Spontime is a social media network that helps you to spend less time on social media
It’s more than fair to say that social media is pretty popular these days. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on, it’s easy to spend a ton of time on your phone, interacting with your friends on a digital level. Some would say people spend too much time on social media. So what’s the answer? Another social media service.
Spontime is a social media app with a difference — it’s aimed at helping people get together for spontaneous activities — be it getting coffee, going for a jog, and so on. The app is designed to make it quick and easy to send invites to multiple friends at once. If you’re interested in doing something, simply post what you want to do, and friends can either join, or not. Instead of having to invite friends individually, the friends come to you.
Spontime was built by the same kind of person it’s targeted at — a 21-year-old student, Karolina Demianczuk. The app was created the same way most apps should be — Demianczuk saw a need for a service, and made it.
“Spontime was birthed from a personal experience, when my university class got canceled and I was forced to wait two hours for the next class,” Demianczuk, founder of Spontime, told Digital Trends. “I messaged my friends if they were free and around, but none of them were there. I had no idea another friend of mine was waiting for the same class in the cafeteria next door.”
Most social media networks fight for attention — the more time you spend on the network, the more you can be advertised, and the more money the company behind the app can make. It’s interesting, therefore, to see an app that encourages people to spend time with friends in real life.
Sure, you could just post a message on Facebook or Twitter, but Demianczuk argues that Spontime makes things more personal than that.
“Because each friend receives a separate notification, Spontime’s approach is much more targeted and private than posting on a Facebook/Twitter wall or creating a group message,” continued Demianczuk. “Users do not see who else received a notification, unless the person joined the activity. In this way, we can notify about our plans even 50 people at once, without stressing out that none of them joins us.”
It’s certainly an interesting idea, and comes as somewhat of a breath of fresh air — people really are spending more and more time on their devices, and less time out in the real world having actual contact with others. If you’re someone who’s good at fostering real-life interactions and putting yourself out in the real world, you may not need Spontime. If you’re addicted to your phone and hoping to put an end to that, however, Spontime might be perfect for you.
You can get Spontime for yourself on Android or iOS.
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Facebook’s new Live Video map lets you drop in on strangers around the world
Facebook continues to add new features to Live Video, on Wednesdays rolling out an interactive map to users around the world.
Here you can peer into the lives of some of Facebook’s global community of 1.65 billion users. But don’t expect too much – a random look through feeds late Wednesday showed a guy staring blankly at his smartphone camera, a shaky POV of a motorcycle journey, a person buttering toast, and a guy in a youth hostel eating noodles. Oh, and there was a cat writhing around on the floor, too. The streams each had around 20 viewers.
Facebook’s new web feature works in much the same way as the mobile map offered by Periscope, the company’s main rival in the live-streaming game. Blue dots indicate the location of a stream, and hovering your mouse over it connects you to the feed. Click on it and the picture expands, and, like Periscope, signed in users can post comments, viewable alongside the stream.
A list to the left of the map provides fast access to broadcasts that have gone viral – as you might expect, these are mostly from TV stations, though a few individuals listed as “public figures” are also garnering some attention.
When you click on some of the dots, you’ll notice lines spreading out from the streamer’s location. These point to where current viewers are located around the world, though maybe Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will look at them as an indicator of how well he’s succeeding in his quest to connect everyone on the planet.
Live Video’s interactive map should certainly boost traffic for the service, as before the only way you’d know if a user was broadcasting live was via a notification, meaning you had to already be following them. Now, so long as a user’s streams are open to all and not restricted to a specific group, you can drop in on people – and cats– everywhere to see what they’re up to.
The new feature is one of many being rolled out for Live Video as the social networking giant battles with Twitter-owned Periscope for live-streaming supremacy.
Facebook knows there’s money to be made here – users reportedly watch live broadcasts for three times longer than recorded video, and post 10 times more comments. The company is working to enter revenue-sharing agreements with its paid Live partners, a move that should guarantee big payouts for both parties once Live Video firmly establishes itself.
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