Social Platforms Allow Third Party Verification of Ad Viewability

Facebook is the latest company to accede to the demands of advertisers and allow independent measurement firm Moat to determine if ads are actually being viewed. Up until now, Facebook and Google have both used internal measurement tools, which several advertisers — Unilever among them — have found to be an unsatisfactory solution. That’s the reason that Unilever, for example, has pulled back ads on Facebook and Google. Twitter has recently also permitted Moat to ascertain viewability figures. Continue reading Social Platforms Allow Third Party Verification of Ad Viewability

Travel Videos, Cartoons, Documentaries and More Turn to VR

Results from a new survey show that 41 percent of the adult population of the U.S. have either already tried a virtual reality headset or are interested in doing so. Not surprisingly, the majority of those in that 41 percent fall into the young (18–24 year old) demographic and the majority are male. That’s most likely because VR experiences, up until now at least, have mainly focused on gaming. But the new Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival is highlighting a wide range of content that most likely will interest a broader audience. Continue reading Travel Videos, Cartoons, Documentaries and More Turn to VR

Facebook’s Standalone Video App to Support 360-Degree Video

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has called virtual reality the next computing platform after mobile devices. His company also shelled out $2 billion to acquire Oculus VR last year; the company will ship its Rift headset for consumers in early 2016. So it’s no surprise that the company is reportedly working on a standalone video app to support 360-degree video on multiple platforms, including Apple and Android devices. Zuckerberg has also stated that Facebook would support 360-degree video in its newsfeed. Continue reading Facebook’s Standalone Video App to Support 360-Degree Video

Stripe’s Relay Simplifies E-Commerce on Apps and Social Media

Stripe, a startup already valued at $5 billion, just introduced easy-to-use tools that enable retailers to sell goods on Twitter and e-commerce apps including ShopStyle and Spring. Dubbed Relay, the new tools strip away the complications and expense of adding a “buy button” on Twitter and other apps. Stripe says a retailer can add that button with Relay in as little as 30 seconds. In addition to Twitter, Stripe has also partnered with Facebook and Pinterest, although neither company has yet to launch Relay. Continue reading Stripe’s Relay Simplifies E-Commerce on Apps and Social Media

Philo, Mobile Cable TV Startup, Expands to More Universities

Philo, which brings live TV and DVR use to mobile devices, was launched to entice young audiences that are not interested in traditional cable television. The company, backed by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and HBO, just expanded to an additional 15 U.S. universities, bringing its total presence on campuses to 40. The expansion comes in the wake of an additional $10 million raised in venture funding. Among the new campuses to sign on are University of Houston, University of Utah and Virginia Commonwealth University. Continue reading Philo, Mobile Cable TV Startup, Expands to More Universities

Research Points to Internet Impacting TV Ratings, Ad Revenue

According to new figures released by Moffett Nathanson Research, the growth of online ads will have a significant impact on traditional television and other media. Analyst Michael Nathanson predicts that ad spending on TV will decrease by 3 percent annually through 2020. He also forecasts that online advertising, led by tech giants Google and Facebook, will increase annually by 12 percent over the next five years and exceed spending for TV ads by 2017. The forecast comes as cable TV ratings are down 9 percent and 566,000 cable and satellite subscribers canceled their service during Q2. Continue reading Research Points to Internet Impacting TV Ratings, Ad Revenue

Facebook Builds Pages into Digital Mall for Small Businesses

Forty-five million small business use Facebook Pages, and the Silicon Valley company is now upgrading the app to make it easier for them to make money with the feature by reaching mobile users. The upgrade includes a tabbed mobile layout, so businesses can display storefront sections and let visitors shop for products or look at a list of services. The new Pages also makes it much easier for a user to contact the small business in question, with Call Now, Send Message and Contact Us graphics bigger, more prominent and colorful. Continue reading Facebook Builds Pages into Digital Mall for Small Businesses

Tech Leaders Envision a Globally Connected Future with VR

Oculus chief executive Palmer Luckey and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg are “ground zero” for the 3D immersive technology, but the big-name fan base is growing, including SpaceX/Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Facebook board member Mark Andreessen, who not long ago was skeptical about funding a virtual reality company. What they all believe is that VR will be a truly paradigm-shifting technology that will connect everyone in the world, for a growing range of activities from video games to business meetings. Continue reading Tech Leaders Envision a Globally Connected Future with VR

Live Sports Are Generating More Opportunities for Online Ads

Brands want a way to connect to viewers who peruse laptops and smartphones while watching major sporting events. Major digital players such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are looking for ways to monetize increased online activity during those same events. It’s a match made in heaven, and it’s going live just as the National Football League season begins. Google plans on offering ads to be placed alongside football-related search results, but the company isn’t alone in making plans to capture advertising dollars. Continue reading Live Sports Are Generating More Opportunities for Online Ads

New Apple TV Could Compete with Traditional Game Consoles

When Apple unveils its next generation Apple TV product this Wednesday at its scheduled event in San Francisco, insiders say videogames will be one of the key selling points. The move marks a departure for Apple TV, which has thus far been marketed as a device for streaming video and music content. The device will reportedly feature the components necessary for generating interest from casual gamers, including more power and a faster processor for improved graphics, a motion-sensitive remote that could also serve as a game controller and an app store for downloading games. Continue reading New Apple TV Could Compete with Traditional Game Consoles

Apple to Launch News App with iOS 9, Adds More Publishers

Apple plans to include its Flipboard-like newsreader app, simply named News, in the upcoming iOS 9 this fall. First announced at WWDC in June with 18 publishers on board, News now touts more than 50 publishers. Conde Nast, Hearst and Vox Media are among the initial launch partners hoping that iPhone and iPad users will consume more of their content. While some publishers have expressed concerns about ad-blocking capabilities made possible by iOS 9, launch partners are pleased with Apple’s advertising terms. Continue reading Apple to Launch News App with iOS 9, Adds More Publishers

Could Facebook Patent Be Used to Approve or Deny Loans?

Facebook just filed for a patent that tracks how users are networked together. The patent can be used to prevent people from sending spam to those they’re not legitimately connected with. But the patent filing also describes a less savory possibility: that banks and other lenders could examine the credit scores of those in your network when deciding whether or not to make a loan to you. For some experts, at least, this conjures up visions of housing discrimination, aimed at the poor and people of color. Continue reading Could Facebook Patent Be Used to Approve or Deny Loans?

Apple Considers Move into Producing Original Video Content

Sources indicate that Apple has recently been meeting with Hollywood executives to discuss the possibility of the tech giant taking a more active role in the entertainment business by producing original programming. The group exploring the possibility reports to Eddy Cue, who handles content-related issues for Apple. According to one high-level exec who met with Apple, the goal is to launch development and production units by next year that would produce streaming content to take on Netflix and similar services. Continue reading Apple Considers Move into Producing Original Video Content

Facebook Video Raises Offensive Content, Piracy Concerns

Now that Facebook has become a major player in video, the social media company finds itself tackling new issues: piracy and policing of content. The latter became an issue within minutes after a gunman killed two journalists on live TV; the gunman posted his video on Facebook (and Twitter), which went viral. Content owners are also irate that Facebook has been slow in working to prevent copyrighted videos from being reposted by third parties. Now that Facebook admits it has a problem, the work to fix it begins. Continue reading Facebook Video Raises Offensive Content, Piracy Concerns

Facebook Personal Assistant Integrates AI with Human Touch

Facebook just launched its new personal assistant, M, to a few hundred San Francisco Bay Area users. Unlike Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, however, M is not just powered by artificial intelligence. M does all the same things that Siri and Cortana do, but it adds a team of experienced customer service reps to accomplish more “human” tasks such as calling the cable company and enduring automated messages and holds. Facebook is disadvantaged on mobile devices, but the company hopes its efficiency will spur usage. Continue reading Facebook Personal Assistant Integrates AI with Human Touch

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