All posts in “Events”

PartyWith’s new app is part event-finder, part friend-finder

Having just returned from an overseas vacation where I “partied with” a number of locals met spontaneously while out at concerts, bars and other events, I can’t quite wrap my head around the need for a dedicated app for travelers wanting to meet locals to hang out with — doesn’t this just happen naturally? But that, at least in part, is the premise behind today’s official launch of PartyWith, a revamped version of the app previously known as Party with a Local.

Founder Dan Fennessy notes the app has outgrown being only for travelers, but poking around in the app, that seems to still be a top use-case.

To be fair, PartyWith isn’t exactly carving out new territory in online networking — it’s part of a growing trend. (And perhaps I’m just showing my age when expressing a desire to meet people in real life instead of through apps, as is the millennial way.)

After all, a number of social networking companies are today exploring the idea that people are turning to mobile apps to make friends, not just find dates. Tinder attempted to expand beyond dating with Tinder Social, while Bumble launched a friend-finding feature Bumble BFF as well as professional networking option, BumbleBizz. Even Facebook is dabbling with helping strangers connect at events through its “Discover People” feature and other options.

Plus, several startups are attempting mobile friend-making, as well, like Shapr, Patook and HEY! Vina, for example.

PartyWith’s differentiator from these efforts is its focus on events — specifically, nightlife. Even if you aren’t quite sold on its social aspects, it could serve as a way to find out what’s happening in a city you’re visiting.

These events are added by the app’s users, as the startup doesn’t yet have formal relationships with event organizers. However, it has tested working with brands, including Budweiser, TimeOut, and Thrillist, among other alcohol brands, to help bring people to their sponsored events.

When you first launch the app, you’re asked what kind of parties you like (e.g. clubbing, comedy, arcade, cocktails, dive bars, festivals, live music — or you can pick music genres like punk or jazz, etc. — and much more).

You can then fill out your profile further and browse the upcoming events in your current city or elsewhere, post your own event, explore the profiles of other users and chat, or post a “party status.” The latter is basically a shout-out about what you’re up for. The app also offers some suggested statuses, like “Let’s go clubbing,” “Let’s go out as a group,” “What’s good tonight?,” “I need nightlife tips,” etc.

According to Fennessy, an Australian living in Amsterdam and former cartographer for Lonely Planet, the revamped version of PartyWith has made some changes in order to clarify that it’s not a dating app. It removed the gender filters, he noted, because that was encouraging some people to use the app in the wrong way. It’s not for dating or hookups, it’s for making friends.

A participant in Techstars Connection, which had its demo earlier this year, the app has grown to more than 170,000 users, Fennessy claims. It’s most popular in Amsterdam, New York and São Paulo at present, but is accessible worldwide.

Longer-term, the goal is to move PartyWith into other verticals, by connecting people who want to meet up for meals, drinks, playing or watching sports and more, Fennessy says.

A team of five from five continents, PartyWith has $430,000 in funding from Techstars, ZX Ventures, AB InBev, and other angels.

The new version of PartyWith is available as a free download on the App Store.

Everything announced at Oculus’ Connect 4 VR conference

Facebook 3D posts

Facebook will now let you take VR objects you make in the Oculus Medium sculpting app or Facebook Spaces’ marker drawing and share them to the News Feed. These 3D posts can be rotated, pinched, zoomed, and interacted with, bringing VR experiences to those without headsets.

Speakers and Judges

Monique Idlett-Mosley

Monique Idlett-Mosley is a globally recognized entertainment pioneer. Her power and influence stem from a unique blend of business acumen and innovative strategic vision. Monique brings over two decades of unprecedented success as a CEO. By adeptly traversing the spectrum from entertainment, marketing, press, and entrepreneurship, she has earned a reputation as an industry visionary. One of Gotham Magazine’s Powerful 100 names to know, her expansive reach into the hearts and minds of people across the world is transforming the way people interact with each other and iconic brands. In 2017, she founded Reign Venture Capital, an early stage investment firm that focuses on women and minority led startups. Reign invests at the Seed and Series A Stage in promising technology and tech-enabled startups with high-potential founders. The firm brings together a network of LPs who are leaders in business and entertainment to help accelerate the growth of their diverse portfolio through mentorship and unique access. Working with companies like the award winning technology innovator LISNR, and Appy Couple, Reign Venture Capital is changing the VC world. Since 2014, she has lent her industry expertise to FOX’s #1, record-breaking television show, Empire. Her As a music and fashion consultant, As an executive music producer and fashion consultant, Mrs. Idlett-Mosley brings her insider knowledge and keen fashion sense to the network.

For over fourteen years, she served as the CEO of Mosley Brands and Mosley Music Group, home to a multiplatinum roster of artists, including iconic producer Timbaland, One Republic, Nelly Furtado, and Chris Cornell. Under her leadership, MMG artists were RIAA certified platinum 64 times and RIAA certified gold 22 times. Timbaland celebrated his most successful multi-platinum album to date, Timbaland Presents Shock Value, going platinum sixteen times in ten countries. Nelly Furtado’s Loose was certified platinum over 44 times in 17 countries. Most notably, she brokered groundbreaking deals with corporate powerhouses such as Pepsi, Verizon, MTV, Mini Cooper, Gucci, and Rockstar Games, amongst many others.

Prior to 2004, Monique directed and developed sales, marketing and public relations strategies for personal clients such as Kanye West, Verizon, Burrell Communications, T.I. and Timbaland. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she served as a Senior Sales Executive with USA Today, developing nationwide strategic sales plans for Saab, Ford, Lincoln, Turner Networks, Home Depot, ING, Motorola and Minute Maid, to name a few. As the youngest executive at the time, she was the first account executive to broker a multimedia advertising campaign with The Coca Cola Company. In addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, Mrs. Idlett-Mosley is well known for her philanthropic work. As the Founder and Executive Director of Always Believing Foundation, Monique finds innovative and empowering solutions to combat childhood obesity, promote healthy lifestyles and expression through education and communication.

Since 2014, Monique has served as a National Trustee for The Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She became the first African-American woman to serve as a chairperson for the Southeast Youth of the Year gala. She is on the Board of Directors for The Miami Bridge, a south Florida based nonprofit organization that provides emergency shelter, food and counseling for at-risk youth and has previously served on the board of the Ryan Cameron Foundation. Her impact on youth is globally recognized through her role as a UN Foundation Representative, part of the first-ever mPowering Mobile movement, the United Nation’s largest youth initiative in history, leveraging youth voices to drive international policy decisions. A strong voice for change through social media, she was appointed as a surrogate in Gucci’s CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign. Alongside Beyonce and Salma Hayek, Monique works to positively impact the lives of women across the globe. With a focus on women’s empowerment, she shares her wisdom and experience, inspiring countless women to achieve their dreams through education and the power of perseverance.

See Monique Idlett-Mosley’s Crunchbase profile

Twitter launches ‘Happening Now’ to showcase tweets about events, starting with sports

Twitter is today releasing a new feature called “Happening Now” aimed to make its service more accessible to newcomers by highlighting groups of tweets about a topic, beginning with sports, before expanding to other areas like entertainment and breaking news. If this sounds similar to Twitter’s existing Moments feature….well, it is.

Moments, too, offers a way to learn more about a given timely topic across a number of categories, like Sports, News and Entertainment.

But Twitter Moments are a curated selection of tweets that tell a story, while Happening Now will take users to a dedicated timeline of tweets related to the event at hand. Moments are also often more visual, featuring images and videos, which is why they’ve been likened to Twitter’s version of Snapchat or Instagram’s “Stories.”

In a demo of the new feature posted to the official @Twitter account, there are Happening Now events for MLB, NBA, and NFL games shown at the top of the Twitter timeline. You can swipe horizontally through these events, each depicted with a title (e.g. “NFL Giants vs. Buccaneers”) and an image.

When you tap into a game to see more, the current score appears at the top of a customized timeline containing real-time tweets about the event.

Twitter, of course, already offers ways to tune into live events via its network, including via its live video streams of an event, as well as by following an event’s hashtag – like #wwdc for Apple’s Developer conference, for instance.

Happening Now, though, builds on top of Twitter’s understanding of how to sort tweets associated with an event, like live video. The tweets will display algorithmically in these new custom Happening Now timelines.

What’s interesting about this new implementation is that it’s not entirely hashtag dependent, it seems.

In the brief demo Twitter shared, some tweets did reference hashtags related to the event at hand – the Giants vs. Bucs game – like #Giants, #GiantsFan, #Buccaneers, and #GoBucs. However, other tweets only referenced the match up in plain text, sometimes even vaguely. For instance, one tweet in the stream simply read: “Man oh man I am at the edge of my seat.”

This is not the first (nor likely the last) time Twitter will try to make its service more useful to newcomers who just want to follow topics, not people. Last year, it updated its homepage for logged-out users so they could dive into various categories like News, Sports, Music, Entertainment, and more; plus view Moments and other featured tweets.

It also revamped its Explore section earlier this year to help users find videos, trends, and Moments in a single tab.

Though Happening Now may appeal to newbies who don’t want to create customized lists, track hashtags, or figure out who to follow to follow relevant news on Twitter, it’s also likely to irk longtime Twitter users. Many today feel like their timelines are being invaded by ever more features they don’t need – whether that’s “While You Were Away” updates, or those that inform you of interesting links and trends Twitter thinks you’d like to know about.

With all these features and algorithmic suggestions, Twitter is losing a bit of its simplicity – ironically, in an effort to be “easier” to use.

Twitter says Happening Now is rolling out on iOS and Android starting today.

Featured Image: nevodka / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus

Here’s the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer as scene-by-scene GIFs to tear apart

The newest trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is here!

As we often do when a new Star Wars trailer lands, a bunch of us at TechCrunch are doing the only reasonable thing: we’re watching it over and over and looking for small details to mull over for the next 2 months while we wait for the actual movie to come out. Obvious spoiler alert: if you’re going to try to somehow make it to December 15th without seeing this trailer, or if you haven’t seen Force Awakens, you probably wanna skip this one.

Care to join us? We’ve broken the trailer down as scene-by-scene GIFs for your perusal, along with notes on anything we’ve spotted. Notice something we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Hit that right arrow for the next scene; if you’re on mobile, just scroll.