to 85% of Community Advantage financing.

Here are the top five nonprofits in the SBA programs based on total loan amount disbursed to small businesses in 2015, the most recent data available:

CDC Small Business Finance Corp.

CDC Small Business Finance Corp. offers different types of financing for new and expanding businesses in California, Arizona and Nevada, including SBA Community Advantage loans of between $20,000 and $250,000. It also issues SBA commercial real estate loans, known as the SBA 504 loans, for clients planning to buy an existing building or build a new facility.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $11.7 million

Valley Economic Development Corp.

Valley Economic Development Corp. specializes in small-business loans and microfinancing for entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for loans from traditional banks. It’s based in Los Angeles but also operates in other states, including Nevada, Illinois and New York. Aside from the SBA Community Advantage program, it participates in other small-business financing programs, including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the National African-American Small-Business Loan Fund and the National Microfinance Network.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $9.7 million

Empire State Certified Development Corp.

Empire State Certified Development Corp. is part of the New York Business Development Corp., a major SBA lender. It was the top SBA Community Advantage lender in 2014. Empire State CDC also participates in the SBA commercial loan program.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $7.6 million

Main Street Launch

Main Street Launch, previously known as OBDC Small Business Finance, serves clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. It provides small-business loans of $10,000 to $250,000 that can be used for such expenses as equipment purchase, inventory or working capital.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $7.4 million

LiftFund

LiftFund, listed above among top U.S. microlenders, also offers SBA Community Advantage loans of $50,000 to $250,000 to businesses in low- to moderate-income communities in 13 states. Business owners can also qualify if more than 50% of their full-time workforce is low-income or if their employees live in areas designated as low- to moderate-income communities.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $6.6 million

Other Notable Nonprofits

Kiva U.S.

Kiva U.S. is a part of Kiva, a nonprofit working in more than 80 countries. To receive an interest-free microloan through Kiva U.S., borrowers first must have friends and family members lend to the venture. This helps establish the borrower’s creditworthiness. Once that happens, Kiva opens the loan to its lenders for funding.

Pacific Community Ventures

Pacific Community Ventures is a San Francisco-based community development lender that offers loans of between $10,000 and $200,000 to small businesses in California. You need to have been in business at least a year and have at least two employees. However, if you have a solid business record and a firm grasp of your business finances, PCV may offer you a loan even if you fall short on some requirements.

Excelsior Growth Fund

Excelsior Growth Fund offers online loans of up to $100,000 for approved borrowers in less than five days and funding of up to $500,000 through its ImpactLoan program. The lender deals with borrowers who typically wouldn’t qualify for traditional financing because their company is a startup or has poor credit. Through affiliates, it also provides SBA 7(a) and Community Advantage loans.

Business Center for New Americans

Business Center for New Americans provides financing of between $500 and $50,000 to small businesses in New York City. Borrowers must be in the retail, light manufacturing, restaurant or service industry, and existing businesses must have at least three to six months of “verifiable revenue,” according to the organization. Brand-new companies must present a startup budget.

For other small-business financing, compare options on NerdWallet’s small-business loans tool page.

Compare business loans

Microlending Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How to Get Google Play and Android Apps on Your Chromebook Right Now

How to Get Google Play and Android Apps on Your Chromebook Right Now

HIGHLIGHTS

  • This method requires users to switch to the Canary canal
  • Toshiba Chromebook 2015 can find it in the developer channel as well
  • This method is very unstable

Google announced the arrival of Android apps on Chromebooks at I/O this year. However months later, only a handful of Chromebooks have received Google Play support, and Google is taking rather slow steps to make it available to all the compatible Chromebooks. Luckily, there is another cheat way to get Play Store to work on Chromebooks, and start using Android apps immediately.

Of course, before we begin to tell you the way, it is important to warn you that the method is unsafe. It requires you to use the Canary canal, which is extremely unstable. If the method backfires, it could cause some damage to your machine, and we recommend you to move forward at your own risk.

This method won’t work on all models, but should at least work on the 50 models that Google listed earlier in the year. If you have one of these laptops, and want Google Play installed immediately, enable developer mode on your Chromebook by pressing Esc+F5+Power. Then Press Ctrl+D and follow the instructions.

After the Chromebook boots, press Ctrl+D again to jump verification. Switch to Canary Canal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T, and type Shell in the command prompt. Then type ‘sudo su’ and then enter ‘update_engine_client -channel=canary-channel -update’ to switch to canary channel.

Again press Ctrl+Alt+T > Type Shell > Type sudo su > then ‘echo ‘-enable-arc’ > /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf > mount -o bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf’. Now press Ctrl + Shift + Q two times to log out. After signing out, sign back in and restart your machine. After the reboot, the Chromebook should have the Google Play Store installed.

If you do not see it immediately, browse through the Settings menu to see if there is an option to enable Google Play. This process was posted by Google Plus users, and was first spotted by Chrome Story.

Justin Slatten on Google Plus also notes that Toshiba Chromebook 2015 users need not switch to the Canary canal, and can find Google Play on the developer channel as well. 9to5Google has done a full video with step by step instructions as well.

User can switch back to the stable Chrome OS channel anytime, by hitting Ctrl+Alt+T > Type Shell > Type sudo su > Enter following command: update_engine_client -channel=stable-channel -update > and then press space bar at boot.

Tags: Google, Chromebooks, PCs, Laptops, Google Play, Android Apps

[“Source-Gadgets”]

How to Manually Download and Install MIUI 8 Right Now

How to Manually Download and Install MIUI 8 Right Now

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Few Xiaomi devices are eligible for an OTA update
  • Other compatible devices can manually flash their devices to MIUI 8
  • The China Stable ROM will be made available in a few days

Xiaomi has started rolling out the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM to all eligible devices. Initially, MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM over-the-air (OTA) update is restricted to only a few devices, which means that the others will have to manually download and install the build if they wish to use it immediately.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S, Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 4i, Redmi Note 3G, andRedmi Note 4G will receive the MIUI 8 via an OTA update starting Tuesday, and all they need to do is wait it out patiently for a notification. They can alternatively even check in their Updater app, to see if the update has arrived or not.

For the Redmi 2 and Redmi Note 2, Xiaomi says some users will receive the update from Tuesday, but the rest will start receiving it from Thursday.

x

For the rest of the devices, Xiaomi has promised the update rollout sometime in the ‘near future,’ which is very vague. The devices with no immediate update are Redmi 2, Redmi 2 Prime, Redmi Note 3 Qualcomm, Redmi Note 3 Special Edition, , Redmi Note Prime, Redmi 3, Redmi 3S, Redmi 3S Prime, Mi 2S, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi 5, Mi Note, and Mi Max 32GB. No ROM download links are available for these devices either.

For those who have the Redmi 1S, Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 4i, Redmi Note 3G, and Redmi Note 4G however, they can download and install the corresponding ROMs from Xiaomi’s website. Follow the below highlighted steps on how to download and install the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM. However, ensure that you have backed up your files before proceeding.

1) First step is to identify your smartphone and download the corresponding MIUI 8 build for your smartphone. For all the smartphones that have locked bootloaders, they need to be first unlocked. Follow the steps here. There are two methods of manually downloading – the Recovery Method and the Fastbooting Method. If Fastbooting, then you need to download the Mi Flash Tool from here.

Mi 2 / Mi 2S – Recovery ROM

Mi 2 / Mi 2S – Fastboot ROM

Redmi 1S – Recovery ROM

Redmi 1S – Fastboot ROM

Mi 4i – Recovery ROM

Mi 4i – Fastboot ROM

Redmi Note 4G – Recovery ROM

Redmi Note 4G – Fastboot ROM

Redmi Note 3G – Recovery ROM

Redmi 2 – Recovery ROM

Redmi 2 – Fastboot ROM

Redmi Note 2 – Recovery ROM

Redmi Note 2 – Fastboot ROM

This list will be updated with new MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM links as Xiaomi makes them available.

Most users should download the Recovery ROM for their smartphone. Flashing Recovery ROM will not wipe your user data or the files in internal storage and it’s simple to use, so unless you are planning to start afresh we suggest you follow this method. In both cases however, just in case something goes wrong, it is always recommended to back up your data and files first, like we mentioned earlier.

2) Once you’ve downloaded the MIUI 8 Recovery ROM, rename the downloaded ROM file to update.zip on the computer.

3) Connect your Xiaomi smartphone to your laptop via a Micro-USB cable, and copy the ROM file downloaded into the root directory of the internal storage of your device (do not put it in any other folder).

4) Enter the Recovery mode of your device. There are 2 methods to do it as follows:

Method 1: Launch Updater app on your device, click the menu icon at the top-right corner, and selectReboot to Recovery mode to enter.

Method 2: You can also turn off your device and then hold both Volume+ button and Power button at the same time to enter Recovery mode (Once in Recovery mode, you can use Volume +/- to select up/down, and Power button to confirm).

miui8_update_recovery.jpg

5) After entering Recovery mode, choose the language you use, select Install update.zip to System One and confirm, and then your device will begin updating automatically. Wait until the update is completed, choose Reboot to System One, and then your device should boot to the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM version.

6) Xiaomi phones with the new Mi recovery interface, will see a new Choose update package‘option in the Updater app. Select that, go to Download > Choose files, and choose the copied Recovery ROM zip file and tap OK. It will then verify the the package, reboot automatically, and flash the MIUI 8 Recovery ROM accordingly.


Installing a Fastboot ROM is a little bit more complicated. After downloading the Mi Flash Tool and the Fastboot MIUI 8 ROM for your corresponding device ROM here, follow the below steps:

1) Switch off your Xiaomi smartphone. Hit the Volume- key and the power button at the same time to enter Fastboot mode. Now plug in your device to a Windows PC or laptop via the Micro-USB cable.

2) Double-click on the Fastboot ROM file you downloaded to your PC in step 2 to decompress it. Open the folder where this decompressed ROM is saved and copy the folder path.

3) Now decompress the flashing tool you downloaded in Step 1. Then double-click on it to install it. After this, open MiFlash.exe and in its address bar, paste the folder path copied in the previous step. Now click the Refresh button and MiFlash will recognise your device.

4) There are three options you can choose from at the bottom: Clean all will flash all the files, and wipe all userdata and all files in internal storage. Save User Data will flash updated files, but will not delete user data and files in internal storage. Clean all and lock will wipe all data, and lock the device again.

miui8_fastboot_forum.jpg

5) To preserve your user data make sure you select the Save User Data option. After this, click Flash button towards top right to flash the ROM to your Xiaomi smartphone.

6) Wait till the progress bar fills up. You will then see a message next to it that reads: flash done. Your device will automatically reboot and have MIUI 8 installed.

How was your experience installing MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM on your smartphone? Let us know via the comments. For more tutorials, head to our How To section.

Note: Post updated to include correct ROM download links

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Apps, MIUI 8, MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM, Mobiles, Xiaomi

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

HootSuite Game Changer: Access DropBox, OneDrive and More Right From Your Dashboard

New HootSuite Apps Integrate with Dropbox, OneDrive, More

Popular web-based social media management platform Hootsuite has integrated Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) OneDrive, Box and other content sources into its publishing platform.

The integration will allow you to access GIFs and photos from other digital assets directly from your cloud content repositories within Hootsuite.

“Hundreds of millions of people across the globe use Dropbox to work and collaborate with their teams, from anywhere on any device. With this integration, our customers can access their Dropbox files directly from Hootsuite, allowing them to enhance their social posts with content they already have saved in Dropbox,” said Billy Blau, head of technology partnerships at Dropbox.

“In today’s competitive market, companies using both Hootsuite and Dropbox can act faster and be more agile with their marketing and social efforts.”

Benefits for Small Businesses

By making it easier to access content, Hootsuite is helping businesses engage with customers, implement social marketing campaigns and provide improved customer support.

Specifically, the new Hootsuite apps will allow you to:

  • Add new content sources to your Hootsuite dashboard
  • Search and organize those digital assets while still in Hootsuite
  • Access your digital content within the compose message box of Hootsuite Publisher

“As social media becomes a primary channel for businesses of all sizes to connect with customers, the ability to manage digital assets intelligently and create engaging social content is critical. Box helps marketers to securely manage content of all kinds… By leveraging strategic platforms like Hootsuite and Box, teams can work faster and smarter, delivering more successful digital campaigns,” commented Roger Murff, vice president of business development and technology partnerships, Box.

Hootsuite Apps Also Give Access to Other Content Sources

In addition to Microsoft OneDrive, Box, Dropbox and Google Drive, Hootsuite users can access a number of other content sources including:

  • Cloud-based digital management tool MediaValet,
  • Relevant content curation service UpContent
  • Team-based digital asset management system WebDAM, and
  • Custom digital content service Flashstock.

Hootsuite boasts an open ecosystem of 200+  application partners enabling users to take advantage of solutions that best fit their needs. The company claims to be one of the most used social media management platforms in the world with a total global estimated user base of 14 million including more than 800 companies  in the Fortune 1000.

Small business owners overwhelmed with the maintenance of multiple social channels have long used Hootsuite. And the easy availability of more digital content within the Hootsuite dashboard  should make it that much more useful.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

20 Popular Social Media Sites Right Now

shutterstock_311472353

Social media networks are a major resource for both small and big businesses that are looking to promote their brands on the Internet. The platforms are easy to use and some of them even have paid advertising options for businesses that want to reach new audiences. However, just because your business needs to be on these platforms doesn’t mean that it has to be on every other social media site.  To properly utilize the power of social media you need to know the most popular social media sites and identify the ones that work best for your business to avoid spreading yourself too thin.

To make this easy for you, we profiled 20 most popular social media websites so you can now make informed marketing decisions.

Popular Social Media Sites in 2016

Facebook

This is the biggest social media network on the Internet, both in terms of total number of users and name recognition. Founded on February 4, 2004, Facebookhas within 12 years managed to accumulate more than 1.59 billion monthly active users and this automatically makes it one of the best mediums for connecting people from all over the world with your business. It is estimated that more than 1 million small and medium-sized businesses use the platform to advertise their business.

Twitter

You might be thinking that limiting your posts to 140 characters is no way to advertise your business, but you will be shocked to know that this social media platform has more than 320 million active monthly users who make use of the 140 character limit to pass on information. Businesses can use Twitter to interact with prospective clients, answer questions, release latest news and at the same time use the targeted ads with specific audiences. Twitter was founded on March 21, 2006, and has its headquarters in San Francisco, California.

LinkedIn

Founded on December 14, 2002, and launched 0n May 5, 2003, LinkedIn is hands-down the most popular social media site for professional networking. The website is available in 24 languages and has over 400 million registered users. LinkedIn is great for people looking to connect with people in similar industries, networking with local professionals and displaying business related information and statistics.

Google+

While it’s no Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, Google+ has its place among the popular social media sites. Its SEO value alone makes it a must-use tool for any small business. Launched on December 15, 2011, Google+ has joined the big leagues registering 418 active million users as of December 2015.

YouTube

YouTube — the largest and most popular video-based social media website — was founded on February 14, 2005, by three former PayPal employees. It was later bought by Google in November 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube has over 1 billion website visitors per month and is the second most popular search engine behind Google.

Pinterest

Launched in March 2010, Pinterest is a relatively newcomer in the social media arena. This platform consists of digital bulletin boards where businesses can pin their content.  Pinterest announced September 2015 that it had acquired 100 million users. Small businesses whose target audience is mostly made up of women should definitely invest in Pinterest as more than half of its visitors are women.

Instagram

Like Pinterest, Instagram is a visual social media platform. The site, launched on October 6, 2010, has more than 400 million active users and is owned by Facebook. Many of its users use it to post information about travel, fashion, food, art and similar subjects. The platform is also distinguished by its unique filters together with video and photo editing features. Almost 95 percent of Instagram users also use Facebook.

Tumblr

Tumblr is one of the most difficult to use social networking platforms, but it’s also one of the most interesting sites. The platform allows several different post formats, including quote posts, chat posts, video and photo posts as well as audio posts, so you are never limited in the type of content that you can share. Like Twitter, reblogging, which is more like retweeting, is quick and easy. The social networking website was founded by David Karp in February 2007 and currently hosts more than 200 million blogs.

Flickr

Flickr, pronounced “Flicker,” is an online image and video hosting platform that was created by the then Vancouver-based Ludicorp on February 10, 2004, and later acquired by Yahoo in 2005. The platform is popular with users who share and embed photographs.  As of October last year, Flickr had more than 112 million users and had its footprint in more than 63 countries. An average of a million photos are shared daily on Flickr.

Reddit

This is a social news and entertainment networking website where registered users can submit content such as direct links and text posts. Users are also able to organize and determine their position on the site’s pages by voting submissions up or down. Submissions with the most positive votes appear in the top category or main page. Reddit was founded by University of Virginia roommates Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman on June 23, 2005. A decade later, the site boasts more than 36 million registered accounts and 231 million monthly visitors.

Snapchat

Snapchat is an image messaging application software product that was created by Reggie Brown, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy when they were students at Stanford University. The app was officially released in September 2011, and within a short span of time they have grown immensely registering an average of 100 million daily active users as of May 2015. More than 18 percent of all social media users use Snapchat.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones, PCs and tablets. The app relies on the Internet to send images, texts, documents, audio and video messages to other users that have the app installed on their devices. Launched in January 2010, WhatsApp Inc. was acquired by Facebook on February 19, 2004, for about $19.3 billion. Today, more than 1 billion people use the service to communicate with their friends, loved ones and even customers.

Quora

Capitalizing upon human curiosity is an ingenious idea that would lead to the creation and launch of Quora in June, 2009. The website, co-founded by two former Facebook employees, Charlie Cheever and Adam D’Angelo now claims that it received more than 80 million monthly unique visitors, with half of them coming from the U.S. So far, the question-and-answer website has managed to raise $141 in venture capital funds and while it doesn’t look ready to go public yet, it’s definitely a company to watch.

Vine

With over 40 million users, Vine is a rapidly growing video sharing social media app that allows users to share 6-second video clips with their followers. While this looks like a really short time for a video, businesses of all sizes are having tremendous success using the service. Vine was founded in June 2012 and later acquired by Twitter in October 2012, just before its official launch.

Periscope

Periscope is a live video streaming mobile app that was developed by Joe Bernstein and Kayvon Beykpour. The two started the company in February 2014 and later sold it to Twitter for $100 million in March 2015. Four months after its March 2015 relaunch, Periscope said that it had surpassed 10 million accounts and in December the same year, Apple announced Periscope as the app of the year.

BizSugar

BizSugar is a social networking platform and niche resource for small business owners, entrepreneurs and managers. The site was created in 2007 by DBH Communications, Inc., a provider of award-winning business publications, and later acquired by Small Business Trends LLC, in 2009. The platform allows users to share videos, articles, blog posts, podcast among other content. It also allows users to view and vote on submissions by other members.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends content for its users. More than 25 million people use StumbleUpon for entertainment and information. In addition, more than 80,000 publishers, brands, and other marketers have used StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery platform to promote their businesses. StumbleUpon was owned by eBay from May 2007 to April 2009, when Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith and several investors bought it back. It is now an independent, investor-backed startup once again.

Delicious

This is a social bookmarking web service for discovering, storing and sharing web bookmarks. The site was founded by Peter Gadjokov and Joshua Schachter in 2003 and acquired in 2005 by Yahoo. By the end of 2008, Delicious claimed that it had bookmarked 180 million URLs and acquired more than 5.3 million users. The service was later sold to AVOS Systems in April 2011 who later sold it to Science Inc. In January this year, Delicious Media said that it had acquired the service.

Digg

Founded more than a decade ago (November 2004), Digg is a news aggregator with a curated front page that selects stories specifically for the Internet audience, The topics vary widely from trending political issues to science to viral Internet issues and anything in between. Digg supports sharing of content to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In 2015, the company claimed that it had about 11 million active monthly users.

Viber

Viber is a Voice over IP (VoIP) and instant messaging app for mobile devices that was developed and released by Viber Media on December 2, 2010. The app also allows for the exchange of audio, video and images between users. As of April 2014, Viber had accrued close to 600 million registered users and 230 monthly active users.

Which social media site is your favorite?  Do you have one to add to our  popular social media sites list?

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

MacBook, iMac, Apple Watch, and More Great Gadgets on Sale Right Now

MacBook, iMac, Apple Watch, and More Great Gadgets on Sale Right Now

This week we have some of the best products from Apple at an amazing discount along with a cost-effective all-in-one printer, and more.

1. Apple iMac 21.5-inch
Planning to get a Mac on your desk? The 21.5-inch iMac is down to Rs. 73,799 (effective after cashback). That’s a pretty good deal considering the marked price on this iMac is above Rs. 90,000. Use coupon code LIT10 to get a cashback of Rs. 10,000 in your Paytm Wallet. The iMac is powered by Intel Core i5 processor, supported by 8GB of RAM. It comes with a 1TB hard drive and runs OS X El Capitan out of the box. The 21.5-inch Retina Display makes everything else look blurry when you start using it. There are four USB 3.0 ports at the back, along with two Thunderbolt ports. There’s a FaceTime HD camera that’s built right inside the display. At this price, it’s a great way to switch to a Mac-based workstation.

Price: Rs. 73,799 (MRP Rs. 91,900)

Link: Paytm

2. Apple MacBook
If the high-price tag is what’s kept you away from buying the ultra-compact MacBook from Apple, here’s a deal for you. Paytm is selling the 12-inch MacBook at Rs. 73,980 (effective after cashback). This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on the MacBook. The MacBook is powered by the Intel Core M dual-core processor, supported by 8GB of RAM. This variant ships with a 256GB SSD, and runs OS X Yosemite out of the box. If you need a laptop with a strict requirement of portability, the MacBook won’t disappoint. It’s not the powerful Mac out there but it can surely get the job done while you’re on the move.

apple_macbook_12.jpgPrice: Rs. 73,980 (MRP Rs. 99,900)

Link: Paytm

3. HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 4675
The HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 4675 is down to Rs. 7,297 (MRP Rs. 12,172) this week on Flipkart. You can also get two free HP ink cartridges worth Rs. 1098 with the printer. The all-in-one printer can also connect wirelessly to your devices. You can print, scan, copy, and even fax documents. There’s a touchscreen display that lets you access some functionality without having to use a computer. The printer can also print and copy two sides of a page automatically. If you’re in the market for a decent all-in-one that can do the job well, and which doesn’t make you buy highly expensive ink cartridges, the HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 4675 is a great option. You get one-year standard hardware warranty from HP India with the purchase.

HP_DeskJet_Ink_Advantage_4675_flipkart.jpgPrice: Rs. 7,297 (MRP Rs. 12,172)

Link: Flipkart

4. Lenovo U41-70 laptop
The Lenovo U41-70 laptop is down to Rs. 37,500 (MRP Rs. 40,232) this week on Infibeam. Use the coupon code LAPPY to get a discount of Rs. 1500 on the laptop. The Lenovo U41-70 laptop comes with a 14-inch full HD display, and is powered by a fifth generation Intel Core i3 processor, supported by 4GB of RAM. There’s a 1TB standard hard drive along with an 8GB SSD in the laptop. You can use the SSD to store the operating system as well as your most frequently accessed applications to speed up your usage. The laptop runs Windows 8.1 out of the box. The laptop includes a backlit keyboard, an HDMI port, and two USB 3.0 ports.

Lenovo_U41_70_infibeam.jpgPrice: Rs. 37,500 (MRP Rs. 40,232)

Link: Infibeam

5. Apple Watch 42 mm space grey
Paytm is offering a cashback of Rs. 5,000 on select Apple Watch models. Our pick is the 42 mm space grey sport edition which is down to Rs. 26,500, which is one of the lowest price points for the Apple Watch. The first-generation Apple Watch will get the new watchOS later this year, which will bring a ton of new features along with speeding up the existing interface on the Watch. If you are not too keen on spending the full amount on the second-generation Apple Watch which is likely to ship by 2017, this is quite a deal. Of course you’ll need an iPhone to use the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch includes support for full-fledged notifications for e-mails, text, and other supported apps from your iPhone. The Watch is also water resistant which means you can stop worrying about a little rain or a few splashes of water, but just don’t go swimming with it.

apple_watch_using_pixabay.jpgPrice: Rs. 26,500 (MRP Rs. 34,900)

Link: Paytm

Harpreet is a technology enthusiast who is obsessed with hunting down great deals on online stores.

Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.

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Tags: 4K Retina iMac, Apple, Apple Watch, Deals, Flipkart, HP, HP Deskjet, HP Printer, iMac, Infibeam, Laptop, Lenovo,MacBook, Paytm, Printer, Printers, Tech Deals, Windows
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Right here’s Why We Won’t Be Getting a new Burnout Game Anytime Quickly

Here's Why We Won't Be Getting a New Burnout Game Anytime Soon

HIGHLIGHTS
Burnout became a popular motion racing franchise from Criterion Video games.
Criterion became working on an excessive sports activities Recreation that has been cancelled.
It had sun shades of its earlier identify – Burnout Paradise.
At E3 2014 we were dealt with to a proof of concept from Criterion Video games – creators of the a hitBurnout racing collection. It merged open-global severe sports adventure with shades of 2008’ssurprising Burnout Paradise.

Speedy ahead to E3 2016 and there’s been no sign of Criterion Games barring a point out in one in every of EA’s motion pictures for its Big name Wars Games stating that the developer is assisting within theadvent of some of those titles.

Now its publisher and owner Electronic Arts has said that Criterion Gamesextreme sports activities taskhas been cancelled.

Even as they have got moved on from the previous project they have got spoken approximately and are not pursuing it, they’re continuing to build new thoughts and experiment with new IP for EA, in additionto persevering with to collaborate with other EA studios,” an EA consultant explained to GameSpot.

What this indicates is, similar to Command & Conquer, Medal of Honor, and Dead Space, it’s safe to saythat you shouldn’t assume a new Burnout Game or some thing remotely such as it inside the futureimmediate or otherwise.

Throw within the fact that EA’s attention appears to be sports activities, Megastar Wars, and Battlefield will ensure that except its Want for Pace, some other racing Game is out of the question.

it is possibly the most numerous variety of cars you have ever seen,” Criterion widespread supervisorMatt Webster said in 2014. “The point is bringing them together. And that in and of itself is going to causestories that human beings have no longer visible earlier than, and in reality, in all likelihood, emergentkinds of play that we may want to by no means design for, however they’re certainly all steady with one another.”

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Tags: Burnout, Burnout 2, Burnout 2 point of Impact, Burnout 2016, Burnout three, Burnout Crash, Burnout Dominator, Burnout Paradise, Burnout Revenge, Burnout Takedown, Criterion Video games, E3, E3 2014, E3 2016, EA, Gamespot, New Burnout, New Burnout Game

right here’s Why we will likely in no way Get The Witcher 4

Here's Why We Will Probably Never Get The Witcher 4

HIGHLIGHTS
Blood and Wine is the last we’re going to see of The Witcher series.
CD Projekt crimson has showed it isn’t always working at the Witcher 4.
Cyberpunk 2077 and any other identify are inside the works on the corporation.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is probable one of the pleasant if not the fine game of this generation thus far.even as developer CD Projekt purple is setting the very last touches to its final enlargement, The Witcherthree: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine, it has also showed that it has no plans for another new Witcher game.

“We virtually don’t know. We do not have anything deliberate as of now to be sincere on the nextWitcher,” said CD Projekt Co-Founder Marcin Iwinski in verbal exchange with Eurogamer.

“As we stated before, never say by no means but proper now it is genuinely Blood and Wine. that is thecease. Blood and Wine is the last and there might not be any Witcher any time quickly – if there ever may be one. and i would really like to look how humans sense approximately it, if they will enjoy it.”

The motive for The Witcher three being the last recreation inside the series is in its future plans. The Polish organization currently revealed its intentions to have its lengthy awaited rolegambling sport (RPG) Cyberpunk 2077 out after 2017 and every other unnamed large finances triple-A RPG out among 2017 and 2021. The latter led many to count on it would be The Witcher four but Iwinski claimed in any other case.

we’re a publicly traded company so we can’t comment on that however i will guarantee you we are notoperating on any other Witcher,” he said.

With CD Projekt crimson running on Cyberpunk 2077 and its thriller RPG, Iwinski also hinted that itsrunning on “a brand new sort of video game layout formerly unexplored by the studio” which could in all likelihood point to its intentions to work on digital truth what with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift availableand the ps VR slated for later this year.

if you still need extra adventures of Geralt of Rivia, the Blood and Wine growth will be available from may additionally 31. In India you may anticipate to pay Rs. 369 for it on Steam (as that turned into what theprevious enlargement, Hearts of Stone changed into priced at) or $9.99 (approximately Rs. 666) on GOG.com for a DRM-unfastened model.

Assuming CD Projekt pink persist with the identical pricing of Hearts of Stone at the PS4 and Xbox One,anticipate to pay Rs. 832 and Rs. 760 respectively.

down load the gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to live updated with the present day tech news, product opinions, and distinctive deals on the famous mobiles.

Tags: CD Projekt crimson, Cyberpunk 2077, GOG, Marcin Iwinski, PS4, Steam, The Witcher 3, The Witcher 3Wild Hunt, The Witcher 4, Witcher three, Witcher three Blood and Wine, Witcher three Blood and Wine rate, Witcher three Blood and Wine price India, Witcher three Blood and Wine launch Date, Witcher 3 DLC, Witcher 3 more suitable version, Witcher three enlargement %, Witcher three recreation of the yearedition, Witcher three Hearts of Stone, Witcher three Wild Hunt, Witcher 4, Xbox One

right here’s Why famous person Wars Battlefront Does now not Have a unmarried-participant campaign

Here's Why Star Wars Battlefront Does Not Have a Single-Player Campaign

HIGHLIGHTS
No unmarriedplayer mode in star Wars Battlefront was a glaring omission.
EA explained it become ignored so the game might be out whilst the movie turned into.
famous person Wars Battlefront’s sequel would possibly have a singleplayer campaign.
megastar Wars Battlefront turned into one of the more divisive entries in an extendedrunning line of video video games primarily based on the celebrity Wars film franchise. at the same time as it sported a barebones set of multiplayer modes which has, a great deal to writer EA’s credit score, has seen a spate ofcontent material updates over the months, the shortage of a unmarriedplayer marketing campaign wasperceived by means of many, which includes us, as a obtrusive omission.

for the duration of EA’s Investor Day briefing, executive vp of EA Studios Patrick Söderlund said that the lack of a singleplayer mode became a “conscious choice” to ensure the sport released around thesame time as hotly expected movie, megastar Wars: The pressure Awakens, in line with Eurogamer.

“We made the choice due to time and being able to release the sport facetviafacet with the movie thatgot here out to get the most powerful possible effect,” he said.

this is the primary time the employer has formally mentioned big name Wars Battlefront’s absence of acampaign.

however we won’t be amazed to see a unmarriedplayer marketing campaign make an appearanceinside the famous person Wars Battlefront sequel set to release in past due 2017. motive being, EAdesires to improve on megastar Wars Battlefront’s modern-day Metacritic common of seventy five.

“I think the crew created a surely accurate recreation primarily based on the idea that we had. i wouldsay the game has done very well for us and reached a completely one-of-a-kind demographic than aconventional EA game.

“So from that attitude, it’s a success. Are we happy with the 75 rating? No. Is that some thing we are going to treatment going ahead? virtually.”

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Tags: Battlefront, EA, EA dice, FPS, Patrick Soderlund, pc video games, laptop Gaming, PS4, superstarWars, superstar Wars Battlefront, star Wars Battlefront marketing campaign, famous person Wars Battlefront unmarried player Mode, megastar Wars The force Awakens, Xbox One