AT&T Rolls Out Its Ad-Buying Service for Premium Content

AT&T’s ad unit Xandr has launched its ad-buying platform that offers exclusive access to AT&T’s customer data and assists companies in purchasing ad space across formats including mobile and streaming video. The platform, called Xandr Invest, will let advertisers buy ads on AT&T properties such as CNN, TBS and TNT, and will serve as the only ad-buying platform for Xandr’s Community marketplace that also features curated content from publishers such as Philo, Tubi and Vice. AT&T will compete in advertising with Google and Facebook, which combined represented almost 60 percent of the Internet ad market last year, according to PwC. Continue reading AT&T Rolls Out Its Ad-Buying Service for Premium Content

Facebook Teams with Viasat to Offer Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspots

In Facebook’s latest effort to bring Internet access to rural communities and less developed areas, the social giant is teaming with Carlsbad, California-based Viasat to deliver high-speed satellite-powered Wi-Fi hotspots. Starting in remote regions of Mexico, the two companies are eyeing a potential global project for the future. Last April, Viasat and local partner Prosperist introduced the “Community” Wi-Fi hotspot service in Mexico, which recently became available to more than one million citizens. Community uses the ViaSat-2 satellite system, which the company describes as the highest-capacity satellites currently in orbit. Continue reading Facebook Teams with Viasat to Offer Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspots

Why This Reviewer Hails Mastodon as a Refuge From Twitter

For people who may be growing tired of Twitter, there is Mastodon, an open-source community-run microblogging website that first appeared in 2017. The social media platform lets users post “toots” and “boost” other users’ posts. The decentralized network exists as numerous “instances,” each of which has its own rules and administrators and which together form a “federation.” There is no central server, so if one “instance” stumbles in some way (for example, forgets to pay for the Internet), none of the other instances are harmed. Continue reading Why This Reviewer Hails Mastodon as a Refuge From Twitter

YouTube Ups its Social Profile with the Debut of Reels Feature

YouTube has debuted Reels, a video feature similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Users will find Reels on a new tab in creators’ channels and will be able to adorn videos with filters, text and stickers. Unlike Snapchat and Instagram Stories, a single creator can make many Reels on different topics and the videos will not disappear after 24 hours. With Reels, Google hopes to make YouTube a more social environment and keep users glued to the platform. Google reportedly bid $30 billion to buy Snap last year. Continue reading YouTube Ups its Social Profile with the Debut of Reels Feature

YouTube Seeks Volunteers to Moderate Site for Perks, Access

In an effort to become more of a social media platform, YouTube launched YouTube Community in mid-September to allow video creators to run a social network on their channel’s page. On the “Community” tab on Channel pages, video creators can share content, including text, GIFs and images with their fans. Community has been in public beta (with some YouTube celebrity creators), but hasn’t yet rolled out. Now, YouTube is asking volunteers to moderate content in exchange for perks such as access to workshops and products. Continue reading YouTube Seeks Volunteers to Moderate Site for Perks, Access

Second Life Creators to Launch Virtual Reality Project Sansar

For 13 years, San Francisco-based Linden Lab has been presiding over Second Life. Now, the company is about to create a virtual reality network, dubbed Project Sansar, to provide an environment for individuals and businesses to experiment in VR. Sansar has been constructed to be incredibly scalable and immense, which could be either exciting or daunting to potential users. Linden Lab hopes it’s the former, and that people will use Sansar to build innovative VR worlds for problem-solving and social interaction. Continue reading Second Life Creators to Launch Virtual Reality Project Sansar

In Strategy Reversal, Yahoo Shutters its Online Video Portal

Yahoo has shut down Yahoo Screen, the company’s four-year-old video portal that had been a major component of chief exec Marissa Mayer’s turnaround strategy. Yahoo took a $42 million write-off on original video content in October, and while Yahoo Screen had yet to compete with video giant YouTube, comScore notes that the portal had about 15 million U.S. visitors in November. The portal had provided easy access to Yahoo’s video content — from digital magazines, concerts and football games to licensed reruns of “Saturday Night Live” and original series such as “Community.” Continue reading In Strategy Reversal, Yahoo Shutters its Online Video Portal

NBCUniversal to Launch Ad-Free Streaming Comedy Channel

Comcast’s NBCUniversal plans to debut a Web-only subscription video service in January called Seeso that will offer comedic fare such as standup specials, original series, select movies, and NBC classics like “The Office” and “30 Rock” along with late-night hits including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” The ad-free channel, which will cost $3.99 per month, will offer more than 20 exclusive original series during its first year. NBCU said it does not have plans to remove its content from other digital services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. Continue reading NBCUniversal to Launch Ad-Free Streaming Comedy Channel

TVShow Time Update Revamps App’s Community Interactions

French startup TVShow Time released a 5.0 update to its app that offers a more social experience for its 500,000 monthly users. New features permit users to track how many new episodes they have watched, send messages and show recommendations to friends, and view show ratings. The app has a newly designed interface and layout that makes content more accessible than before. Previously, TVShow Time used a simple calendar format that allowed users to keep track of their favorite TV shows. Continue reading TVShow Time Update Revamps App’s Community Interactions

SXSW Tackles Future of Television with Panels and Premieres

As part of its “Future of TV” series, the South by Southwest Festival is hosting a number of panels featuring filmmakers who recently produced content for online media. Morgan Spurlock is promoting a new show he created for AOL, and Dan Harmon will discuss “Community” and its move to Yahoo, while CNN and Hulu execs will tackle the evolving landscape of traditional TV and Internet video. Tech companies are investing in more original content while the shift in live TV is forcing media giants to offer more of their content online. Continue reading SXSW Tackles Future of Television with Panels and Premieres

Reddit to Thank Active Community Members with Equity Share

Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet,” wants to give something back to its millions of active contributors. In a blog post Friday, Reddit announced its plans to distribute 10 percent of its equity in the form of ‘reddit notes’ to approximately 950,000 users in the fall of 2015. The ‘currency’ can be used to tip, donate, or trade on the Reddit site, although specifics are still being worked out. Reddit plans to use a random lottery for distributing reddit notes to active user accounts. Continue reading Reddit to Thank Active Community Members with Equity Share

Reddit Introduces Crowdfunding Service Called Redditmade

Redditmade, unveiled Wednesday, helps users raise money to create and sell customized products. The crowdfunding service gives users 30 days after creating an item to raise the money and send the product out. Reddit will then take a cut of the campaign for platform costs. While Redditmade is similar to Kickstarter, it focuses on physical goods rather than ideas. It then encourages users to donate revenue from successful campaigns to charities and causes. Reddit also plans to give a percentage to charity. Continue reading Reddit Introduces Crowdfunding Service Called Redditmade

Producer Pitches a TV Series Based on Quora Q&A Response

Quora, the community-powered question-and-answer site, is becoming one of the latest online spaces for Hollywood to find ideas. Emmy Award-winning producer Josh C. Kline optioned an idea on Quora, in which a dystopian U.S. spirals into a second Civil War. Kline is in the process of pitching a TV show inspired by the Quora response, written by retired U.S. Marine Sergeant Jon Davis. The Quora company has no plans to profit from any talent discovery on its site. Continue reading Producer Pitches a TV Series Based on Quora Q&A Response

Snapchat Adds ‘Our Campus Story’ Exclusively for Colleges

Snapchat’s popular “Our Story” montages from live events around the world are so popular that the company is adding a similar feature to share students’ college experiences. The “Our Campus Story” feature only allows people on campus to post and view the communal story. Like with “Our Story,” Snapchat will still approve all of the posts before they get added to the mix. The new feature launched last week at UCLA, the University of Southern California, Penn State, and UT Austin. Continue reading Snapchat Adds ‘Our Campus Story’ Exclusively for Colleges

Google’s Ingress Game Combines Virtual and Real World Play

“Ingress,” a multiplayer game that uses the entire globe as its game board, made its debut on iOS this week. Now, iPhone users can join in the fun of working with other online gamers to find real life portals in their community and progress through the “Risk”-like game. “Ingress” already has about four million downloads on Android devices in about 200 countries. Google has also taken advantage of advertising opportunities, allowing businesses to pay to become a portal. Continue reading Google’s Ingress Game Combines Virtual and Real World Play

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