YouTube is a free video sharing service. It allows users to watch and upload videos that can then be shared with people around the world. YouTube is the second most popular website in the world, behind its owner, Google. YouTube was created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005. In November 2006, Google bought the site for US$1.65 billion. The majority of video content uploaded on the site is from individuals that use the site. Some media corporations choose to upload some of their own content, such as movie trailers, or show snippets. YouTube is able to keep the service free through advertising on the site. Such advertising can be display ads, overlay on videos, or video ads that play before or during videos. Through this service, YouTube also offers a share of their advertising revenue to content creators. Content creators range from individuals to media corporations. Some of the most popular YouTube content creators make their living this way. To compete more closely with Twitch.tv, a popular game streaming website, YouTube launched YouTube Gaming in August 2015. YouTube worked with popular content creators on the site that produced "Let's Play" content. This content allowed users to watch the person behind the channel play particular video games. YouTube Gaming is a sub-site of YouTube, and remains free to use. A new service called YouTube Red was introduced in October 2015. This subscription-based service allowed users to watch videos on the site ad free. Other features included within the service include offline video, and exclusive original content. YouTube Red is said to have 1.5 million subscribers as of November 2016. The subscription service is currently rolling out worldwide. In March 2017, YouTube continued to roll out their subscription services with YouTube TV. YouTube TV is a TV subscription service, like a cable TV provider. The introductory offer includes over 40 channels and networks in the US. It is expected that YouTube TV will expand to other countries and offer more networks.
TBH is the newest social networking app that offers an anonymous way for friends to interact. The name of the app comes from the famous social media trend “To be honest” where users provide feedbacks or comments about another user. This trendy way of letting a person know what other people think of him has been embraced by many adolescents across the globe and is one of the continuing social media crazes of the internet today. What this fresh app brings is a new flavor to this trend. By focusing on anonymity and ensuring a positive language in the questions made by the users, the TBH app hopes to provide positivity, promote social awareness, and build a community without undermining privacy and security of the users. The app works by allowing you to create and answer funny questions about your friends. Every time a friend picks your name, you get to earn gems which you can use to unlock and answer more questions. Using the app is simple. First, you need to grant it access to your contact list and location and pick the name of your college or high school. Then, TBH provides you recommendations for people to add coming from your contact list and the school you attended. Once you have added friends, you get to play a 10-question game which lets you pick one of the four friends listed as an answer to whimsical questions like who would you want to be stranded on an island, who would become the next president, and many other funny and quirky prompts. As a TBH user, you can also submit question ideas along with an emoji of your choice through the app. The TBH team screens submitted questions and once a question is approved, the user earns trophies for the submission. While the app is in its second month as of October 2017, it is now one of the top downloaded apps on iTunes with over 5 million users. This brought Facebook to purchase TBH from Midnights Lab LLC. The app is currently available only for iOS so you need an Apple device to use it.
Bitmoji is the ultimate app to create a digital version of you called an avatar. The app is a spinoff of the original Bitstrip web and mobile app which let the user make comic strips of themselves and their friends. After the immense popularity of Bitstrip in Facebook, the developer of the app decided to refocus the product to making personalized avatars and that’s how Bitmoji was born. The Bitmoji app has been embraced not only for entertainment purpose but also for academics and branding purposes. Users can use Bitmoji to share personalized emojis in their text communication adding a new layer to the effectiveness of the conversation. The app has received a critical response since it was launched and is currently used by millions of users worldwide. The popularity of the app made Snapchat decide to purchase it from its Toronto-based developer for $100 million in March 2016. Thereafter, the app has been integrated into the Snapchat platform. In recent years, the app has continuously evolved to give users the ability to make their avatars have more resemblance to their real looks. The application has already caught the attention of many world-renowned figures in various industries including John Mayer, Victoria Beckham, and Seth Rogen to name a few. Bitmoji also provides consistent updates to keep up with current events, seasons, and celebrations. The app has helped boost the popularity of Snapchat and is pointed out as one of the leading reasons why the photo-sharing platform continues to edge its competitors. Bitmojis popularity has driven the app to be featured in Forbes, LA Times, Business Insider, and many major media entities.
Netflix is an entertainment company that was founded in 1997. It started as a DVD by mail service, before transitioning to video on demand. Since moving to video streaming, Netflix has grown in popularity worldwide. Over 98 million people worldwide pay a monthly subscription to access movies and series through Netflix. Netflix offers a range of TV series and movies in its catalog, with the range differing between countries. Due to different licensing rights, some Netflix users can see more options than other users elsewhere in the world. In 2013, Netflix started producing their own original shows, marketed as Netflix Original. Netflix Original started with the House of Cards, which became a popular series. The Netflix Original productions expanded with more series and even movies. Many of the Netflix Original productions have been nominated for awards across a range of categories. You can have up to five individual profiles per membership. This allows users to get their own personalized recommendations, recently watched and preferences. These profiles are best used for households that use a single login. Netflix can be watched on mobile, tablet, gaming consoles, and online. Content can also be streamed to other devices, like Chromecast or Apple TV. Some modern TVs have built-in support for Netflix without requiring a separate device. An active subscription is still required to view content. You can watch on up to four devices at the same time, with HD quality content when available. Netflix comes with a 30-day free trial, and a small monthly fee to continue enjoying content after the trial period. You can choose to cancel your subscription at any time, with no cancellation fees.
Pandora Radio (or just Pandora) is a music streaming service available in selected countries. It allows users to listen to music from Pandora's catalogue either for free with ads, or for a monthly subscription fee. While it is common users play through the mobile app, Pandora also includes web browser support. To begin listening to music, you start a station by choosing an artist, a song, or a combination thereof. This creates a station that then, based on your feedback, will generate a playlist of songs based off the artist and/or song selections. You can then say that you like the song playing with a thumbs up, or not like with a thumbs down. This will then fine tune the song selections moving forward to be closer to your music style. Pandora also includes links to allow you to buy any songs or albums you like direct from iTunes or Amazon. Users can create and save personalized radio stations and playlists within Pandora. You do need to register an account with Pandora, and be at least 13 years of age. Pandora is powered by the Music Genome Project. This ambitious big data project uses around 450 data points to harmoize song selections. Such data points could include harmony, rhythm, instruments played, and more. These data points are used to determine the best songs to add to a radio station users listen to. Due to licensing restrictions of the project, this limits the availability of Pandora to a select few countries. To date, this only includes the United States, Australia and New Zealand. In 2014, Pandora reported they have over 250 million registered users, with 79.9 million monthly active users in 2016. Pandora also has around 70% of the internet radio market in the US.
Spotify is a free music streaming service in many places around the world. It launched in 2008 as an alternative source of downloading and enjoying music. Spotify is a freemium service, allowing many features of the service to be free to everyone. Some features, like improved audio quality, need a monthly subscription to Spotify Premium. Spotify has over 30 million songs available in its catalogue. Within the app, you can search through the songs by song title, artist, album, or record label. Many of today's popular artists are available on the service, however some have taken down or refused to add their music. Many of the complaints from artists stem from fair compensation for their life's work. As you listen to music on the service, it begins to understand the types of music you enjoy. Spotify can then offer curated playlists on a weekly basis that can help you discover new music. Discover Weekly is one such playlist, a weekly curated list based on songs you previously listened to. Other playlists that could be offered include, but are not limited to, Release Radar, and Daily Mix. You can follow artists, friends, and public playlists. You can then receive updates on when new songs are added, and see what friends are listening to. Spotify comes with some subscription services, such as Spotify Premium and Premium for Family. Spotify Premium offers extra features beyond the free service. This includes higher quality audio, downloadable songs, and no ads. Premium for Family is a way to share the benefits of Spotify Premium to two or more people in a household. Premium for Family allows you and up to five family members to enjoy Spotify Family at a flat monthly cost. Spotify is a free app, with the option to pay a subscription to enjoy more of what Spotify has to offer.