Now at Google, Facebook’s former teen-in-residence launches new social game Emojishot

Facebook’s former teen-in-residence Michael Sayman, now at Google, is back today with the launch of a new game: Emojishot, an emoji-based guessing game for iOS, built over the past 10 weeks within Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120. The game, which is basically a version of charades using emoji characters, is notable because of its creator. […]

Facebook’s former teen-in-residence Michael Sayman, now at Google, is back today with the launch of a new game: Emojishot, an emoji-based guessing game for iOS, built over the past 10 weeks within Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120.

The game, which is basically a version of charades using emoji characters, is notable because of its creator.

By age 17, Sayman had launched five apps and had become Facebook’s youngest-ever employee. Best known for his hit game 4 Snaps, the developer caught Mark Zuckerberg’s eye, earning him a demo spot onstage at Facebook’s F8 conference. While at Facebook, Sayman built Facebook’s teen app Lifestage — a Snapchat-like standalone project which allowed the company to explore new concepts around social networking aimed at a younger demographic.

Lifestage was shut down two years ago, and Sayman defected to Google shortly afterward. At Google, he was rumored to be heading up an internal social gaming effort called Arcade where gamers played using accounts tied to their phone numbers — not a social network account.

At the time, HQ Trivia was still a hot title, not a novelty from a struggling startup — and the new gaming effort looked liked Google’s response. However, Arcade has always been only an Area 120 project, we understand.

To be clear, that means it’s not an official Google effort — as an Area 120 project, it’s not associated with any of Google’s broader efforts in gaming, social or anything else. Area 120 apps and services are instead built by small teams that are personally interested in pursuing an idea. In the case of Emojishot, it was Sayman’s own passion project.

Emojishot itself is meant to be played with friends, who take turns using emoji to create a picture so friends can guess the word. For example, the game’s screenshots show the word “kraken,” which may be drawn using an octopus, boat and arrow emojis. The emojis are selected from a keyboard below and can be resized to create the picture. This resulting picture is called the “emojishot,” and also can be saved to your Camera Roll.

Players can pick from a variety of words that unlock and get increasingly difficult as you successfully progress through the game. The puzzles can also be shared with friends to get help with solving, and there’s a “nudge” feature to encourage a friend to return to the game and play.

According to the game’s website, the idea was to make a fun game that explored emojis as art and a form of communication.

Unfortunately, we were unable to test it just yet, as the service wasn’t up-and-running at the time of publication. (The game is just now rolling out, so it may not be fully functional until later today.)

While there are other “Emoji Charades” games on the App Store, the current leading title is aimed at playing with friends at a party on the living room TV, not on phones with friends.

Sayman officially announced Emojishot today, noting his efforts at Area 120 and how the game came about.

“For the last year, I’ve been working in Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental products. I’ve been exploring and rapidly prototyping a bunch of ideas, testing both internally and externally,” he says. “Ten weeks ago, we came up with the idea for an emoji-based guessing game. After a lot of testing and riffing on the idea, we’re excited that the first iteration — Emojishot — is now live on the iOS App Store…We’ve had a lot of fun with it and are excited to open it up to a wider audience,” Sayman added.

He notes that more improvements to the game will come over time, and offered to play with newcomers via his username “michael.”

The app is available to download from the U.S. iOS App Store here. An Android waitlist is here.

Sammy Singh

Graduate of UCLA and Wharton School of Business and Media Personality. World renowned global entrepreneur, venture capitalist, financial technology professional, tax specialist, marketing mogul, and more! Connect with me at: www.linkedin.com/in/cfo www.instagram.com/champagnegqpapi www.facebook.com/sammysinghcxo www.twitter.com/cxosynergy

Next Post

Boy Meets Juice WRLD

Wed May 22 , 2019
<div><hr><p>During my time with Juice, he is virtually inseparable from girlfriend Lotti. I constantly spot them sneaking off to smooch. Juice, in the middle of answering questions, reaches out his hand, tattooed with the phrase "I'm Sorry," for hers like he’s Jack bobbing in the sea, about to float away without her. The behavior fit nicely with the vision of Juice I’ve imagined in my head: someone who pulls from the extremes of his emotions, whether that’s cratering heartbreak or bloodthirsty infatuation (“If she leaves, I'ma kill her,” he raps at a particularly low point on “Fine China”). These are the sort of emotional poles Juice bounces between and often mines while making hit songs and albums.</p> <p>Early on in our interview, still on the top floor of Dover Street, Juice WRLD pulls out his phone; he wants to show me something. <em>Have I heard the leaked Imogen Heap song “A New Kind of Love”?</em> He presses play and starts singing along. “This song is so fire,” he says. Then he starts to reminisce.</p> <figure class="asset-embed"><span class="responsive-asset asset-embed__responsive-asset responsive-asset--invisible"><picture class="responsive-image asset-embed__responsive-asset"><noscript> <p><img alt="Boy Meets Juice WRLD" class="responsive-image__image" src="https://media.gq.com/photos/5cddbd83a203c1b72b6a031b/master/w_1600%2Cc_limit/GQ-JuiceWorld-May1619.jpg" srcset="https://media.gq.com/photos/5cddbd83a203c1b72b6a031b/master/w_1600%2Cc_limit/GQ-JuiceWorld-May1619.jpg 1600w, https://media.gq.com/photos/5cddbd83a203c1b72b6a031b/master/w_1280%2Cc_limit/GQ-JuiceWorld-May1619.jpg 1280w, https://media.gq.com/photos/5cddbd83a203c1b72b6a031b/master/w_1024%2Cc_limit/GQ-JuiceWorld-May1619.jpg 1024w, https://media.gq.com/photos/5cddbd83a203c1b72b6a031b/master/w_768%2Cc_limit/GQ-JuiceWorld-May1619.jpg 768w, https://media.gq.com/photos/5cddbd83a203c1b72b6a031b/master/w_640%2Cc_limit/GQ-JuiceWorld-May1619.jpg 640w" sizes="100vw"></p> </noscript></picture></span></figure><p>He and Lotti had started messaging on Instagram a year ago, after she’d slid into his DMs: “Good music,” Juice recalls. “Keep it up, kid.” Juice, a famous musician with a mega-hit under his belt, was reduced to a hard-crushing 19-year-old kid. A few months later, while on tour, he drives to Providence, Rhode Island to meet Lotti for the first time. It’s raining, because of course it’s raining, and on the drive to her hotel Juice puts on Imogen Heap’s “A New Kind of Love” and lets the butterflies flutter around in his stomach. They meet. It goes well, he thinks. “I was going to leave the hotel room, write her a note: ‘Did you like me?’ Yes or no, circle, and just slide that under the door,” he says. “If you like me, still be here when I get back upstairs. And if you don't, I'm sorry. You're pretty. Bye!”</p> <p>She didn’t leave. They spent the next four days together. Lotti was living in Memphis at the time. Owned a house there, actually, where she lived with her two dogs. She hasn’t been back since. Shortly after those four days, she moved out to L.A. with Juice. She had all her stuff, including her two pups, shipped out.</p> <p>“You guys think it's funny but it's how it happened,” she says while Juice playfully pokes at her stomach.</p> <p>That story—all his stories, his shopping, his rocket-like rise—means that I believe him when Juice says that this last year has taken on a dreamy surreal state. Like he could wake up at any minute back in his bedroom in Chicago without any of the hits, without the number-one album, the fame, and the fortune. And most crucially, in the kind of twist that would fit in a Juice WRLD song, without Lotti. “I would instantly start looking for her,” he says. He drafts a hypothetical message as back-to-the-future Juice: “Like, ‘Yo, you may not realize it now, but later on…’" It makes sense: you don’t make music this straightforwardly aching by focusing on becoming a star. You focus on the girl, the heartbreak, the does-she-<em>like</em>-<em>me</em>-like-me of it all. The hits are nice, but the heartbreak is the thing.</p></div>
%d bloggers like this: