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Snap’s Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan to leave

LOS ANGELES: Snap Inc, the parent of Snapchat messaging, said on Monday Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan will step down, the latest top-level executive to exit the company. Khan, 41, whose last day has not been determined, became the chief strategy officer in 2015. He was one of the highest paid Snap executives and was instrumental in taking the company public in March last year. At the time of joining, Khan received stock worth about $145 million, according to media reports. Khan said the departure is not related…

Snapchat lost 3 million daily users in the past three months

Though Snapchat has been hard at work adding new features like group video chats and "Harry Potter" Bitmojis, things haven't so rosy at the company as of late. User growth slowed down last quarter, Instagram continues to eat its lunch, and Snap's Spectacles division chief recently left due to recent restructuring efforts. Which doesn't sound too good, especially since the company just came out with the new, smaller Spectacles 2. And today, there's even more bad news. According to the Snap's second-quarter earnings…

As Facebook ages, teens look elsewhere to connect

SAN FRANCISCO: Manon, 17, has a Facebook account but to connect with her friends she turns to other social networks like Instagram or Snapchat. "I don't use it to post status updates or personal information," the San Francisco teen says. Manon maintains her Facebook account to be able to stay in touch with the large number of users on the huge social network and as a "gateway" to log into other apps. "But to communicate with my friends, it's Snapchat," the high schooler said. "Everyone says Facebook is out of…

Here is what social media platforms and search engines know about you

The Facebook scandal involving the harvesting of data from tens of millions of users has raised a lot of questions about social media and search engines. As Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the US Congress this week on protecting user data, here is a primer on what they know about you: Social media Facebook, which has more than two billion users, has access to everything you do on the site: the photos and videos you post, your comments, your 'likes,' anything you share or consult, the…

Rihanna urges fans to delete Snapchat

Pop star Rihanna urged fans on Thursday to delete Snapchat after the social media app ran an ad making fun of her 2009 beating at the hands of then boyfriend Chris Brown. The social media platform -- which counts 187 million users, especially young people drawn to its quickly vanishing posts -- had featured an advertisement for "Would You Rather?," a game app that asks sometimes provocative questions. The commercial showed the two singers and asked Snapchat users whether they would rather "slap Rihanna" or "punch…

Google takes on Snapchat with its own ‘Stories’ format

PARIS: Google launched its own "stories" format Tuesday to compete with Snapchat and Instagram with image-driven news articles aimed at mobile phone and tablet users. Content for its "AMP stories" initially comes from outlets like CNN, The Washington Post, Conde Nast, Wired and US People magazine, and is designed to load much faster on mobile devices than conventional articles and videos. "On mobile devices, users browse lots of articles, but engage with few in-depth," said Rudy Galfi, who is heading the drive at…

‘I don’t even wanna use Snapchat till they fix this update’: Snapchat redesign sparks backlash

WASHINGTON: Snapchat's latest app redesign, aimed at broadening the appeal of the youth-oriented social network, sparked a backlash from many users complaining about the abrupt overhaul of their preferred service. More than 578,000 users had signed an online petition by midday Monday calling on parent firm Snap Inc. to roll back the update, which was released last week. "Many users have found that it has not made the app easier to use, but has in fact made many features more difficult," the petition at change.org…

Instagram could roll out Snapchat-style video calls

Instagram could soon launch a one-to-one private video chat feature, and is working internally to implement the possibility to video call other users. The Snapchat-style tool would be available to users who have already begun a private message thread with another user. Instagram currently only lets users begin public video chats during another user's Live Story. Technology blog WABetaInfo reported that the option to video call will only be available in pre-existing Instagram conversations. A leaked screenshot allegedly…

Looking for an Uber? Book it through Snapchat’s “context cards”

Snap Inc’s Snapchat on Tuesday introduced “context cards”, a new feature that will allow users to book an Uber ride or reserve a seat at a restaurant without leaving the messaging app. The new feature is aimed at increasing the time a user spends on the app by providing contextual location-based search, potentially helping the company to get more advertising dollars. Snapchat, popular with young people for applying bunny faces or other filters to their pictures, competes for ad dollars with the likes of Facebook's…