Just the other day, we told you about how Google+ Hangouts isn’t just a feature, it’s a powerful platform. Here’s another sign that the platform play is very real: Google might let developers of Hangout apps monetize through digital goods.
This Google+ post suggests that during a “Live session” with Google+ developers, the team discussed ways of monetizing apps using some type of virtual goods. The team made sample code available for sandboxing:
Here’s the “Office Hours” session where it was discussed:
Of course, sample code and testing doesn’t mean that this is a “thing” yet, but it’s a clear indicator of how Google is building its relationships with developers and setting up a path to building out an incredibly powerful ecosystem.
The sample code is here, and it’ll be interesting to see what is done with it.
I’ve reached out to Google for comment and will let you know what I hear back.
The update, which will roll out tonight to the 17 languages Path supports on its iPhone and Android apps, doesn’t have any groundbreaking new features, but there are some very clever incremental updates.
It comes just as Path’s new user growth is booming, CEO Dave Morin told me in an interview this week. “The past 2 weeks we’ve experienced our biggest growth weeks of all time, with higher levels of traffic than we’ve ever seen,” Morin said. “Most of the growth is happening here in the United States. American cities and communities are embracing Path all over the place.”
That growth surge — not the development of the 2.5 update — is the reason why Path has had slowness and service interruptions over the past couple weeks, Morin said. “The [service issues] started before we even [started deploying] the release of 2.5. It’s because we’re experiencing unprecedented scale. Our infrastructure team is working literally around the clock.”
He declined to provide exact numbers on the new growth, but Path’s last publicly-released user figures were three million app installations, and more than 2 billion “moments” having been seen by Path users.
So, what’s new in Version 2.5? First, Path now lets users include the movies they’re watching and books they’re reading in their updates, in the same way that Path has long allowed people to share the music they’re listening to. The book data is pulled from iBooks, and Path expects to add more data sources going forward; the movie information is coming from Flixster/Rotten Tomatoes. The reason behind the additions is pretty straightforward — it’s stuff that people like to do, and it’s stuff that people spend a lot of time talking about. Morin said:
“We started with music on Path because we really care about art, and these things that deeply impact people’s personal lives and relationships. Every weekend we all go home from work, and we go to dinner, we listen to music, we talk about going to watch a new movie that’s come out, and we curl up with a book on a Sunday. These are things that people spend time doing, and they also spend a lot of time talking about them.”
Secondly, Path has upgraded its photo and video features in 2.5. You’ll now be able to quickly snap photos using the volume button on your phone, you’ll be able to crop photos to square or landscape, and more filters will be available. Also, photos and videos will also be viewable in full-screen. Meanwhile, the camera’s capture feature has been sped up significantly, Morin said. “The camera is instant now, and it’s hard to describe, you just have to experience it. We believe it’s the most instant of the instant cameras.”
The last updates are pretty obviously aimed at making it easier to join Path, more natural for people on Path to encourage others to join the network — and at upping the participation of people once they have signed on to the service. Path 2.5 now now lets you send suggestions for who your friends should follow and add personal voice messages to friend invites.
It also has a “Nudge” feature (similar to a Facebook “Poke”) that’s meant to be used when you want to tell a friend to issue a new update to his or her Path. “We’d hear over and over again that people didn’t feel they had anything to post. This feature really encourages people who otherwise might not be sharers to share more,” Morin said.
Here is the original post: Path Debuts Version 2.5: Bigger Photos And Videos, Book And Movie Sharing, New ‘Nudge’ Feature
So here’s an epic Path easter egg that we bet you didn’t know about. If you sign up with a new account, using a different email address, and attach your Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare accounts, all of your status updates, photos, check-ins and tips will be pulled into Path.
I told you it was epic.
Make sure you have the latest version of the app, go to settings and log out. Go through the signup flow, but remember to use a different email address. This means that you have to build your Path graph all over again, but it might be worth it for this. We can only assume this will become available to current users at some point.
Here’s the flow:
And there you have it, sit back and let Path do its importing magic:
For those of you who really never got into Path, now’s the time to give it a real shot with some of your existing data. For completely new users, this is a delightful addition, since starting with nothing can be rough. In essence, this is onboarding gold.
What do you think about this feature, does it change how you feel about Path? Tell us in the comments!
Editor’s note: Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting firm. He is also the #1 international bestselling author of Me 2.0 and was named to the Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 list in 2010. Subscribe to his updates at Facebook.com/DanSchawbel.
More and more students are realizing that they can’t pass their degree in for a job upon graduation anymore. The old promise made by our education system was that if you worked really hard in school, you would be almost guaranteed a job as a reward for your efforts. Furthermore, corporations used to hire most of their interns into full-time positions. Both of these promises have been broken due to economic constraints and global competition. Based on a recent report by my company, we found that employers expect students to have at least one internship, yet only half of them are bringing on new interns and few have hired them into full-time positions. The normal path to growing your career is non-existent. In today’s world, you can’t rely on anything or anyone to make you successful – you have to be accountable for your own career and create your own path.
Students are stressed out because there are few paid internships and it’s even hard to get unpaid ones. To me, the solution to this mess is clear: Students who can’t get internships should start a small business or a side project, both of which can act as an internship. If the business fails, they still learn something and have experience on their resume. If the business is successful, they don’t have to worry about getting a full-time job upon graduation. Instead of sending resumes, praying and begging your friends, you can do things your way. Years ago, it would be rare for a student to have entrepreneurship experience on their resume because the cost of starting a business was so high and because they didn’t have the resources or expertise to pull it off. Times
Now, hundreds of colleges offer entrepreneurship courses and employers are starting to understand the importance of that type of education. In our research, we found that some employers are actually looking for students with entrepreneurship experience when hiring for entry-level positions. Why do you think? Well, it’s because students who have an entrepreneurial mindset are accountable for their own actions, aggressive and know how to execute. They also have the communication and sales skills that are necessary to be successful in business today. Smart companies fully understand that if they don’t innovate, they won’t exist in the future. By recruiting young entrepreneurs, they bring new perspectives and youthful ideas into the workplace.
When speaking to employers about this phenomenon, some of the top executives said that they would rather hire a student with entrepreneurship experience over a student that had five internships. Entrepreneurs naturally develop soft skills, such as communication skills and teamwork skills that employers are desperately looking for right now as they scout to find the next generation of leaders at their companies. If you’re a student right now, make it your mission to take your career into your own hands and start a project or small business, whether you’re selling clothes on eBay, selling products to fellow students or you come up with the next big Facebook idea. Employers don’t care if it succeeds or fails, just that you gave it a shot and learned something from it. If you want to graduate with a job, then you better brush up your entrepreneurship skills today – your future depends on it!
Chances are that you’ve used a Foursquare-connected app in the past. Whether it’s for recommendations, checking in on Path or any number of location-based services, you’ve used Foursquare without actually using Foursquare. But today, in a move that seems a lot like Spotify + Apps, Foursquare is bringing other services inside of its own app and functions abound.
The Foursquare blog sums up the idea nicely:
“Eat This, Not That can suggest healthy dishes the moment someone checks in at a restaurant. Or The Weather Channel can tell people the forecast when they check in to a new city.”
The expanded services is laucnhing with a few partners, and some interesting functions:
The new update is rolling out to iOS and Android today, with plans to include BlackBerry into the mix in the future. For developers wishing to build on the platform, the same blog post has links to the resources that you’ll need.
We’ll be looking forward to more functionality inside of Foursquare in the months that will follow. The question is, what will be the must-have app inside the app so you can app while you app?
Image: sjoerdtenkate via Flickr
Read the original here: Foursquare now includes other apps inside its own, adding context to your location