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Our Top Digital Stories Of The Week

Happy Friday everyone...

It's the perfect weather for a day party! To celebrate the launch of our new website, we're throwing a party at the office today – lots of food, drinks and music! It all kicks off at 2:30...hope to see you then!

Here are some of the stories from the web that caught our eye this week...

Video app Vine launches for Android

Twitter's video-sharing app Vine, launched for the iPhone in January 2013, is now available for Android smartphones too.

The app allows users to record videos of up to six seconds, which can then be shared with other Vine users, Facebook and Twitter. These can either be filmed in regular video stream or can consist of lots of different split-second clips.

Vine has over 13 million registered users, and now it's been launched for Android, its popularity looks set to grow even more. Android engineer, Sara Haider, said that, 'Vine for Android has many of the features that more than 13 million people have grown to love: easy video creation with automatic playback and sound; Explore, where you can discover popular posts and see what's trending; and Find Friends, where you can find and invite people you know to join.'

The Vine app for Android has one feature that's not yet in the Apple version; zoom. However, there are a few popular features that are missing for Android – front-facing cameras cannot be used, and there is no support for hashtags, search and sharing to Facebook. These will be added over the next few months, according to Twitter.

We love Vine in the Fotofire office – check out our blog post explaining how to use Vine to boost your social media strategy.

Amazon to enter the food market?

Would you do your supermarket shopping on Amazon? Well, soon you may be able to, as they are reportedly planning to take on the food market.

For the last six years, Amazon has run a grocery service called Amazon Fresh in its home town of Seattle, delivering food shopping with its own fleet of trucks. However, according to reports, Amazon are looking to expand this service to California, and 20 other urban areas (inside and outside the US) by the end of 2014.

This news will concern critics who already feel Amazon has become too dominant – retailers across Europe and the US have complained that Amazon is pricing them out of the market.

While Amazon declined to comment on the claims, some retail experts have said that they feel a move into groceries from the online giant is likely, and it would be unlikely to stop in California. We'll be keeping an eye on any developments.

Channel 4 launch 'second-screen' app

Digital marketers have already spoken of the rise of the second screen, where people use their smartphone or tablet as they are watching television, particularly to use social media. Now, Channel 4 is launching an app that will allow real-time viewer interaction as they are watching TV.

The app will be called 4Now, and will offer users real time games, votes and quizzes to enhance the user experience. Advertisers will also be able to use the app to target users with interactive ads synchronised with the broadcaster's commercial breaks.

4Now is the first app of its kind to be launched by a free-to-air UK broadcaster. Channel 4 are not new to the world of second-screen, however, and have previously developed similar apps including the play-along app to the Davina McCall gameshow, Million Pound Drop Live.

The app will be available to registered users of the channel from July, when it will be launched in beta phase. A full launch of 4Now is scheduled for later this year. The app will only be available on iOS to begin with, with other platforms being considered in the future.

And finally...

Last Saturday was June 1st, so that means summer is here! We have our fingers crossed for lots of sun...

Here is Buzzfeed's list of 29 Things You Can Expect Now Summer's Finally Here – a pretty good roundup of all the things that make a British summer!

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