Google to Divide its Index, Enabling Improved Mobile Searches

During a keynote address at Pubcon in Las Vegas last week, Google’s Gary Illyes explained that the company is planning to create a separate mobile index soon that will serve as the primary index the engine uses for responding to search queries. There will also be a separate, less up-to-date desktop index maintained. The plan was first announced at last year’s SMX East. “It’s unclear exactly how the mobile index will work,” reports Search Engine Land. “For example, since the mobile index is the ‘primary’ index, will it really not be used for any desktop queries? Will it only contain ‘mobile-friendly’ content? How out-of-date will the desktop index be?” Continue reading Google to Divide its Index, Enabling Improved Mobile Searches

Facebook Allows You to Watch News Feed Videos on Your TV

Facebook has launched a new iOS feature (coming soon to Android) that enables users to cast News Feed videos to TV sets for stream through AirPlay devices, Apple TV, Google’s Chromecast and Google Cast devices. “The move could help Facebook generate more video ad revenue, and increase usage time by giving people the richest possible viewing experience while at home,” suggests TechCrunch. Users can continue to scroll through the Facebook feed as the video streams, allowing the social platform to serve as both first and second screen. Periscope is taking a different tack to do the same “by allowing professional content broadcasts to be piped into Periscope and Twitter via its new Producer feature.” Continue reading Facebook Allows You to Watch News Feed Videos on Your TV

Facebook and Unity Team to Build Desktop Gaming Platform

Facebook is working with game engine Unity to build a dedicated, downloadable desktop gaming platform. The new platform will not require the intensive coding of Facebook’s previous SDK, making it easier for game publishers to offer iOS and Android games on the desktop. Developers now have until August 31 to get “instant access” to an alpha version of Unity 5.4 needed to build and export games to Facebook’s Web and desktop app. Facebook’s move is seen as an attempt to regain gaming revenues lost to the mobile platform. Continue reading Facebook and Unity Team to Build Desktop Gaming Platform

Fast, No-Frills Video Chat App Google Duo Launches Today

Google Duo is a new video chat app that just debuted specifically for mobile. The Verge describes the FaceTime competitor as “fast, easy to use, and devoid of complicated bells and whistles. You tap on the face of the person you want to call, they answer, and you have a one-on-one video chat going.” The single-minded approach is meant to be simple — including the setup process that merely involves a sign-up and confirmation — and “no accounts to create nor friend lists to maintain.” Duo is simply tied to your phone number and contact lists, and is available for both Android and iOS. It does not enable conference calls or desktop calls. Continue reading Fast, No-Frills Video Chat App Google Duo Launches Today

Ad-Free Facebook is Still Possible, According to Adblock Plus

Yesterday we reported that Facebook is now able to block all ad blockers on its desktop website, sparking a discussion about the ethics of ad blocking. Popular ad-blocking software, Adblock Plus, has since posted instructions online for users to adjust their ad-blocking software by updating their filter lists so they can block Facebook ads again. Meanwhile, Facebook was quick to respond, expressing disappointment that Adblock’s workaround also removes posts from friends and Pages, in addition to ads. Facebook is reportedly rolling out a code update that will counter Adblock’s workaround. Continue reading Ad-Free Facebook is Still Possible, According to Adblock Plus

Facebook Risks Alienating its Users by Blocking Ad Blockers

Facebook is now able to block all ad blockers on its desktop website, enabling advertising to run unimpeded. The move has ignited a firestorm of discussion about the ethics of ad blocking: digital ads are irritating, but they also underpin the business model of the very digital publishers who provide content. Publishers as established as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are struggling with eroding ad sales. Wired, Forbes and NYT have also tried out techniques to counter ad blocking. Continue reading Facebook Risks Alienating its Users by Blocking Ad Blockers

LinkedIn Adds In-Stream Video, Initially From 500 Influencers

The 433-million member LinkedIn, which Microsoft is in the process of acquiring for $26 billion, is moving into video. The company has chosen 500 LinkedIn “Influencers” — people with large followings who regularly post to the site — who will create 30-second (or less) videos with a LinkedIn-created app Record. The videos will be each Influencer’s response to general questions relating to LinkedIn’s mission of professional development, such as leadership challenges or technology trends. Continue reading LinkedIn Adds In-Stream Video, Initially From 500 Influencers

Twitter Plans to Live-Stream Political Conventions This Month

Twitter announced that it is partnering with CBS News to live-stream the upcoming Democratic and Republican National Conventions. In the company’s latest step toward ramping up its live news and entertainment broadcasting, Twitter will make convention videos available on its desktop and mobile apps via a live feed from the CBSN digital streaming news service. The social platform will also provide a stream of related tweets for real-time commentary. Live events, including the Academy Awards and Grammys, have been popular for online conversations across Twitter. Continue reading Twitter Plans to Live-Stream Political Conventions This Month

Nielsen to Face Stiff Competition From comScore and Rentrak

Nielsen has served as the leading name in measuring TV ratings, but now the 93-year old company faces new competition. That’s because media measurement companies comScore and Rentrak have merged in a $768 million deal. ComScore, founded in 1999, specializes in measuring use of digital media, and Rentrak relies on data from set-top boxes to formulate TV ratings. Nielsen has launched new products in an attempt to evolve beyond its paper diary beginnings, but numerous critics in the TV industry are eager for an alternative. Continue reading Nielsen to Face Stiff Competition From comScore and Rentrak

Brave Browser Aims to Reinvent Online Advertising Paradigm

Brendan Eich created JavaScript, the world’s most widely used programming language and co-founded Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox browser that has become one of the most popular ways to navigate the Web. Now he’s back with Brave Software, a startup developing an open source browser for desktop and mobile that carves a middle path between excessive online advertising and antagonistic ad blockers. In his paradigm, advertisers, browser companies, websites and users stand to win. Continue reading Brave Browser Aims to Reinvent Online Advertising Paradigm

SeatGeek Turns Reselling Tickets Into a Mobile Experience

SeatGeek, a ticket aggregator that allows people to compare listings for concerts and sports tickets, has revamped its app and shifted its business toward resale. Their mobile app now lets people transfer tickets to their friends for free. SeatGeek takes a 15 percent cut when users list and sell their tickets. Users can both buy and transfer tickets on SeatGeek’s mobile app, unlike competitors StubHub and LiveNation, which do not offer transferring services on mobile. Continue reading SeatGeek Turns Reselling Tickets Into a Mobile Experience

Facebook Users Can Search Top-Ranked Local Businesses

Amazon and Google have recently made efforts to connect Internet users with home and local service providers, taking on companies such as Angie’s List and Yelp in the process. Now, Facebook is testing its own feature that directs social media users to the top-reviewed service providers in their area. The new site is only available on desktop, but Facebook offers the ability to find local businesses on mobile via “Nearby Places.” In addition to home services, Facebook’s feature highlights restaurants, bars, nightclubs and travel-related businesses such as hotels, sightseeing and tours. Continue reading Facebook Users Can Search Top-Ranked Local Businesses

Google Introduces Star Wars-Themed Customization for Its Apps

Google just debuted a tool that allows users to customize their Google apps with graphics related to “Star Wars,” in anticipation of the December 18 release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The user chooses the dark side or light side, and Google then redecorates Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Search and Android Wear with lightsabers, TIE fighters and other “Star Wars”-themed iconography. Google promises more “Star Wars” tweaks prior to the opening of the movie, which is expected to top “Avatar” in ticket sales. Continue reading Google Introduces Star Wars-Themed Customization for Its Apps

TiVo Online Allows Users to Stream DVR Recordings, Live TV

TiVo has confirmed that its new TiVo Online service will allow subscribers to stream DVR recordings in addition to live television programming via a Web browser interface. The site includes recommendations, an online guide, a search feature, and the ability to manage upcoming recordings and track favorites (including content available via streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu). The DVR maker is looking to address the evolving needs of viewers expecting to access TV on any screen by providing a tool that performs more like a modern streaming service. Continue reading TiVo Online Allows Users to Stream DVR Recordings, Live TV

Thunderbolt Adopts USB-C, Universal Port of the Near Future

From desktops, laptops and tablets to game consoles and other CE devices, the Universal Serial Bus has been the industry standard for cable and connection interfaces for about 20 years. It has been speculated that USB-C, developed by the USB Implementers Forum, would soon become the successor to the USB standard. Intel announced during Computex in Taiwan last week that Thunderbolt 3 will embrace USB-C functionality, and initially offer data transfer rates twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2 and four times that of USB 3.1. Teaming the two could be a game-changer. Continue reading Thunderbolt Adopts USB-C, Universal Port of the Near Future

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