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Facebook acquires face-swapping app MSQRD

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Facebook is taking steps to keep up with Snapchat by buying Masquerade, the Belarus-based startup that built face-swapping app MSQRD. A few months back, Snapchat quietly acquired Looksery, and launched Lenses, a similar product built into Snapchat’s interface, that has since allowed users to add animated effects to their selfies.

While other selfie-enhancing apps like Perfect365 let you alter photos, MSQRD allows users to add live video filters, with effects ranging from a gorilla’s face to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar-winning moment.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition by posting a MSQRD video of himself using an Iron Man filter.

Taking a break from coding to welcome the MSQRD team to Facebook!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

“Now, we’re excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people. Within Facebook, we’re going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before,” Masquerade said in a blog post.

An exact rollout date has yet to be revealed, but expect live filters to appear on the Facebook app soon.

MSQRD will continue to be available as a standalone app on the App Store and the Google Play Store.

facebook-msqrd-snapchat-20160310-02

MSQRD lets you add live face-swapping filters to your photos and videos.

This is not Facebook’s first attempt at going head to head with Snapchat. The social networking giant previously tried to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion in cash but was turned down.

It also launched Snapchat clones Poke (in 2012) and Slingshot (2014) that allowed users to share short-lived photos and videos with one another. Both apps have since been deleted on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Is this the beginning of Snapchat’s end? Or is Facebook about to face its greatest fear and become a ghost town?

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Pokémon Go will drop old iPhones that don’t support iOS 11

You must upgrade to play!

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Bad news for Pokémon Go trainers out there with an old iPhone. If the “battery-gate” fiasco is not enough to make you upgrade, this announcement might force you if you want to keep on playing.

Niantic announced its plans to drop support for iOS devices that can’t be updated to iOS 11. Primarily, these are iPhones and even iPads released in or before 2013. They are the following:

  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini (1st generation)
  • iPad 2

The anticipated update will take effect starting February 28, 2018. After that date, Trainers using Apple devices that can’t be updated to iOS 11 will no longer be able to log in, catch Pokémon, and use their PokéCoins or other items. They must switch to a supported device to continue playing.

Niantic stated that the change is a result of improvements to Pokémon Go which push the game ahead of the capabilities of old iPhones and iPads.

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6 free VPN apps for Android and iOS

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If you’re connecting to a public Wi-Fi, it’s best to use a virtual private network or VPN to mask your IP address and avoid security risks. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted “tunnel” over the internet between your device and any website or app you are trying to access.

(more…)

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Zalora pop-up store is a shopping and Instagram haven

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In 2017, shopping looks different. With a few swipes and taps on your smartphone, you can have anything delivered to your doorstep.

Zalora, a company of Global Fashion Group, is pushing the envelope and blurring the lines between online and offline shopping. (more…)

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