The fruitlab Times - A Completely New App!
NEW APP RELEASE!
Yes, that’s right, out of nowhere we have dropped a brand new fruitlab app on you. No prolonged teasing in Juice, no projected release dates of 2023, just a brand-new app for you right here, right now!
Given its significance we have decided to skip all the way to fruitlab v4.0 today – because let’s face it, this is a big one!
So, what does the new app do differently we hear you ask? Simple really, it is better at everything! There are multiple visual changes, multiple new features and multiple upgrades under the hood that will give everyone significantly more rapid access to content, PIPs and XP.
If you update your app from the App Store or Play Store you will see straight away that the all-new app has instantly playing videos and new types of content that you can upload. We are really looking forward to seeing what you post!
So, here we go... a step-by-step guide to the new fruitlab app:
The all-new content feed
As you can see and hear, videos now play automatically in the app feed, giving you direct access to video content. The default setting is for the sound to be muted, by clicking the unmute icon you can switch the sound on.
There are 4 types of content that you can upload in the new app with an all-new upload function; videos (videos are videos as before), photos (photos are photos as before), fruitlab Slices (new portrait mobile phone videos of up to 30 seconds, explained below) and there are now fruitlab Facts (new 250-character statements, explained below).
The video editor remains on the photo uploads but has been removed from the video uploads as the tech was not compatible with the new feed.
Different aspect ratio videos can now be selected on upload, landscape will appear as landscape and portrait will appear as portrait and you have an option to display your video as square, which is bigger than landscape visually in the feed, but which will crop the edges a little, but that is up to you!
The feed now adjusts dynamically according to the aspect ratio of the content posted. If you post a landscape video, the feed fits around it rather than leaving blank space. Also, by rotating your phone after selecting a landscape video it will automatically enter full screen mode.
When you are playing a video after selecting it you will be automatically guided to the next video with the same aspect ratio. When you are watching Slices the video will loop on itself and you swipe to go to the next video. Slices are listed in chronological order, most recent first.
Note: there is a neat shortcut to Slices videos, just press the fruitlab icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen and you will jump to the Slices feed!
On upload in the app, you can now select from your camera or from your library. Selecting camera means that you can post a video directly from a live recording. Library is, well, you know, your saved videos.
Videos will for now have a new maximum length of 1 hour. We will review this again as this 1 hr cap is part of the video optimisation work that is ongoing.
Just to recap on the changes from a couple of weeks’ ago, we are now using # for the categorisation of videos, there is no video type required. All types of content are searchable from the # that you add to them.
Changes to PIP earnings and XP: Big change!
Please make a note of these changes as we have changed the way the platform works for both content creators and viewers.
All videos over 15 seconds will now earn PIPs for the content creator and XP for the viewer once they have been watched for a minimum of 3 seconds. This is the same on web and on app. This is a major change and will give everyone access to PIPs and XP instantly in the app. We have changed the parameters so that Slices videos can earn you PIPs.
There are no pre-roll adverts in the app – videos play immediately.
The next big change is that every person can create PIPs for the content creator and XP for themselves on each video ONCE per day. So, to be clear, if you watch a video over and over, the view counter will continue to increase but PIPs and XP will only be generated on your first view of that video that day.
On web the pre-roll video remains in place, unchanged.
fruitlab Slices! Major new feature!
One of the major new features launched is the introduction of a new style of full screen short videos in the app called fruitlab Slices.
Slices are videos that are portrait in shape (ie mobile phone dimension) that are up to 30 seconds in length.
Slices have their own icon – an old-school film reel – and earn PIPs if they are over 15 seconds in length.
You can scroll through Slices by swiping up and down on the screen when in the Slices feed (which can be accessed by clicking on a Slices video from the main feed as shown by having the old-school style film reel or pressing the fruitlab icon, as mentioned above)
As you can now upload directly from your camera you can now upload a Slices video directly from your phone, live.
Each week we will be awarding a prize for the best Slice of the week: it could be a tour of your new gaming setup, your dog getting stuck in the washing machine or the best beat box cover of Celine Dion, we know how creative everyone is, so had better not try and guess what is coming! This will be a one-off unique weekly fruitlab T-shirt and will be announced during our fruitlab Awards on Friday.
Let’s talk facts, fruitlab Facts
Next on the list is the introduction of fruitlab Facts. What on earth is a fruitlab Fact you may ask? Well, it is quite straight forward really, a fruitlab Fact is a statement that you can make, which all your Followers will see. And here is a fact for you, despite the name, they don’t have to be facts, in fact, facts are just one use of fruitlab Facts. In addition to facts, feel free to add musings, quotes, ramblings or just spread counter facts – it is totally up to you!
Each fruitlab Fact is assigned a unique number, each unique number being sequential, ie fruitlab Fact 17, 18, 19 etc for all users. So, @DavideLee may post fruitlab Fact 20 and @Wood_Pigeon might post the next fruitlab Fact, so that would be fruitlab Fact 21 and so on.
Each fruitlab Fact has a maximum of 250 characters and is set in a standard template which is added to the content feed for your Followers to see. You can input whatever text you like.
Each Friday there will be an Award for the best fruitlab Fact as judged by Team fruitlab, so let’s see your inner Confucius in full flow!
We have now made it even easier to challenge each other to a Head-to-Head game in the Arcade. You can now challenge a player directly from their posts and their homepage.
So, as you are scrolling through your feed, press the challenge button on any post and create your challenge!
Now there is no excuse not to settle once and for all who is the king of Brick drop amongst your friends!
PIP button with instant PIPs in the app
You will notice that the PIP button is now in the app and it is not just there for information but to give you more ads from which you will receive instant PIPs!
Please note, that if there is no advert available for you, the button will not be highlighted. Just try coming back a bit later.
There is now a 1-minute delay between each of the XP and PIP advert buttons to resolve any issues that people were having with advert not loading.
User homepage background photo image
In the app you can now upload a photo image as the background to your homepage.
The icon to do this is the standard picture icon in the top right of the screen on your homepage.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone customise their homepages!
Changes to the Web aspect ratios
In order to accommodate different sizes and shapes of videos (and photos in the future) the web video page has been redesigned to be what is called ‘masonry’ – meaning that different aspect ratio videos are displayed differently. When they are played, they play in the same video player. This is the beginning of an ongoing improvement to what and how we display content on the web.
Uploading limits increased to 20
We have decided that we were running things a bit too tightly, so we have loosened our belts on the upload limits!
The number of videos that you can upload per day is 20
The number of Slices that you can upload per day is 20
The number of photos that you can upload per day is 20
The number of fruitlab Facts that you can post per day is, you guessed it, 20!
Icon makeover on app and web
We have redesigned several of the icons on the platform and made them consistent across web and mobile app to make navigation easier.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice we have made the share button much more obvious to remind you that you can share links to your content with your friends, this helps your content get more views!
New video rating system
We have taken this opportunity to revise the video rating system. Out goes the red, yellow and green faces and in comes a smiley face and a sad face (poor old ‘meh’ face was not invited to the party!). You can now change your rating a couple of times, if you change your mind about how good that 30 second Candy Crush video really was……
You will notice that the number of smiley faces and sad faces is now disclosed. The old meh (yellow) faces have been included in the smiley (green) face total as a bit of a freebie!
Since its relaunch back in March, Arcade has proven to be a massive hit. You can’t seem to get enough of being driven to the edge of despair in Sheepop or inevitably losing against @Verified in Bubble Wipeout.
Over this period, we have been watching and listening to your feedback and have been constantly improving the user experience by making things easier to navigate as well as adding the option to Re-challenge. Important when you need to avenge a recent defeat!
We are working through more of your feedback at the moment and will be focusing on Arcade for the launch of fruitlab v4.1, but more of that in a few weeks’ time!
Today we have made a few visual changes and have brought the list of Arcade Heroes to the app, in a similar way in which we have them on the web.
Note: the cap on Challenges is now; maximum PIPs 500,000, opponent PIPs to Challenger PIPs ratio of 10:1 if Challenger PIPs are greater than Opponent PIPs and 2:1 if Opponent PIPs are greater than Challenger PIPs. The maximum number of Challenges that can be created in a day is now 200(!).
New Arcade Player Rank: Arcade Marshals
Arcade Marshal rank: this new rank identified by the Arcade mint green around their user profile has been created so that we can empower a few of our users to help run Arcade. They are the Mod equivalent of Arcade, and their primary job is to ensure that there are always challenges to play, help with any issues and feedback to the team how things can be improved.
Our first Arcade Marshalls are @ZingierZero829 and @DavideLee. Please drop them a direct message and thank them for their contribution to running Arcade.
Upgrade to Notifications
We have made some improvements to the Notifications system. In addition to changing the notifications icon to a shiny new bell, we have added controls to allow you to toggle each type of notification on and off including now being able to turn Arcade notifications off. We brought this to you a few days ago but it has not been included in any release notes, so we have dropped it in here for completeness.
Ok, last, but by no means least, we are saying goodbye to our dear old friend the “GG” in comments. GG, gg, ggs, GGs and GGS have been removed, deleted, burned, vapourised, incinerated, destroyed and we will be holding a small funeral for them in this week’s Friday Awards. Please join us in passing on our regards.
If people type these in as a comment from today, then so be it, but the content creator’s comments will not increase, and the GG comment will not be visible anymore. Poor old GG…we will really will not miss you!
V4.0 in summary
We are super excited by the release of the new fruitlab app. Our vision when designing it was to help you promote your content and watch more content more easily. We also wanted to make it easier to earn XP and for content creators to earn PIPs. In addition, we were focused on bringing new types of exciting content and on improving navigation and, in particular, the ease of access to Challenges.
We cannot wait to see what types of content you come up with for fruitlab Slices but judging by past experience it will be no doubt range from the funny to the downright hilarious!
fruitlab Facts is an entirely new concept, nothing like it exists. It will be interesting to see what kind of Facts are posted – heaven only knows where you will take this, but it’s going to be fun finding out!
As always, please give us your feedback in Juice and let us know what you think. As this is a major update there might be one or two teething issues, we hope we have ironed them all out but if you spot any bugs, please do fire them over to one of the team – we would be enormously grateful!