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What's Appening_

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April 5, 2022



This week on What’s ‘Appening, we are looking at Big Tech copycats😺, as Google launches a new Workspace feature that mimics much of what Calendly does. Meta is borrowing a feature from Slack with the launch of an “@everyone” shortcut for Messenger. Twitter is exploring the idea of co-authored posts, something that we have already seen on Instagram. And in What’s dAppening, we look at Amazon NFTs (not that Amazon), which could help save the rainforest. Finally, we are excited to welcome some new team members aboard the Good Ship 3Advance.What's 'Appening is brought to you by 3Advance, the product development team that eats, sleeps and breathes apps. Not diggin' the apps? You can opt-out below. Forwarding to a friend? They can subscribe here.

🎬 Takes

🗓️ 🆕 Google – New Workspace Calendar Feature Could Be a “Calendly Killer”Last week, Google announced that it was launching a new scheduling feature that can remove some of the back and forth from meeting arrangements. The new Workspace feature launches a UI that becomes an appointment webpage where a user can highlight the times they are free. You can then send the URL to colleagues, which will take them to a Google-hosted booking page to confirm meetings and so on. Sound familiar? Calendly built an entire business around “taking the back and forth out of appointments”, and what once was a standalone product is now just another Google feature. The good news for Calendly is that Google’s booking page feature is only available to those with Workplace Business Standard, Plus and Enterprise accounts, so plenty of Workspace users, including those with paid-for Business Starter subscriptions, won’t have access (for now). Moreover, we aren’t sure that Calendly will go quietly into the night or that this will hurt the business as much as, say, Twitter Spaces hurt Clubhouse. Calendly has its firm proponents – just look at the emotions sparked by the recent Calendly etiquette “Kerfuffle”, which led to a wave of new sign-ups – and the company also recently announced a new Developer Portal, allowing customers and partners to build embed, build, and integrate custom applications through the company’s suite of APIs. In short, despite Google’s best efforts to be a “Calendly Killer”, we reckon it can meet the challenge. #GoogleCopiesCaldendly Read more here.📣 👋 Meta – New @everyone Feature for Messenger Looks Suspiciously Like Slack’sMore copycat tactics? Well, kind of. Chat apps are always “borrowing” ideas from each other, and users tend to expect feature parity. As such, the plethora of different features raises the bar for anyone new entering the market. Anyway, Meta has added an @everyone feature to Messenger, which, similar to Slack’s tool, notifies everyone in a specific group about a new message. Meta claims it’s perfect for group reminders and time-sensitive notifications – hard to argue with that. We also like another new Messenger feature, which is quite the opposite of @everyone: Typing “/silent” before a message ensures that users don’t receive any notification at all, something to consider if you don’t want to wake up your Messenger pals sleeping on the other side of the world. There are a couple of other similar new shortcut features planned (iOS users only), too, including “/pay”, which will make it easier to send and receive money in Messenger chats, and “/gif”, which will allow you to quickly send gifs. So, there you have it – no big Meta controversy this week, which makes a refreshing change: Just some neat features that tickled us. #Meta@Everyone Read more here.🐤 🤝 Twitter – Co-Authored Tweets (Probably) Coming SoonHey, did you ever dream of seeing a joint tweet coming from Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders? No? Us neither. But it’s going to be at least possible, if highly improbable. Twitter is “experimenting” with the idea of allowing co-authored posts (in more copycat news; Instagram already has this feature), which does what it says on the tin by allowing two accounts to collaborate on a tweet. You can only invite public accounts who follow you to co-author a tweet, but if they accept, it will show up to both sets of followers and show two names and two avatars. We imagine this will be a boon for brands wishing to collaborate, and it might be a decent way for prominent accounts to promote charitable campaigns for those with limited followers. The threat of spam (badgering prominent accounts to co-author a tweet) has been raised as a potential issue, but the fact that the account must already be a follower negates that somewhat. No word yet on when – or if – Twitter is rolling this out, but, hey, it sounds like a useful feature that probably should have been around years ago. #TwitterCoTweets Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week — WhatsApp: 7 Billion Daily Voice Messages

As it turns out, there are two types of people in the world: Those who don’t use WhatsApp voice messages and those who do. But, wow, those in the latter bracket sure do use it a lot. WhatsApp announced last week that its users send an average of 7 billion voice messages per day. Our clunky math calculations tell us that’s an average of 3.5 voice per day messages for each of Meta’s 2 billion WhatsApp users. Anyway, one of the reasons many of us don’t use WhatsApp voice messages is that it’s really ‘fidgety’ (that’s the only polite word we could think of). For instance, you need to keep your finger on the record button while speaking, and there’s no mechanism to pause. But hold your horses – that’s changing. Meta announced in late March that a range of new features would be arriving for voice messages, including a much-needed pause button. Good news for those chatty people sending 7 billion voice messages a day. #WhatsAppVoiceMessages Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

🌳 💰 NFTs – Sale of Tokens to Protect the Amazon RainforestIt’s fair to say that NFTs get something of a bad rap. Whether it is celebrities hawking NFT ‘art’ or the focus on the environmental impact of cryptocurrency in general, it’s all too easy for critics to point the finger. However, it’s misleading and misguided when critics lump the entire web3 movement together. For example, did you know that mining an NFT on Flow - the blockchain we use at 3Advance - takes less energy than a Google search or Instagram post? Food for thought. There are many of us involved in web3 projects who have first-hand knowledge of how they can be used for good causes. A recent example is an initiative taken by a Brazilian company to sell plots of land in the Amazon as NFTs. Token holders don’t own the land (nor should they), but they do get access to key information about its preservation, including satellite images and licensing information. Importantly, blockchain technology will act to provide transparency of how all funds are used, something we believe will be increasingly seen in charity campaigns. Similar NFT programs have been launched to protect wildlife reservations in South Africa. We are very much down with this, and we know for sure that there are going to be many more web3 projects in future that will be hugely positive for environmental and social impact. #AmazonNFTs Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance...

We’ve made some new hires! The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone, and yes, that includes small businesses like 3Advance 😅. We rode the highs (”hey, we know how to do remote!”) and the lows (”oh no, will this ever end?”) but in recent months we’ve been digging deep and intentionally reshaping our product team to reflect our values and our goals. We’re excited to announce that two of our contractors - Rishi Kumar and Jason Garcia have come on board full-time. Product Managers at 3Advance have different challenges than those at businesses with products already in the market. Of vital importance, Jason and Rishi both have experience with startups going from Zero-to-One, and both have proven they deserve to be a part of the 3Advance story long term. Check out our social profiles for news on Jason and Rishi.