Andreas Sandre

@andreas212nyc

2017 in review: 4 apps and platforms to watch in 2018

HQ Trivia, Nextdoor, Cheddar, and Spotify are my top picks. What are yours?

1. HQ TRIVIA

Everybody is talking about it. On New Year’s Eve alone, almost 1 million people tuned into HQ Trivia.

HQ Trivia, launched three months ago by Vine (RIP) co-founders Rus Yusupov and colin kroll, is a trivia game app, not much different from television game shows like the 50+ year old Jeopardy!. Except, it’s an iOS app — since December also available on Android.

“Since launching on iOS in October, HQ Trivia has rapidly taken off,” writes Mike Murphy, tech reporter at Quartz. “It’s now the fourth-most popular game on iOS in the US, and the 13th most popular US iOS app overall as of Jan. 1, according to app metrics firm App Annie.”

2. NEXTDOOR

Neighborhood social networking platform Nextdoor was all over the news in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.

“While Hurricane Harvey was one of the worst natural disasters that our country has ever experienced, it did shine a light on the profound value of a connected community,” writes Anne Dreshfield, now with carpooling platform Scoop. “More than 120 Houston agencies — and over 3,000 Houston neighborhoods — utilized Nextdoor as a lifeline to share crucial updates and coordinate rescues. By working together, Houstonians brought light to the darkest of times.”

Even Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, announcing a new partnership with Nextdoor, highlighted the role of the platform: “During Harvey, Nextdoor became a lifeline for many, and our agency departments relied on it to share critical information before, during, and after the storm.”

In December, Nextdoor raised about $75 million in a funding round, as reported by Katie Roof of TechCrunch, to “likely help the business expand to more communities.”

In June, CEO Nirav Tolia told TechCrunch that the Nextdoor platform was being used in 160,000 neighborhoods in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands — 145,000 of those in the US market — and was launching in Germany. In August, he told TechCrunch that he was aiming to reach 85% of US neighborhoods by the end of 2017 while eyeing international expansion in India, Japan, Brazil, and other key markets.

3. CHEDDAR

Cheddar is a live post-cable network focused on covering the most innovative products, technologies, and services transforming our lives.

Founded in 2016 by Jon Steinberg, formerly with BuzzFeed, Cheddar broadcasts from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and the Flatiron Building in New York.

In November, it launched in Europe through a partnership with France-based OTT service Molotov.

A few weeks later, the company named its first editor-in-chief, Jim Roberts, formerly with The New York Times, and the platform’s Cheddar Scoops lead reporter, Alex Heath, previously with Business Insider.

“You will soon see ‘first reported on Cheddar’ everywhere you look,” explains Steinberg. “I know the value of a substantive editorial capability, and Jim is the person to bring this to Cheddar and Cheddar Big News. He brings the perfect mix of traditional journalism knowledge and enormous passion and energy. Alex is simply the best scoopster in tech.”

4. SPOTIFY

What’s the future of Spotify?

The day after the Sweden-based company, one of the most popular music streaming services, was hit with $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit, Dan Primack of Axios reported that Spotify had “confidentially filed IPO documents with the SEC at the end of December.”

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