Incubated at Twitter by Jack Dorsey, Bluesky Launching Beta

Bluesky, a decentralized platform conceived by Jack Dorsey while he was CEO of Twitter, has generated more than 30,000 waitlist signups as it prepares for a private beta launch of Bluesky Social. Bluesky’s main innovation is the Authenticated Transport (AT) Protocol, described as a networking technology “to power the next generation of social applications.” AT Protocol is an open standard designed to allow different social apps the ability to interoperate, giving users more control by letting them independently adjust algorithm settings or move profiles without losing data. Continue reading Incubated at Twitter by Jack Dorsey, Bluesky Launching Beta

Samsung Touts New Initiatives and Private Blockchain Security

At the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company introduced new initiatives tied to its latest smartphones, the Galaxy Watch 5 and other connected devices. Samsung also revealed plans for personalization enabled by its One UI 5, the updated user interface that will be made available later this month. Security and privacy were also on the agenda. The company announced it is developing a method to keep IoT smart devices secure by putting them on the blockchain. Samsung Knox Matrix will feature a private blockchain system to help protect Galaxy devices, TV sets and smart home appliances while securely sharing login credentials. Continue reading Samsung Touts New Initiatives and Private Blockchain Security

Microsoft Integrates DALL-E 2 into Designer and Creator Apps

Microsoft announced it is integrating OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 into its new Microsoft Designer app, as well as its Microsoft Edge browser and the Image Creator tool in its Bing search engine. Microsoft provides cloud computing services to OpenAI and has partnered with OpenAI in AI commercialization efforts including the Azure OpenAI Service, now in preview, and GitHub Copilot. The Designer web app can be used to create designs for posters, presentations, invitations and other graphics that can be printed and used for display or shared on social or business media. Continue reading Microsoft Integrates DALL-E 2 into Designer and Creator Apps

Adobe Elements Touts Consumer AI in Photoshop, Premiere

Adobe is taking artificial intelligence to the mass market in Photoshop Elements 2023 and Premiere Elements 2023. The new releases incorporate Adobe Sensei AI-powered features to enable intuitive, streamlined workflows and Step-by-step Guided Edits. The a la carte Elements line has been called “affordable” and “casual.” Adobe describes the overall package as “simple for users at any skill level,” leaving the door wide open for sophisticated features. Adobe says the smaller, lighter Elements 2023 packages offer improved speed and stability, installing 35 percent quicker, with a 50 percent baseline launch-time improvement.  Continue reading Adobe Elements Touts Consumer AI in Photoshop, Premiere

YouTube Tests Creator Music, Adds Shorts Partner Program

YouTube is beta testing Creator Music, a large catalog of songs creators can browse and purchase for use with their original longform content. YouTube announced the service at its Made on YouTube live event the same week its chief business officer Robert Kyncl was revealed as the incoming CEO of Warner Music Group, effective January 2023. “Creator Music is a new destination in YouTube Studio that gives YouTube creators easy access to an ever-growing catalog of music for use in their long-form videos,” YouTube said, explaining the service offers “affordable, high-quality music licenses.” YouTube also announced that Shorts creators can soon share ad revenue through the platform’s Partner Program. Continue reading YouTube Tests Creator Music, Adds Shorts Partner Program

OpenAI Expands DALL-E 2 Functionality with Facial Uploads

OpenAI has begun allowing users of its DALL-E 2 image-generating system to work with facial image uploads. The program previously allowed only computer-generated faces in an effort to prevent deepfakes and misuse, but OpenAI says improvements to its safety system succeeded in “minimizing the potential of harm” from things like explicit, political or violent content. OpenAI will continue to prohibit use of unauthorized photos and will seek to protect right of publicity, though it remains to be seen how effective that will be. In the past, customers have complained the company was overzealous in its policing. Continue reading OpenAI Expands DALL-E 2 Functionality with Facial Uploads

MoviePass Labor Day Reboot Has Waitlist and Tiered Pricing

MoviePass is opening a waitlist this week for customers that want to get onboard in time for the company’s Labor Day comeback. Subscription tiers are initially being offered at rates generally staggered from $10, $20 or $30 per month. The startup that had a spectacular rise and fall before being purchased out of bankruptcy by co-founder Stacy Spikes last November is now headed for its third act as Spikes relaunches the once-popular moviegoing service. Mark Wahlberg through Unrealistic Ideas, his non-fiction production unit, is developing a documentary on the MoviePass ascent and flameout. Continue reading MoviePass Labor Day Reboot Has Waitlist and Tiered Pricing

Legal Questions Loom as OpenAI Widens Access to DALL-E

OpenAI is expanding its beta outreach for DALL-E 2 by inviting an additional one million waitlisted people to join the AI imaging platform over the coming weeks. DALL-E users will receive 50 credits during their first month of use and 15 credits every subsequent month, with each credit redeemable for an original DALL-E-prompted generation (returning four images) or an edit or variation prompt (which returns three images). Additional credits may be purchased in 115-generation increments for $15. Starting this month, users get rights to commercialize their DALL-E images. However, the move highlights the legal implications of AI and possible copyright infringement. Continue reading Legal Questions Loom as OpenAI Widens Access to DALL-E

Google Launches New Advertising Tools and Creative Studio

Google is adding a host of new advertising features. The Alphabet-owned company has introduced an asset library that makes it easier to organize and access assets across multiple teams and campaigns, as well as a new video creation tool designed to make it simple for anyone to be able to create YouTube-worthy ads. In addition, the company announced that the Google Ads Creative Studio tool for churning out original ads at scale is out of beta and generally available to all advertisers. The company also debuted a new text-to-voice-over feature. Continue reading Google Launches New Advertising Tools and Creative Studio

Twitch Users Can Soon Ask Guests to Join Their Live Stream

Twitch is rolling out a new feature called Guest Star that allows users to invite up to five guests to join their live stream. Guest Star will at first deploy to a small group and expand to all users by the end of the year. Anyone with a Twitch account will be able to join a stream from their desktop or mobile app. Previously, those who wanted to have guests join a stream had to do it through a third-party platform like Discord. Creators using Guest Star will be able to host their guests directly within Twitch Studio or Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Continue reading Twitch Users Can Soon Ask Guests to Join Their Live Stream

TikTok Rolls Out a Subscription Tier for the App’s Live Feature

TikTok is looking to take on Amazon’s Twitch, launching a subscription tier on TikTok Live that offers fans special access to content from their favorite creators for a monthly fee. Currently in beta, access to the new program is at the moment by invitation only, though the company says it will be rolling it out more broadly in the coming weeks. The Live Subscription monetization program is designed to let people “show their appreciation for their favorite Live creators,” TikTok says. Participants will get profile badges, custom emotes and private chat. Continue reading TikTok Rolls Out a Subscription Tier for the App’s Live Feature

TikTok Launches Effect House for User-Generated AR Filters

TikTok has officially gone live with Effect House, the augmented reality tool that allows users to create AR filters and share them with the community. The ByteDance company has been testing the feature since last summer. Since then, at least 450 creators have used Effect House to create more than 1.5 billion videos that generated over 600 billion global views, according to TikTok. “Whether you’re teleporting into new worlds with Green Screen or freeze-framing with Time Warp Scan,” Effect House empowers expression “through a wide array of engaging and immersive formats.” Continue reading TikTok Launches Effect House for User-Generated AR Filters

New Plex Features Help Viewers Navigate Streaming Services

Further to its goal of becoming a sort of Google-with-benefits for viewers who stream TV shows and movies across multiple platforms, Plex is reformatting its welcome screen to include a discover feature, universal search and universal watchlists. Rolling out in beta, the new Plex interface offers what amounts to personalized search-and-save “across virtually any streaming service,” from Plex’s own free movies and television series to subscription services like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max. “As of today, Plex searches, personalizes, and organizes all of your content, no matter where that content lives,” the company announced. Continue reading New Plex Features Help Viewers Navigate Streaming Services

Google Service Helps Creators Build Personalized Storefronts

Google’s in-house incubator Area 120 recently introduced Qaya, a new service that helps creators build their own digital storefronts. Qaya, which was co-created by Area 120 founder-in-residence Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey, is designed to help creators monetize their products and services by offering them directly to fans via personalized storefronts that can be integrated with Google Search and Google Shopping. Currently in beta, the Qaya-powered storefronts can host up to 1,000 products each. Google Pay is built into the service, with support for subscriptions, tipping and one-time payments. Qaya also offers sales analytics. Continue reading Google Service Helps Creators Build Personalized Storefronts

Meta Bumps ‘Horizon Worlds’ Out of Beta in U.S. and Canada

Meta Platforms last week threw open the doors to its “Horizon Worlds” virtual reality, online video platform. The collaborative environment has been in private beta since 2019 and had required an invitation to join. Now adults in the U.S. and Canada can download the free “Horizon Worlds” app and experience CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse, as long as they have a Meta Quest 2 and a Facebook account. The playground lets users build things and virtually hang out with as many as 20 people in an environment that feels like being dropped into the OASIS of “Ready Player One.” Continue reading Meta Bumps ‘Horizon Worlds’ Out of Beta in U.S. and Canada