Facebook Partners with Unity to Attract Core Game Developers

Facebook has partnered with game engine Unity to infiltrate the world of Web and mobile 3D games. The social network is releasing a software development kit with Unity that will allow game makers to incorporate Facebook tie-ins into games. Game developers for Unity will be able to create Facebook hooks for Web, iOS and Android. The ultimate goal is to attract more developers to build a wider array of games for the Facebook platform. Continue reading Facebook Partners with Unity to Attract Core Game Developers

Facebook Updates Privacy Policy, Details Use of Personal Data

Facebook announced that it is updating its privacy policy to remind users that their data can be used by advertisers. Facebook has made changes to two legal documents in order to make it clear that users grant Facebook the right to share their name, profile picture and content with advertisers. While Facebook’s policy has never been a secret, Facebook hopes to make their rules more explicit for users who may have been confused. Continue reading Facebook Updates Privacy Policy, Details Use of Personal Data

Showtime Network Syncing Interactive Content on LG Smart TVs

Premium cable network Showtime has begun syncing interactive elements for its shows directly onto LG’s smart TVs using Web-based technology. This service is unique in that there are no extraneous downloads or devices. Although not all Showtime viewers own the compatible technology for interactive TV, this will likely change in the future as more TV manufacturers adopt the standard HTML5 and JavaScript technologies used by LG’s LivePlus service. Continue reading Showtime Network Syncing Interactive Content on LG Smart TVs

Twitter Boosts its Social TV Arsenal with Trendrr Acquisition

Twitter has acquired social TV tracking service Trendrr in a deal that further consolidates the social TV monitoring market. Twitter purchased social analytics firm Bluefin Labs earlier this year, while Nielsen picked up SocialGuide. Trendrr, which was developed by digital agency Wiredset and first launched in 2007, will not be signing any new social analytics contracts and its curation product will likely be fully folded into Twitter’s offerings. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Continue reading Twitter Boosts its Social TV Arsenal with Trendrr Acquisition

Amazon Web Services: Outage During Bid for CIA Contract

Amazon’s Web Services went down on Sunday due to a technical issue at a North Virginia data center. The outage was caused by a problem with a single networking device, and reveals that many companies do not distribute their Web services in different locations for service redundancy. This comes as Amazon is bidding on a CIA contract to manage their data services, and competitors are critical of whether Amazon can manage the demands of government data. Continue reading Amazon Web Services: Outage During Bid for CIA Contract

TV Advertising Feels the Heat of Video Ads on Mobile Devices

A recent study from IPG Media Lab and digital advertiser YuMe indicates that consumers remember ads better after viewing them on tablets as compared to smartphones, PCs or TVs. The study suggests that the improved ad recall is because viewers tend to watch videos on tablets when they’re at home and they do not multitask the way they do when watching TV. In an unrelated poll of ad execs, IAB found that a majority plan to shift their budgets from TV to digital video ads. Continue reading TV Advertising Feels the Heat of Video Ads on Mobile Devices

Twitter May Be Increasing Viewership for Live TV Broadcasts

Twitter may be responsible for increasing viewership of live broadcast events. The company contends that significant Twitter activity drives buzz, which increases viewership. MTV’s recent Video Music Awards drew 10.1 million viewers, while more than 300,000 tweets per minute were recorded during the Miley Cyrus performance alone. While Facebook also generates social chatter about TV broadcasts, it does not always reach people as the show airs. Continue reading Twitter May Be Increasing Viewership for Live TV Broadcasts

Instagram Acquires Video Sharing App and Stabilization Tech

Two months after Instagram introduced video to its popular app, the company has acquired video sharing app Luma (formerly Midnox), which provides users with a variety of filters and adjustment controls including brightness, contrast, saturation, exposure and more. Luma also has stabilization technology that could help Instagram with its Cinema stabilization feature. The Luma app is no longer available via iTunes, although the company will offer support through the end of the year. Continue reading Instagram Acquires Video Sharing App and Stabilization Tech

Facebook Unveils Shared Photo Albums, Ideal for Group Events

Facebook announced its new shared photo albums feature yesterday that allows as many as 50 “contributors” to upload 200 images each to the same album. That means the shared albums can be as large as 10,000 photos in total. Previously, users were only able to upload photos to albums they had created, while albums were limited to 1,000 images. The new feature may affect photo album apps such as Albumatic and Flock. It is also similar to Google+’s Party Mode, which lets users share photos and videos. Continue reading Facebook Unveils Shared Photo Albums, Ideal for Group Events

Gifts Program: Facebook Replaces Physical Goods with Digital

Due to a lack of user demand, Facebook will shutter its physical gifting service that launched less than a year ago. Responding to higher customer preference, the company plans to shift its Gifts program entirely to gift cards and digital goods, since more than 80 percent of gifts sent on Facebook have been digital. The move is also likely due to the complicated delivery operation involving physical goods, including inventory tracking, fulfillment and customer service. Continue reading Gifts Program: Facebook Replaces Physical Goods with Digital

Galaxy Gear: New Samsung Smartwatch to Debut Next Week

Sources indicate that Samsung plans to unveil its long-awaited smartwatch device on September 4th at events in Berlin and New York. The Galaxy Gear is expected to feature an OLED with a 320×320 resolution, measuring about 2.5 inches, in addition to a dual-core processor, speakers, camera and support for NFC and Bluetooth. The Android device is expected to compete with similar upcoming products from companies including Apple, Microsoft and Sony. Continue reading Galaxy Gear: New Samsung Smartwatch to Debut Next Week

Will Online Services and Apps Replace Local Bank Branches?

More banking is done digitally today and new financial services are emerging from a variety of companies. Banks themselves are using third-party services for their customers. Banks may have a diminishing role in consumers’ financial lives, giving rise to companies that provide banking and other management services. Critics say banks are slow to innovate, while others suggest they are taking a careful, combined approach with physical and digital services. Continue reading Will Online Services and Apps Replace Local Bank Branches?

Yahoo Edges Out Google in U.S. Internet Traffic During July

According to comScore’s monthly ranking of the top 50 U.S. Web properties, Yahoo sites stole Google’s lead in July with 196,564,000 unique visitors. Google sites, which have led in Internet traffic for the past two years, came in a close second for the month, with 192,251,000 visitors. Yahoo’s recent jump in traffic follows the company’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr in May. Yahoo has not found itself in comScore’s top position since May of 2011. Continue reading Yahoo Edges Out Google in U.S. Internet Traffic During July

Social Shopping Is the New Mall for Electronic Commerce

Many entrepreneurs are attempting to recreate the shopping mall experience online in what is generally known as “social shopping.” Internet retailers such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have made shopping online easy for large and small sellers. However, retailers are looking to make their sites more social, and create new opportunities. Startups are receiving venture funding, and established companies are adopting their own social features. Continue reading Social Shopping Is the New Mall for Electronic Commerce

Social Media Growing in Popularity With the Over 50 Crowd

Social media is no longer dominated by the younger crowd. According to Pew Research, more older Americans are beginning to discover the benefits of sites such as Facebook, and a recent study shows that social media use among people over 50 is growing faster than for any other age group. While Facebook is the most frequented social media site for the older audience, it is possible that it will be the launching pad for interest in other services such as Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. Continue reading Social Media Growing in Popularity With the Over 50 Crowd

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