Disney to Release Infinity Video Game and Related Free Apps

Disney will be releasing its “Disney Infinity” video game that will include two other apps in the pan-Disney character multi-platform game, similar to Activision’s “Skylanders.” The game uses NFC to provide toy interaction with the game. The free game apps are an ideal incentive for players to move to the paid version, where users can purchase additional toy accessories and add-ons that can be used for enhanced game play. Continue reading Disney to Release Infinity Video Game and Related Free Apps

Twitter Tests TV Trending Feature and Upgrades TweetDeck

As part of its ongoing effort to generate more traffic and potential advertising revenue, Twitter is testing new ways of bringing more television content to its platform. Currently, the company is testing a new feature in which links to TV shows appear as Twitter cards in a user’s Timeline. The cards’ click-through feature provides links to the show, related tweets and accounts that might be relevant to fans of that show. Separately, the company has announced that several updates to TweetDeck will make it faster and more convenient to use. Continue reading Twitter Tests TV Trending Feature and Upgrades TweetDeck

Facebook Testing New VIP App in Attempt to Take On Twitter

Twitter currently dominates the world of “public” sharing, with numerous celebrities and public figures utilizing the service to interact with fans. Facebook hopes to compete with Twitter in this arena, and is creating an app that would allow celebrities to more readily engage in conversation with their fans from a mobile device. The VIP app, currently being tested by a small group of partners, could help make the relationship between celebrities and their fans more intimate and immediate. Continue reading Facebook Testing New VIP App in Attempt to Take On Twitter

Facebook to Acquire Developer of Speech Translation Tools

Facebook has agreed to acquire Pittsburgh-based Mobile Technologies, a developer of voice-recognition and speech translation tools. Founded in 2001, Mobile Technologies offers an automatic interpretation service for lectures and developed Jibbigo, a speech-to-speech translator app for iPhone and Android. The company’s goal has been to break “through language barriers to open up communication between the people of the world.” Continue reading Facebook to Acquire Developer of Speech Translation Tools

Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending

Facebook recently announced two new features for its mobile Web and iOS and Android mobile apps that will allow users to book restaurants and access TV and movie listings without ever leaving the world of Facebook. These features could help the social network compete with services offered by the likes of Fandango, Yelp and GroupOn. Ultimately, by influencing offline spending, Facebook hopes to generate more revenue and draw more advertisers. Continue reading Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending

MixBit Takes On Vine and Instagram with Video Sharing App

Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, the founders of YouTube, have released a new video creation and sharing app called MixBit. It is similar to other video apps such as Twitter’s Vine and Facebook’s Instagram. The app will allow users to capture 16 seconds of video, while Vine’s maximum is six seconds and Instagram’s limit is 15 seconds. MixBit is different from its competitors in that it allows video editing, but others may soon introduce this feature as well. Continue reading MixBit Takes On Vine and Instagram with Video Sharing App

NBC News to Purchase Stringwire for Streaming Phone Video

NBC News is looking to leverage on-the-scene user generated content for its news coverage, envisioning a day when live video could be streamed directly to its New York control rooms from the camera phones of witnesses to newsworthy events. This approach could replace or complement footage by professional crews and ease the pressure of producers frantically searching Twitter and Facebook to locate eyewitness accounts. The network is acquiring Web service Stringwire as its first step toward this goal. Continue reading NBC News to Purchase Stringwire for Streaming Phone Video

Facebook Expected to Unveil Video Ads for Web and Mobile

Facebook video ads are likely to debut this fall, instead of this summer. The debut has fueled much speculation regarding the amount of revenue that this will generate for the company. The video ads are expected to offer a new way to target advertising to non-broadcast TV watchers. It will be determined what form the much debated videos will take, and if the $2 million price tag will attract businesses and audiences on the Web and mobile devices. Continue reading Facebook Expected to Unveil Video Ads for Web and Mobile

Facebook To Open Up on Changes to News Feed Algorithms

On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it will now regularly publish blog postings about the algorithm that runs the display of posts on the home screen of its users. This is a reversal for Facebook, as it has previously kept its algorithms secret. This openness is an attempt to improve credibility among its users and businesses. The company is also debuting a new “Story Bumping” feature, which will push missed stories ahead of ones already read. Continue reading Facebook To Open Up on Changes to News Feed Algorithms

Nielsen Study Finds Links Between TV Viewing and Twitter

In a new study, Nielsen has confirmed a connection between television viewing and the magnitude of related Twitter buzz. The study suggests that Twitter activity can encourage people to watch TV programming and increase ratings significantly, while TV viewing can affect the number of tweets. Nielsen and Twitter have joined forces to measure Twitter traffic regarding various shows. Ultimately, it may be difficult to determine if Twitter actually influences TV watching or if it is a reflection of it. Continue reading Nielsen Study Finds Links Between TV Viewing and Twitter

Viewer Data Used to Shape Netflix Content and Experience

Netflix’s use of data helps determine what its customers want to watch and how they want it presented. The company’s newest original show, “Orange Is the New Black,” is partially the result of analyzing viewer data. Netflix is using all types of collected viewer data in order to create content and to possibly shape the user experience. Viewer data is collected from multiple sources: Netflix, third party metadata and social media. Continue reading Viewer Data Used to Shape Netflix Content and Experience

Point-and-Shoot Cameras Face Decline in the Smartphone Era

Sales for compact, point-and-shoot, digital cameras have declined 42 percent in the first five months of 2013, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association. Most major manufacturers have been affected, such as Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and others. The declines are primarily due to smartphones that are replacing the need for stand-alone compact digital cameras, driving manufacturers to focus on premium digital camera lines. Continue reading Point-and-Shoot Cameras Face Decline in the Smartphone Era

Facebook Mobile Development More Attractive to Advertisers

Facebook’s growth in mobile advertising revenue contributed in part to a surprising second quarter return this year. The social network’s large user base and scalable mobile advertising platforms have become major attractions for advertisers. The company has been taking advertisers more seriously in ad platform development and is working closely with them to understand their needs. As a result, advertisers are becoming more comfortable with Facebook. Continue reading Facebook Mobile Development More Attractive to Advertisers

Advertising Giants Merge in Effort to Fend Off Silicon Valley

Advertising powerhouses Omnicom Group of the U.S. and Publicus Groupe SA of France announced a merger on Sunday that aims to fend off the growing competition from Silicon Valley tech companies including Google and Facebook. The new Publicis Omnicom Group will have combined revenue of nearly $23 billion. The Wall Street Journal describes the merger as “a $35.1 billion cross-border linkup that shows how Big Data is making Madison Avenue look more like Wall Street.” Continue reading Advertising Giants Merge in Effort to Fend Off Silicon Valley

Slingbox Now Allows Pay TV Sharing with Facebook Friends

A new Slingbox software update includes new features, the most important of which is allowing owners to invite Facebook friends to share their video stream. The update to the Watch software applies to the Slingbox 350 and 500 models. It supports both Mac and Windows, and most popular Web browsers. Web-based streaming from a Slingbox only allows one connection at a time. Friends can access the owner’s Slingbox directly from Facebook. Continue reading Slingbox Now Allows Pay TV Sharing with Facebook Friends

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