June 24, 2014 Last Updated 8:28 am

Media app updates: Twitter adds animated GIFs viewable in timeline; Journal Register apps Rumble-ized

New direction for Digital First Media apps cuts out editors and lets feeds drive the news content, even if that means leading with news not relevant to local markets

Twitter, which updates its mobile apps twice a month, issued another update to its iOS apps, adding the ability to upload animated GIFs. The update brings the Twitter app up to version 6.8.

Twitter-iPadThe introduction of GIFs in Twitter timelines may proven more popular than the services Vine videos, which have failed to catch on with users as much as the company would have liked. Creating the six second looping videos is still a challenge as many smartphone users tend to just take photographs rather than videos. For many, creating an animated GIF is still the preferred way to simulate a short video.

On Monday the head of the Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, asked Twitter to block dozens of accounts, threatening to cut off the social media service unless Twitter complied with the request. Twitter spokesman, Nu Wexler, confirmed Monday’s meeting, but said it had not agreed to block any further accounts in Russia. Earlier Twitter had agreed to block the account of a far-right Ukrainian nationalist group.

As expected, the Journal Register newspapers have begun transitioning their mobile apps from Spreed to Rumble, another third party vendor (see post on the move by MediaNews Group, another part of Digital First Media).

NewHaven-iPadAmong the Journal Register apps updated are State Journal-Register, New Haven Register for iPad and The Morning Journal for iPad. Each app is identical to each other, with the newspaper’s flag hidden in the menu tab.

Digital First Media and Rumble announced their partnership in March, though only now are their mobile apps being updated. Like the previous mobile apps, the Rumble apps work off of news feeds, and as such, are uncurated news streams that often lead to minor, or even embarrassingly minor news stories becoming the lead story in the app.

The lead story, for instance, of the New Haven Register online is of a local youth who lost their ability to speak and their motor skills, but has managed to graduate from high school.

The lead story in the new Rumble app, however, is an AP story about a shooting in Miami, Florida.

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