It turns out the Japanese will have to wait a wee bit longer to play Pokémon Go in the place that started it all.
A source with knowledge of the announcement told TechCrunch today. One of the biggest reasons for the launch being pushed back is the leaked internal email from McDonald’s, the mobile game’s first sponsor, that made its way to Japanese forums and image site Imgur.
The source also claims Google-spinoff Niantic Labs, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company have decided to put off Pokémon Go plans in Japan until tomorrow, fearing public knowledge of the game’s exact launch date could cause further server problems.
Not that previous rollouts across Europe have been free of server issues, despite the people having no idea when it would come. We’re not confident the game could cope with the traffic in Japan, anyway.
Japan’s Nikkei said the game could come online as early as tomorrow, or later this week, which got us wondering when it will be playable in the country. In any case, Pokémon Go will see Japan as its first location with a tie-in sponsor.
Previous reports indicate the fast-food chain had planned to use its over 3,000 locations as Pokémon Go gyms, where players can battle it out with their captured pokémon.
The restaurants will also sell Happy Meals with limited-edition Pokémon toys inside. An exclusive comic book will be handed out at McDonald’s Japan stores as well. All of which are expected to drive unprecedented foot traffic.
To say Pokémon Go has been well-received so far is an understatement. Since its debut in the U.S., which wasn’t too long ago, it has surpassed Twitter’s daily users and has seen more people spending time on the app than on Facebook. It has been downloaded over 30 million times; generated $35 million in revenue; and doubled the market value of Nintendo.
Pokémon Go is currently available in more than 30 countries, including Australia, the U.S., and most of Europe. Japan is believed to be the first country in Asia to launch the game. Other countries in the region are expected to follow suit over the coming weeks.
Instagram releases IGTV app for creators
Now capable of uploading hour-long videos
Have you ever wanted to upload a video longer than a minute on Instagram? You’re in for a treat as the photo-sharing company launched its latest product: IGTV!
IGTV comes with a stand-alone app that allows you to watch longer videos from content creators all over the world, and upload your own videos, as well. With IGTV, creators can upload a video up to an hour long. However, keep in mind that the videos have to be vertically oriented when you upload them.
“It’s built for how you actually use your phone,” according to Instagram’s business blog. Of course, newer accounts won’t be able to fully maximize this new feature as IGTV limits the upload time to ten minutes. However, Instagram is working on applying the one-hour limit to everyone in the future.
Much like a TV, IGTV features channels from different content creators from around the world. When you follow a creator on Instagram, you can access their IGTV channel through a button above Stories. Meanwhile, the IGTV app allows you to scroll through a list of channels according to your preferences. The app filters the channels according to who you’re following and the most popular creators on IGTV itself.
Instagram hopes to add more features to IGTV in the future to help content creators. These features range from advertisements in between videos to an option for monetization — something YouTube is doing right now. Instagram wants to give content creators another means to reach their audience while earning revenue from their content, too.
The IGTV app is now available for download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for free! Integration with the Instagram app will follow suit once an update arrives.
Facebook Messenger will soon autoplay videos in your conversations
Nope, we don’t want videos playing while chatting!
When using a free service, expect it to have ads. That’s what exactly Facebook is doing to keep their platform free of charges, but they’re running out of room for ads inside their main app, so they’re finding more places to put them. That’s why Messenger, Facebook’s messaging app, started to have ads for quite some time now, and it’s about to get more.
Currently, ads inside Messenger are static and they’re bearable since they don’t necessarily get in the way. As mentioned earlier, Facebook wants to put in more ads in their messaging app. Not just simple ads though, but autoplay videos. Videos are more valuable for the company since they sell higher to advertisers. But, can users deal with videos automatically playing while they’re chatting with friends and family?
Stefanos Loukakos, the one who runs Messenger’s ad business, says he’s aware how autoplay videos would feel intrusive and that the company will monitor user behavior to learn if these new ads turn people off. He did claim in an article by Recode that they’re not yet sure how things will work, but basic ads in Messenger didn’t show any changes with how people used the platform and videos may or may not have the same effect.
Autoplay video ads on Messenger will roll out early next week to select (and unlucky) users.
Android Messages web client goes live and gets new features
Text, images, and stickers are all supported
Android Messages‘ much-awaited feature is finally available and it’s not the only new thing to try out. Google has five new features for users of Messages, from web support to smart replies.
The web version of Android Messages is now rolling out to users, allowing them to send and view messages on their desktop or laptop’s browsers.
Users may visit messages.android.com to access the Android Messages for web. They must also have the updated app on their phone to pair their browser with their phone. People can send stickers, emoji, and attach images aside from sending simple text messages.
The other new features of Android Messages include nifty smart replies for quick responses, instant preview of a link to an article in the conversation, built-in GIF search capabilities, and a useful shortcut for copying one-time passwords such as verification codes when logging into certain apps.
The new features, according to Google, are slowly becoming available to Android users and the rollout will continue throughout the week.
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