Blog Archives

Facebook is changing phone calling again.

A couple of weeks ago Facebook introduced “Hello,” an Android only app that will show users information about who is calling as well as allow users to block calls and search for businesses to call. Here’s a short video about Hello.

One interesting feature of Hello is that it will allow you block a number based on how many others have previously blocked it. This is an incredibly social move, truly using the “wisdom of the crowd” to make sure you don’t get any unwanted calls.

Over three years ago Facebook rolled out Messenger as a standalone app, allowing Facebook users to message each other without having to open the Facebook app. Along the way, Messenger added more social ability by integrating the ability to call other users running Messenger on their smartphone using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). And just yesterday, Facebook added video calling to Messenger also. This could be a serious competitor to Skype, Viber, Google Hangouts, etc.

Which brings me back to Hello. Hello ties into Facebook Messenger and allows you to quickly make calls to other Facebook users using Messenger’s VoIP calling. Hello may be a nice link bringing the social interactivity of Facebook to old fashioned phone calls.

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The Explosion of the Meme App Market

I saw this photo, the latest popular meme, posted on Facebook and Twitter right after Super Bowl XLIX. It started to circulate via retweets on Twitter very quickly… “To the tune of nearly 20,000 retweets, nearly instantly,” according to Rob Pegoraro’s article on Yahoo! Tech. I’m an IT guy, but I thought that this meme was created very quick. I remembered that I have some friends that pretty much exclusively use smartphones post their own custom memes on Facebook. I figured there must be a mobile app to do these.

I took a look at the Google Play store and did a quick search for a meme creation app. Holy moley! There were no fewer than 75 different apps that quickly displayed in the search results. Many of them were free, but some of them were paid apps. I know that my personal Facebook news feed is filled with photo memes every day, so much so that I’ve started hiding shares from many Facebook accounts that only post memes.

Back in the days of sharing jokes and photos mainly via email, you would see one or two of these types of things maybe each year. Now, thanks to the easy sharing via social media sites like Facebook, these photo memes are everywhere. And if there’s tons of photo memes, there’s a market for meme creation apps. I haven’t been able to find any figures on the total of how many meme creation apps there are or how much money this market is raking in right now, but it appears it’s big business.