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Telegram adds photo masks, GIF creation, and trending stickers

We're a bit late with this news, but this is what happens when an update rolls on Friday and we're short-staffed over the weekend, so please forgive us. Telegram, a popular messaging app among our readers, has added a few cool features in its latest 3.12 update and is promising more now that the summer break is over.

First is a major improvement to the photo editor that lets you draw on photos, apply stickers, text, and most importantly (or most relevant nowadays, because I can't judge how important this is to you) masks.

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[How about no] Snapchat, now Snap Inc., announces Spectacles, a pair of sunglasses with a wide-angle camera

Snapchat, the company best known to us for creating a horrible Android app, has just announced two big pieces of news; not only is Snapchat renaming itself Snap Inc., but it's also releasing 'Spectacles', a pair of sunglasses built just for Snapchat that is equipped with a wide-angle camera.

Let's start with Snapchat's new name - Snap Inc. According to CEO Evan Spiegel, the California-based company is taking on this new identity because it's beginning to offer products other than Snapchat. This is understandable; lots of companies, including Google and Facebook, have undergone name changes to redefine themselves.

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Snapchat makes it easier to create On-Demand Geofilters, updates Android app with text formatting and more

In February, Snapchat introduced a way for anyone to create custom geofilters for events such as birthdays or weddings (or almost anything else, really). Until now, creating a filter required at least a minimal level of mastery of tools such as Photoshop, so the feature wasn't truly accessible to many users. To address this, Snapchat has designed several templates that make it easy for anyone to make their own geofilter through Snapchat's website.


Snapchat has also updated their app with a few new features. Users can change the style of caption text by highlighting it and summoning the pop-up menu, and it's now possible to animate caption text in video Snaps too.

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Google Allo's incognito chats have Snapchat-like expiring messages, private notifications, and encryption keys

The nice graphic you see above is the background of all your incognito conversations on Google Allo. It's one of the visual cues the app uses to let you differentiate between a regular chat and an incognito one. But what are these more secure chats and how exactly do they work?

Based on information we've obtained from a test preview version of Allo, here is what you should expect.

First, these chats are end-to-end encrypted (we've known they'll be using the Signal protocol for a while) with unique identity keys for each participant. One of the side effects of encryption is that Google Assistant doesn't work in them.

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Snapchat is acquiring search and recommendation service Vurb, winner of TechCrunch Disrupt

Snapchat is quickly becoming the place where teenargers, young adults, and even older generations share what they're doing and communicate with each other. Now the service is looking to buy Vurb, a start-up specialized in mobile search, recommendations, and discovery.

Vurb had won TechCrunch's Disrupt in 2014 with its idea of a mobile search engine that serves you relevant results in the form of cards from the apps you care about most, like Yelp, Google Maps, Fandango, Netflix, Uber, and so on, and combines them together in a way that makes sense: take a ride, watch a movie, get dinner, get another cab home.

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Snapchat's latest update adds Geostickers in a few cities

In the past year or so, I haven't had the time or opportunity to travel or explore new countries and cities. What I do have time for is my job where I sit behind a desk and write about people who are traveling and enjoying new places and who also have enough free time to use Snapchat to chronicle their trips... Oh how I envy their lax lifestyle.

Anyway, these people — you or your friends or your kids or your parents even — now have a new feature in Snapchat that uses their location to show appropriate stickers to add to photos or chats.

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Instagram now tells Stories too

Kids these days love Snapchat. That's my understanding, anyway. And news like this only feeds into that impression. Instagram is now introducing Stories, a feature similar to one Snapchat launched three years ago.

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You can now use Bitmoji on Snapchat

You can use a photo of yourself across the web, but if you want to have some fun and maintain a semblance of anonymity on the web, you can use a cartoony avatar instead. You could dig up your old Yahoo one, but chances are you've moved on. You're using a Bitmoji and creating comic strips about your friends.

Then you move your hilarity over into Snapchat. You're sending texts, dropping images, recording clips, and maybe even making the occasional reference to your comics. Now you can go a step further. Don't drop a link. Add your Bitmoji directly.

You can do that now.

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Snapchat adds Memories: an easier way for you to find your best snaps and stories

Snapchat is where I personally drew the line on "I'm too old for this shit" and decided not to bother, but I still get the appeal of the ephemeral shares and I applaud the company for capturing such a dedicated userbase in a relatively short amount of time, despite the large competition in the social network space. But let's put my own thoughts about Snapchat aside and talk about the latest update to the app.

Rolling to Android and iOS is a new Memories feature that lets you easily access a history of your previous snaps and stories. It's accessible from a swipe up on the camera screen and can be searched with keywords to narrow down the results to the item you're looking for.

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Snapchat Will Soon Include Many More Ads As Company Tries To Wean Itself Off Venture Capital

Snapchat, not long ago an ad-free platform, is preparing to ramp up the promotional content. In a series of industry-targeted announcements, the company has detailed several initiatives that will inevitably result in users seeing ads more frequently than they do now.

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