Instagram Stories: How 18 Brands And Influencers Are Using It (And You Can Too!)

10 billion.

That’s the number of videos people watch on Snapchat every day. The same potential consumption (maybe more) exists for Instagram Stories —  quick videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours, just like Snapchat, but with an audience of 500 million users.

Does that sound like a channel worth exploring?

We believe so! Storytelling has always been a key part of marketing, and features like Instagram Stories are empowering us marketers to tell better and deeper stories about our brands. We’d love to provide you with more resources about Instagram Stories so that you can master this platform and see your voice spread.

In this post, I’d love to share 18 Instagram marketers who have been doing rad things with Stories to give you some inspiration on what you could do for your Instagram Stories too.

Now you can also plan and schedule Instagram Stories directly within Buffer, on web or on mobile. Try it now for free

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Instagram Stories

18 Creative Uses of Instagram Stories (and how you can do it too)

From my research, I discovered several creative ways brands and individuals have been using Instagram Stories. And here’s the great news: most of these strategies do not require huge budget or resources to pull off!

Before we dive into each brand and individual, here’s the full list of rockstar Instagram storytellers with links to their Instagram profiles.

(Note: If you end up following some of these great accounts and wish to see their Instagram stories from a desktop browser, there’s a neat Chrome extension here which lets you do just that.)

Huffington Post
Gary Vaynerchuk
Chris Burkard
New York University
When I Work
Remote Year
Black Sheep Cycling
Brian Fanzo
Sean McCabe

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at how each of the following brands and individuals uses Instagram Stories and see how you might take inspiration to adapt their strategies for your own brand!

1. NASA (@nasa)
Supplement your main Instagram content with bonus info via Stories

This is one of my favorite ways of using Instagram Stories: telling a deep story behind each and every Instagram post.

One of the key differences between Instagram and Snapchat is that Instagram provides a public, viewable profile for your main content. On no other social network can you get this type of supplemental information about the posts themselves.

This makes NASA’s use of Stories quite the native strategy. Here’s a great example: Recently, NASA posted about the annual Perseid meteor shower on their Instagram account and used Stories to share more about the meteor shower and the research on it, talking to the scientists involved in the research and showing the equipment used for the research.

NASA Story

How you could do this for your business: 

After you choose a final photo to share on Instagram, snap a couple of extra ones that go behind-the-scenes. This can be as easy as:

Flip your camera around to take a photo of the opposite view (example)
Share some of the failed drafts of photos (Instagram Stories are ephemeral, thank goodness!)
Snap a photo with the team that helped you create your Instagram photo
Zoom out and photograph the setup – works great for product shots to show all that goes into getting the photo just right!

2. LOFT (@loft)
Turn Stories into real-time events (and amplify engagement)

LOFT, a women’s clothing brand, invited two best buddies for a style challenge, which was shared as an Instagram Story. The challenge: Find something (in the LOFT store) the other didn’t think she could wear.

Not only did LOFT allow their followers to follow along the fun challenge, LOFT also gave them an opportunity to engage with a recent Instagram post and help spread their brand by asking them to tag their best friends in the post.

LOFT's Instagram Stories

(Hat tip to Amanda Tessier for this one!)

How you could do this for your business: 

Take a look at your event calendar and see if there are any upcoming events and activities that your online community can follow along. It could be:

Challenges like LOFT’s
Company retreats
Meetups, conferences, or roadshows

Otherwise, consider if you could organize fun games around your product or service which your online community could participate in by leaving a comment on one of your recent Instagram posts or sharing a photo with a particular hashtag.

3. Huffington Post (@huffingtonpost)
Use photos with captions to tell your stories

With the help of the text and drawing functionality of Instagram Stories, Huffington Post has been creating interesting short photo summaries of recent news, allowing their followers to consume their content in a more visual and fun manner.

Huffington Post Story 1

Huffington Post Story 2

Huffington Post Story 3

How you could do this for your business: 

Go through all your recent blog posts and challenge yourself to turn one of them into a photo story. Adding captions will tend to make it easier while drawing with the three different Stories markers will bring more personality to your story.

4. TechCrunch (@techcrunch)
Give your followers a quick and easy way to consume your content

Quite similar to Huffington Post, TechCrunch has been using Instagram Stories to share headlines and short text summary of recent tech news.

Techcrunch Story

How you could do this for your business: 

If you publish lots of content regularly like a news or media agency, summarize your articles with a headline and a tagline or sentence. If the news is shareworthy, adding your brand logo, like how TechCrunch did, could help to spread the awareness of your brand.

5. Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee)
Mix high-quality edited content with raw authentic content (and keep in mind the vertical screen size)

Gary Vaynerchuk has been using Instagram Stories for several purposes — promoting his DailyVee videos through high-quality visuals, sharing very authentic glimpses into his daily life, and connecting genuinely with his followers.

Gary Vaynerchuk Story 1

In a recent Story, he mentioned that his followers asked for more wallpapers on his Instagram Stories and so he made more for them.

Gary Vaynerchuk Story 1

How you could do this for your business: 

Gary Vaynerchuk does quite a few things well on Instagram Stories, and here are some of the things you could try:

If you produce video content as part of your marketing strategy, consider creating an extra version for the vertical mobile screen or simply add borders at the top and bottom, which Gary Vaynerchuk does sometimes.
If you tend to use your Instagram posts to drive traffic to your content on your blog or Medium publication or YouTube channel, create promotional images and mention that the link is in your bio.
If you create images for your social media posts, make an additional image for the vertical screen or reuse the one you created for Pinterest.
Use Instagram Stories to do research and interact with your community. What types of content do they want from you via Instagram? How can you provide those content to them?

6. Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard)
Show your behind-the-scenes adventures

Chris Burkard is a very talented photographer with almost 2 million followers on Instagram.

He has been using Instagram Stories to take his followers through his adventures where he captures the jaw-dropping photos he shares on his Instagram accounts, including river crossings and camping outdoors with very windy conditions.

Chris Burkard Story

How you could do this for your business: 

While not every business might have such adventurous experiences on a regular basis, your followers might be interested in what your company does on a day-to-day basis. Think about some of the fun aspects you could show them, such as brainstorming sessions, team lunch, company games and more.

7. New York University (@nyuniversity)
Bring your followers on tours

New York University has a very engaged following on Instagram. Each of its posts has thousands of likes and 10–20 comments. Following the theme for its posts, New York University “takes” its followers on tours around the campus and city, enhancing the experience of following the account.

New York University Story

How you could do this for your business: 

This is great if you are a tourist attraction or school or even a retail store with a great physical space and environment!

When you are taking your afternoon break and going out for a walk, snap a few photos of interesting sights or locations and share them with your followers. These raw authentic snaps will give your followers a better sense of the area and might make them want to visit you more.

8. GoPro (@gopro)
Bring your followers on an adventure

GoPro is one of the brands I think of when I think of adventures. When Instagram Stories was launched, GoPro jumped onto the opportunity to share more footage taken with, yep, GoPro.

Recently, while making its GoPro family member’s dream come true of seeing the aurora australis, GoPro shared the adventure with its Instagram followers through incredible video footages of the trip.

GoPro Stories

How you could do this for your business: 

If you are an outdoor activities company, share all the thrilling and breathtaking videos of the outdoors with your followers.

For those who might not have such opportunities on a daily basis, here’s something else you could try. While GoPro’s Instagram Stories alone looks amazing enough, it is part of their #DreamReal marketing campaign of fulfilling their social media advocates’ dreams. You could perhaps:

Use Instagram Stories to promote your company’s hashtag and encourage more people to use it.
Show how happy the winners of your giveaways are or how awesome your giveaway prizes are to attract more people to participate in them in the future.

9. When I Work (@wheniwork)
Feature your customers and share behind the scenes

When I Work is employee scheduling software with over 15,000 happy customers worldwide. Recently, they visited a few of their customers in Canada and featured them in their Instagram Stories.

When I Work Story 1 When I Work Story 2

How you could do this for your business: 

If it is possible, visit your amazing customers and give them a shoutout on your Instagram Stories. This will let your followers know what types of businesses and individuals use your product and might give them the social proof they need in order to convert. Furthermore, this will help you build a stronger relationship with your customers.

10. Shopify (@shopify)
Promote your blog posts creatively

You might not always be able to visit our customers like When I Work so Shopify worked around that by letting merchants, who use Shopify for their business, take over the Shopify Instagram account and share about their business.

Apart from merchant takeovers, Shopify also promotes their blog posts through Instagram Stories.

Shopify Story

How you could do this for your business: 

This is just one of the many ways you could promote your blog posts through Instagram Stories:

With the blog post you want to promote, find 3-5 key points that will grab your followers’ attention. (An easy way could be to look at your H2 headings.)
Turn them into fun Instagram Stories using relevant photos, captions, and drawings.
Create a simple link to be used for the last photo.
Post them!
Bonus: It will be great to download each Instagram Stories photo onto your phone as you create them and post them all at once when you are ready. This will help to ensure that your followers see the full set of photos at a go.

11. Remote Year (@remoteyear)
Bring your offline and online communities together

Remote Year is a year-long program where 75 digital nomads travel across the world to work and explore 12 cities together.

Through their Instagram Stories, they share what they do on, I believe, a daily basis, allowing their followers who might not be able to join the trip to still be part of the fun.

Remote Year Story

How you could do this for your business: 

It can be a bit of a bummer for your community when they are unable to attend some of your events. It could be meetups or conferences with a limited number of tickets or an exclusive event for certain customers only or a program for a selected few such as the Remote Year. However, that does not mean they have to miss out on all the fun. Here are some of the things you could do:

Interview key personnel briefly about the topic of the event
Invite attendees to share their experiences at the event
Film interesting and fun moments of the event
Appoint a host or two for your Instagram Stories while the event is taking place to talk about what is going to happen during the event, narrate as the activities are happening and interview attendees, like what the Remote Year did for some of their events (as seen in the first photo)

12. Black Sheep Cycling (@blacksheepcycling)
Give sneak previews of your upcoming products or launch them through Instagram Stories

Black Sheep Cycling is a cycling brand that provides innovative and unique cycling apparel.

A few days ago, they launched their ambassador kit for their community. Besides announcing the upcoming launch with an Instagram post, the team also used Instagram Stories to showcase the kit from various angles.

Black Sheep Cycling Story

How you could do this for your business: 

While preparing the marketing materials for your upcoming launch or announcement, create a few more vertical designs for your Instagram Stories. Consider more than one image or design since the ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories allow you to share more photos and videos without cluttering up your Instagram profile. Here are some variations you could think about:

Different angles of the product
Specific features of the product
Different people using your product
Various ways of using your product

13. Olympics (@olympics)
Report timely news and wrap-up

When the Rio 2016 Olympics was taking place, the social media team behind the Instagram account took the opportunity to share more about and celebrate the incredible Olympians. Harrison Barnes also took over the account to give a wrap-up for a day and shared his thoughts on the day’s events.

Olympics Story

How you could do this for your business: 

While you might not always be part of huge events like the Olympics, there are likely to be many high-profile events in your respective industry. For example in the tech field, one such event is TechCrunch Disrupt. You could attend such events and provide timely updates to your followers. Here are some possible ways:

Create simple images to share cool announcements and important news from the event
Share your thoughts about the announcements and news of the event
Interview speakers and prominent figures in the industry briefly, if possible
Feature partners and customers who happen to be at the same event

14. Brian Fanzo (@isocialfanz)
Give previews of your talks and let others take over your Instagram Stories

Brian Fanzo, popularly known as isocialfanz, is a millennial speaker who is very knowledgeable about community building, social media, livestreaming, influencer marketing, tech and more. In 2016 alone, Brian will keynote at more than 40 events around the world.

He has been using Instagram Stories to give previews for his upcoming talks and events such as the #Cloudtalk. He did the same when he was taking over our Buffer Instagram Stories while Brian, our Social Media Manager, took over his.

Brian Fanzo Story

How you could do this for your business: 

Work with other brands and influencers to take over your Instagram account and ask to take over theirs too. Like Gary Vaynerchuk said, “It’s an easy way to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness.” And it’s great because both parties stand to benefit from the takeovers.

A cool feature of Instagram Stories is that it allows you upload any photos and videos that were added to your phone’s camera roll within the last 24 hours. Simply swipe down while you are in the Instagram Stories camera mode. This allows you to share photos and videos from the brands and influencers without having to share your Instagram account password.

Get them to create Instagram Stories and save them onto their phones without posting them.
Get them to send their draft Stories to you via email, Dropbox or Google Drive.
Download them onto your phone before the time you wish to post them (you will have 24 hours to use them after downloading them onto your phone).
Wait for the right time and voila!

15. Minaal (@minaalofficial)
Share user generated content and showcase your customers

Minaal makes durable, professional travel gear that gets you where you want to be – faster, happier and more productive. (It is a brand many Bufferoos love too!)

In their Stories, they share photos from their community who are traveling all around the world with the amazing travel bags and gear.

Minaal Story

How you could do this for your business: 

Many a time, we love to showcase our users’ photos of them using our products, only to realize that the photo quality might not be on par with those we post on our profile or it might not match the theme of photos we chose for our gallery. Instagram Stories provides a great option to feature your users (and your product) without changing the theme of your Instagram branding or adding too many photos to your gallery.

Invite your users to share photos of themselves using your product and let them know that you will be featuring them on your Instagram Stories. Alternatively,

Look out for photos of your product by your users (if there’s a hashtag that your community uses, that will be very handy)
Reach out to those users and ask if you could feature their photos and them on your Instagram Stories.
Once you have the photos, add their Instagram handle and perhaps add some drawings to the photos to make them more interesting.

16. 9gag (@9gag)
Funny user generated content and stories

I think most of us are quite familiar with 9gag and their hilarious content. With Instagram Stories, they brought their funny storytelling to another level!

9gag Story

How you could do this for your business: 

I believe most businesses aren’t like 9gag in terms of the amount of user generated content they have (thought it’s great if you do!). However, this does not mean we cannot learn anything from 9gag. I think 9gag is a great example of telling the same stories through different formats (on their website, Instagram posts, Instagram Stories and more).

Instagram Stories allow us to quickly click through a series of photos and videos, and that’s a great way to tell stories! It feels a bit like flipping through a photo book. So an idea could be:

When you have a story or message to share with your audience, come up with a storyboard of the photos and videos you need.
Download the materials onto your phone and add captions and drawings to make them more engaging and visually appealing.
When the time is right, publish all of them together according to your storyboard.
Bonus: You could use an Instagram post to briefly talk about the story and direct your audience to check out your Instagram Stories for more information.

17. Sean McCabe (@seanwes)
Give previews of your live events or courses

Sean McCabe used to be a hand lettering artist who charged five-figure rates until he launched a course teaching people how to do what he did and made six figures in the first three days. Since then, he has been teaching a variety of courses on building and growing a sustainable business.

He has been using Instagram Stories to share sneak peeks of his live training and why his followers should sign up for his courses.

Sean McCabe Story

How you could do this for your business: 

Personally, I like to find out as much as I can before I pay for a course, a product, or a service. Quite similar to a trial for a product or service, Instagram Stories could be an interesting way to share just enough to entice your followers into signing up for your paid courses or exclusive content.

Also, sharing a short memorable link makes it easier for your followers to act immediately.

18. TrackMaven (@trackmaven)
Share top news in your industry

TrackMaven is a marketing analytics software tool that helps marketers make smart decisions through understandable and actionable data. In line with their area of expertise, they share top marketing news every week in their Instagram Stories.

Track Maven Story

How you could do this for your business: 

I imagine most of us are already reading up a lot about our own industry so this just takes a tiny bit more effort:

When reading through all the news, bookmark the top 3 to 5 pieces which are most shareworthy or most useful to the people in the industry or your customers.
On Friday each week (or even every morning), share the news.
Adding your thoughts about the news could help to make you a thought leader in your industry too.

Small plug

I would also love to give a shout out to Brian, our amazing social media manager, who has been rocking our Instagram Stories game too. Our Stories range from social media tips to influencer, brand and team member takeovers. If you are interested in learning more about social media, marketing and behind the scenes of a remote team, we are @buffer on Instagram!

Buffer Story

Over to you

There are definitely many more creative brands and folks out there that I did not come across during my research. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you know of any or if you feel that you are creating awesome Instagram Stories, feel free to share your handle below! Thank you!

You might also enjoy these Instagram marketing resources:

A Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing: Get the Playbook That Drives Results

How Instagram Stories Work: A Powerful New Way to Engage

How to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories (and 10 Amazing Templates to Use)


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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Welcome to the 287th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:

Google Play Pass is out, but far from perfect. We took a dive into the app to discover some of its flaws. Most of them are fairly minor and indicative to a new service. We found there were more than half a dozen voice recorder apps and Sudoku games. We posit that Google needs to bring more high end apps and games into the service to properly compete with the likes of Apple Arcade. Hit the link for more details.
It’s possible to play Call of Duty: Mobile on your PC. Gameloop, a re-branded Android emulator for PC, boasts support for the game for the low, low price of free. Gameloop was Tencent Gaming Buddy in a previous life, but now stands as its own product. You can still download it for other emulators like Bluestacks. However, Gameloop has Tencent’s blessing as the official Call of Duty: Mobile emulator. It’s a neat experience overall.
Google’s Halloween decorations are macabre and hilarious this year. The company put up a little garden with the gravestones of a bunch of canceled Google products. You can find the image at the link, but there are gravestones for Orkut, Google+, Google Reader, Google Buzz, and a few others. It’s great for, well, people like us, but it has to be weird for Google employees hitting the campus and seeing a reminder of a half a dozen of their failures.
Microsoft launched a large update for its Your Phone app this week. The new update lets you field phone calls from your computer. You can initiate, accept, or deny phone calls straight from the desktop with Windows 10’s native notification center. The only caveat is both devices need Bluetooth support in order for everything to work.
The Google Play Store may get some new features in its next update. The features include better device security and an incognito mode for private app downloads. Some of the device security features include reminders to revoke sideloading permissions from other apps and other such things. Google wants more privacy in its Play Store and this is a good first step to getting there.

Perfect World Mobile

Price: Free to play

Perfect World Mobile is a free to play mobile game. It launched in September but we wanted to cover it anyway. The original game was an MMORPG from about 12 years ago. This version isn’t nearly the same, but it has many of the common elements. It plays like an MMORPG on mobile. You create a character, explore a huge open world, and fight off various bad guys in a variety of quests. The game also features multiplayer dungeons and some other game perks. There is quite a grind at higher levels, but that’s a problem with most mobile MMORPGs.


Threads from Instagram

Price: Free

Threads from Instagram is a neat concept. It’s like regular Instagram except Threads is only for your and your close friends. The app lets you make super tight knit groups and you all share things with one another. It almost feels like a massive MMS group chat but with Instagram’s UI. The goal is for more personal updates rather than the public facing style people project when they have an audience. The app has its issues, but it’s also quite new so we expect the issues to filter out over time.


Threads from Instagram is one of the best new android apps from October 2019


Price: $3.99

Grobo is a puzzle game with platformer elements. You play as a robot in an abandoned world with a variety of puzzles. Players finish each level to complete the story. The game features one or two handed controls, 48 levels, and plenty of obstacles to overcome. It’s a fun little game for its genre and it’s fairly easy to play. There are likely some bugs here and there, but it seems stable enough to us. The game goes for $3.99 with no in-app purchases or ads.



Price: Free / $5.99 per month

Shudder is a video streaming service from AMC. It specializes in horror movies. The service couldn’t have picked a better month for its debut. There are a bunch of movies and TV shows on Shudder, including a bunch of old classics such as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There are even curated lists from folks like Rob Zombie. The streaming quality is fine, but nothing special. You won’t find any 4k HDR streams here. It’s not a bad service to try out during Halloween season. You can try a free trial for a week. The service runs $5.99 per month after that.


Shudder is one of the best new android apps


Price: Free to play

DIGIMON ReArise is the latest Digimon title from Bandai Namco. The game features an entirely original story apart from all of the other properties. Otherwise, it plays like your classic gacha card dueling game. There are single and multiplayer modes, including PvP up to five versus five. The gacha elements are a little restrictive compared to many gacha games and that has many early adopters complaining about the game. However, other than that, the game seems to excel in its other elements.


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Windows 10’s November 2019 update is now available to testers

Microsoft Windows 10 stock

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update will be called the November 2019 Update, and the final build is available now to Windows Insiders in the Release Preview Ring. The company has previously said that it’s a small update which focuses on performance improvements and quality enhancements.

That’s not to say there aren’t any new features, however. The November update’s major additions include the fact that the File Explorer’s search bar can now search within your OneDrive account online, and voice assistants other than Cortana being able to run on the Windows 10 lock screen. The update also adds the ability for new calendar entries to be created directly from the task bar, and Microsoft is introducing new notification management options. A…

Continue reading…

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MLM Recruit On Demand Review (These Are Not Fresh Leads) 2019

MLM Recruit On Demand Review (These Are Not Fresh Leads) 2019 (The Complete Overview) (Earn Up To $1,000 Daily Profits)
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In this video MLM Recruit On Demand Review (These Are Not Fresh Leads) 2019 I talk about how reliable these mlm leads can be for any chance.
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As somebody who has actually remained in this market for several years, this system is genuinely exceptional!
These lead generation methods do work, and you can get instantaneous outcomes.
You can find out whatever from handing out totally free present card free gifts to utilizing cool kickback approaches to draw in the best individuals, for your main company.
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There is even a method to get sms phone leads with this program.
You will get 100 leads dripped down over about 4 to 5 days, and following the mlm scripts have 3 to 5 folks calling you every day.
If you have a digital marketing or affiliate marketing deal, you will discover great deals of worth, utilizing these marketing funnels and system.
Troy Your Marketing Guy 2019
Thanks for seeing this video MLM Recruit On Demand Review (These Are Not Fresh Leads) 2019.
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A day in the life of… Sam Gormley, founder of fintech specialist agency Osaka Labs

Gormley operated in the music market, finding Mercury Prize winning band, Alt-J, whilst dealing with Atlantic Records, prior to moving into monetary services when he identified the resemblances in between the markets in regards to their sluggish adoption of innovation.

We overtook Gormley to hear more.

.Please explain your task: What do you do?

Sam Gormley: I run a Content Activation Studio in Shoreditch that concentrates on fintech and monetary services. This suggests we make things, market it and make sure that we are continuously taking a look at information to enhance efficiency. Our objective is to get a terrific tech that allows a much better life into as lots of hands as possible.

.Locations do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?

Sam Gormley: CEO/Founder, so I report to customers however we remain and attempt as flat as possible so I’’d like to state I report to everybody else in the company in addition to the customers.

 sam gormley

.What type of abilities do you require to be efficient in your function?

Sam Gormley: Resilience is the most essential. You’’ ll have dreadful weeks and terrific days, however the primary focus is to think in what you’’ re doing and simply keep pressing forward, relates to of the internal voices or external criticisms.

.Inform us about a normal working day ….

Sam Gormley: Morning is getting everybody pumped about the day ahead, early afternoon is filled with a lot of coffees at conferences and the night is typically getting and wrapping up the day prepped for the day ahead.

.What do you like about your task? What draws?

Sam Gormley: Love: Working with incredibly gifted individuals who have extraordinary marketing and innovative abilities. It’’ s remarkable when they come together and fix an issue in such a way no one might have envisioned from the start. The customers are constantly stunned how these smart, diligent individuals have actually fixed a substantial quantity of issues and made it look quite too.

Hate: Accounts. I established a company to be innovative however then I require to do income tax return. I can’’ t think of life without an accounting professional.

.What sort of objectives do you have? What are the most beneficial metrics and KPIs for determining success?

Sam Gormley: Team spirits and levels of enjoyment require to be at the core of what we do. Fantastic work doesn’’ t originated from dull individuals, so that is a metric we hold spiritual.

Our objectives are easy, keep increasing the variety of tasks that bring real worth to the world. We would never ever deal with tasks that we didn’’ t think would contribute favorably, so our objective is to support the very best people/companies to do their finest work.

.What are your preferred tools to assist you to do the job?

Sam Gormley: Calculator. It sounds dull, however platforms typically offer you figures that put on’’ t provide you a truthful view of your efficiency, so faster ways to calculators to exercise what users are doing is the very best tool for online marketers. Aside from that, we like Sketch, it’’ s dev and designer software application that makes producing digital material a dream.

.How did you wind up founding Osaka Labs, and where might you go from here?

Sam Gormley: I started of aggravation that the only method to get imaginative concepts into monetary services was to employ huge innovative firms. These people are costly which limit development. I figured, we might do this with a lean service design which would permit versatile expenses, lower danger and an easier engagement design for mid-sized (££ 20- £ 150m turnover) customers.

.Which FS project/ experience has impressed you recently?

Sam Gormley: Monzo, constantly Monzo. They are a business we would be daunted to deal with. They are continuously knocking it out of the park by comprehending customers and establishing a mega strong cult following.

.Do you have any guidance for online marketers in FS?

Sam Gormley: Stop being so bloody boring. This is monetary services, perhaps the most essential market worldwide. Without FS, you put on’’ t have contemporary worth exchange. Drop the lingo, stop producing in internal silos and kick down a couple of doors. Fintech is turning the method we see FS and now is the time for online marketers to attempt something brand-new or be left.

The fintech transformation and its result on consumer experience in monetary services

The post A day in the life of… … Sam Gormley, creator of fintech professional firm Osaka Labs appeared initially on Econsultancy .

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Microsoft has put dedicated Office and emoji keys on its new keyboards

Microsoft’’ s brand-new Bluetooth Keyboard|Picture by Tom Warren/ The Verge

Microsoft’’ s newest keyboards now consist of committed Office and emoji secrets. The software application giant was formerly exploring with an Office secret on keyboards previously this year, and now the business is releasing a brand-new Ergonomic and slim Bluetooth Keyboard that consist of the devoted button. The Office essential changes the right-hand Windows secret, and it’’ s utilized to introduce the Office for Windows 10 app that serves as a center for Microsoft’’ s efficiency suite. You can likewise utilize the Office secret as a faster way to introduce Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. Workplace secret + W opens Word for instance, while Office secret + X opens Excel.

Alongside the Office secret, there’’ s likewise a brand-new emoji secret on these brand-new keyboards. It will introduce the emoji picker inside Windows 10, however you …

Continue reading …


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Windows 10 Your Phone app now lets Android users make calls, see battery status

The Microsoft Your Phone app.Microsoft

Microsoft’s Your Phone app is getting smarter by the day. The app allows you to connect your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC to access notifications, SMS, photos, and more. Samsung users can do even more with it as a result of the company’s partnership with Microsoft.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 comes with a Link to Windows 10 button (you can also use the Your Phone app alternatively) which enables users to interact with their phone’s screen on their Windows 10 PCs. This gives Galaxy Note 10 users access to all their Android apps and content on their Windows 10 devices.

Later this year, Note 10 users will also get the ability to receive and place phone calls through their Windows 10 PCs.

Editor’s Pick5 best apps like Snapchat for Android!
Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms. It does really well with the younger generation. In terms of sheer numbers, that’s the generation that most companies want to be a …

It now looks like Microsoft might be planning to extend these exclusive benefits to other Android phones as well. Twitter user Ajith recently posted a screenshot of the Your Phone app’s calling feature working in sync with a Realme 3 Pro smartphone.

Your Phone app with Calls & dialer support, I can confirm it is working.

— Ajith (@4j17h) September 7, 2019

The Windows 10 app in the screenshot shows the Calls and Phone Screen tabs in the menu. The words “in preview” are mentioned next to the Calls tab, indicating that this might be restricted to select users right now. There’s a dialler to immediately dial a number if you remember it by heart, but there’s also a way to search contacts and place a call.

Microsoft’s official Your Phone help page, however, does not currently list Phone Screen support for any other phone except for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. It also does not mention calling support for any Android smartphone. 

It’s possible that Microsoft is rolling out these features in batches or in preview builds. 

Next up, the Your Phone app is also gaining the ability to display the battery status of your Android phone on your Windows 10 device. Unlike the calling and screen sharing features, this one is a confirmed roll-out.

A Microsoft representative has tweeted that the battery indicator feature is now available on the Windows 10 Your Phone app. The feature is accessible to Windows Insiders as of now, but we expect a wider roll-out for all Windows 10 users soon.

#WindowsInsiders we have started rolling out a new feature: Battery indicator. Don’t worry about your phone dying when you don’t have it nearby, #YourPhone lets you check the battery status straight from your PC!

— Analy Otero Diaz (@AnalyMsft) September 9, 2019

A phone battery indicator on your PC could help in situations where you don’t know where your phone is and how much charge is left in it. A battery status icon is shown in the top right corner inside the hamburger menu on the Windows app. It also displays the remaining battery percentage of your Android phone.

If you haven’t tried out the Your Phone app, you can download it by clicking the button below.

Download Your Phone app for Android

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Zoho One Update Corrals Small Business Systems in One Place

 Zoho One Updates Try to Corral All Your Small Business Systems Together

Zoho has actually presented updates to its Zoho One os created to confine a range of essential small company functions under one digital roofing system. The modifications consist of a brand name brand-new app and 3 brand-new platform services streamlining interactions. Combination with 3rd party and custom-made Zoho apps is main.

It’’ s a combined relocation improving SMB operations from sales to fund, BI to marketing and even HR on one innovation platform.

Small Business Trends talked with Taylor Backman, Evangelist at Zoho, about the updates and what they indicate for small companies.

He began explaining among the primary thrusts behind the relocation.

““ Zoho One is equalizing software application for growing organisation,” ” he’stated. “ It ’ s making business grade tools readily available to everybody.””


Music to the small company owners’ ’ ears. These updates are another method IT is leveling the playing field.

He set the brand-new alter in this manner:

““ An os requires the sort of digital pipes that connects whatever together.””

.Zoho One Updates.

Three brand-new services assist to achieve this objective.


Connecting a small company phone system to all the applications you utilize can be a trouble. Generally, they require to be attached one by one due to the fact that the service from the phone suppliers can be siloed.

It can be a drain on the very thing that’’ s constantly in brief supply for a small company. Time.

The service is PhoneBridge provided in Zoho One.

““ This is a single gain access to point for the telephone and PBX systems,” ” Backman states. Here ’ s why small company owners require to focus.

You can make telephone call from Zoho apps. Call customers and have crucial info turn up in windows while you’’ re’speaking. There ’ s no requirement to toggle around.

““ The huge video game changer here is you can accept calls throughout all of these various applications.””


Get helpful information from Zoho CRM, Mail, Recruit and more than 20 other apps. All without remaining in the app particularly.

.Single Sign On.

This function is everything about bringing third-party applications in for usage in your Zoho account. Single Sign-On presently supports about 50 applications. It’’ s another method the updates are making your everyday operations more smooth.

Security isn’’ t an issue either. YubiKey authentication has actually been included on to the multifactor choices that are currently supported. It’’ s another method these upgrades pursue simpleness.

This permits you to check in to these 3rd party apps from one main area, Zoho One. A huge modification for the method you handle finalizing into apps. It’’ s another huge time saver.


“ This is a huge offer due to the fact that there are lots of applications that organisations actually like utilizing,” ” Backman states. “ Some truly like utilizing Microsoft. Others wouldn’’ t wish to leave G-Suite. We motivate that.””


With this Zoho upgrade they wear’’ t requirement to select in between them.

. Customized App Management and Provisioning.

This ““ digital pipes that connects whatever together,” ” goes even further. Zoho One currently supports over 45 business apps. Now they are including customized apps made through Zoho Creator and external ones through the Zoho Marketplace.

The brand-new Admin Panel enables small company owners to turn the info taps on as required to see activity and app use. Whether the apps are 3rd party or from Zoho.

.Orchestly App.

Zoho provides another nod to the small company owner who invests more time going after company than arranging through IT.

No coding abilities? No issue with this app that’’ s used as part of these updates. It’’ s simple to utilize with a drag and drop user interface. Orchestly covers important SMB functions like purchase approvals, material publishing and even onboarding among others.

Finally, Backman explains another benefit to simplifying your organisation with these updates.

““ Anytime you can streamline things you‘‘ re making them more safe. That’’ s since there ’ s less points for them to fail,” ” he states.

All the updates and Orchestly are totally free with Zoho One, which costs $30 per worker or $75 per users.

Images: Zoho

This short article, “ Zoho One Update Corrals Small Business Systems in One Place ” was very first released on Small Business Trends

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Psychonauts 2: Everything you need to know

The cult classic from Double Fine is back! Here’s what you need to know about Psychonauts 2.

The Game Awards may celebrate the incredible accomplishments of the industry every year, but its show in 2015 captured the attention of fans for a different reason, and it started with an unexpected trailer.

Because of the enthusiasm of Psychonauts’ fans, Double Fine Productions announced a sequel to the cult classic platformer. There was a slight catch though: the studio needed a little help from fans to make Psychonauts 2 a reality.

Crowdfunded success

Instead of taking the usual approach and crowdfunding the game through Kickstarter, Double Fine did something slightly different. The studio chose to create its own crowdfunding platform known as Fig, where a fan’s investment can earn them exclusive rewards and even shares from a game’s sales.

With the goal of raising $3.3 million to fund development, over 24,000 backers pledged towards the campaign to raise over $3.8 million in total a month after it was announced.

But even with this success, the game was far from being a reality.

Latest Psychonauts 2 news

While you’re patiently (or not so patiently?) waiting for Psychonauts 2’s eventual release, stay up to date with its latest information below.

June 9, 2019

Double Fine has been purchased by Microsoft and will be joining the Xbox Game Studios. In a YouTube video as well as a Twitter post, Double Fine promises that Psychonauts 2 will still release on all platforms including PS4 despite the company joining Microsoft.

E3 2019 — Double Fine held a panel at E3 for Psychonauts 2

Tim Schafer was joined by special guest, and voice actor for the game, Jack Black in a Psychonauts 2 panel at E3 2019 where they demoed the latest build of the game. This panel was part of the E3 Coliseum lineup hosted by Geoff Keighley.

May 22, 2019

Double Fine released another developer update video on YouTube, a series of videos which give us a quick glimpse into the development of Psychonauts 2 and behind-the-scenes footage of the team.

In this most recent dev update Double Fine introduced their newest design team member, Asif Siddiky. Here we get a behind the scenes look at Amnesia Fortnight 2017 where anybody could throw out ideas and Asif’s “The Gods Must Be Hungry” pitch. Followed by how he moved into the Psychonauts 2 as Amnesia Fortnight wrapped up.

The story so far

Following Razputin “Raz” Aquato, Psychonauts was set in a fictional government training facility under the guise of being the Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. Raz gets caught up with the Psychonauts, a group of characters that are gifted with psychic abilities like telekinesis among several others.

What unfolds is a tale that would make most go, “how do they even come up with this stuff?” Like a few classic cartoons, Psychonauts definitely has the vibe of being created under a drug-induced trip.

After learning of a plot to harvest the brains of other Psychonauts to create a psychic-powered army, Raz delves into his friends’ minds to free them of his enemy’s clutches. The end of the game sees the Psychonauts—Raz included—rushing off to save the leader of the Psychonauts, who has been kidnapped.

Last year, Double Fine released Psychonauts the Rhombus of Ruin, a virtual reality game developed for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. Rhombus of Ruin picks up where Psychonauts left off and follows Raz’s journey to save Grand Head of the Psychonauts Truman Zanotto.

Where Psychonauts 2 picks up

Psychonauts the Rhombus of Ruin was meant to act as a bridge between the first and second game’s narratives, but so far Double Fine has been pretty tight lipped about Psychonauts 2’s narrative, aside from a few tidbits of information.

Double Fine founder Tim Schafer held a Reddit AMA a couple of years ago where he noted that Raz would be heading to the Psychonauts’ headquarters, his lifelong dream. While there, however, he ends up finding “several things strange about the organization.”

“While Truman Zanotto was missing, several changes to the direction of the organization were made by his second in command,” said Schafer. “Funding was cut from traditional psychic research and peacekeeping, and redirected to unorthodox, fringe endeavors, including the discredited practice of necromancy. Raz soon uncovers sinister things at work in the shadows of Psychonauts headquarters, including double agents and evils of the past. Raz’s own family history plays a pivotal part in the story, and Raz must confront the roots of the curse placed on his family once and for all. And also deal with this whole “girlfriend” term and what it really means.”


Once again controlling Raz, players will use several of his new psi-powers to explore the minds of others and take on its 3D platforming challenges. We don’t know what its levels will contain yet, but rest assured they’ll likely be just as eccentric as those in the first.

A taste of the action

Dubbed the First Playable, the gameplay seen in the video above is an early look at what Psychonauts 2 will end up being. Commonly referred to as a “vertical slice,” this is an area created to fully test the game with all of its assets working together. These include art, animation, tech, design, cinematics, and more. This way the team can view a playable chunk of gameplay as intended in the final product, aside from any tweaks that will come along during the development process.

The First Playable isn’t meant as an advertisement for fans so much as it is for the development team themselves. Double Fine gets to view everything working harmoniously to see what needs to be adjusted as they continue to develop and iterate towards the end goal. This isn’t a polished build by any means.

But if you can’t take my word for it, take Double Fine’s: “This doesn’t mean that we now have a final area made to shippable quality, there’s still a lot of work to be done. It does however represent a fully playable area that has all the things a level of the game should have: elements like player movement, combat, quests, experience, UI all working together with scratch dialogue and audio, some rough visual effects, textures, lighting, even a cut-scene. This means we can iterate on these systems so they can be as good as possible for the final game.”


As for its art style, Psychonauts 2 is more of the same. It’s retaining the series’ aesthetic while modernizing its visuals for a release on current-gen platforms. You’re still getting the cartoony stylized graphics, they’ll just be sleeker at a higher resolution with better texture quality.

When can you play it?

Currently, Psychonauts 2 doesn’t have a firm release date other than sometime after this year, which is about as vague as you can get.

The only way to pre-order Psychonauts 2 so far has been through its Fig crowdfund. By pledging $39, you would get a digital copy of Psychonauts 2 on Windows, Mac, or Linux via Steam. For an extra $18 on top of that, you could have gotten a digital download for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. And if you wanted to shell out some more cash, you could choose higher tiers to receive extra rewards and content.

Unfortunately, since the Fig funding has ended with all the tiers sold out and Double Fine raising more than their target goal, there have been no other pre-order option so far. And, the newest target for release simply states 2020. We know it’s coming, if slowly.

Updated September 2019: Psychonauts 2 has been having a great show season with demos at E3 and PAX after the purchase by Microsoft.

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Daily Deal: The Mega Microsoft Office 2019 Course Bundle

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