Google Aims to Take On Snapchat With New Stamp Product

Google is joining Facebook in seeking to undercut Snapchat by offering similar features. The company is reportedly developing Stamp, a so-called news product that will offer articles in a magazine-like design, similar to Snapchat’s Discover feature. Snap, however, isn’t standing still, with plans to focus Discover more on episodic video content. News of Google’s development of Stamp follows buzz that the company floated an offer last year to purchase Snap for $30 billion, according to sources who call it an “open rumor.” Continue reading Google Aims to Take On Snapchat With New Stamp Product

FTC Goes After Paid Endorsements Presented as Commentary

As smartphone users turn increasingly to ad blockers, marketers are getting their messages out by paying Internet influencers under the table to promote their products as personal reviews and commentary. For some time, the practice was beyond the reach of the Federal Trade Commission, which made sure paid endorsements were advertised as such in television, newspapers and magazines. With new guideline changes initiated in 2015, however, the FTC is now going after violators, just reaching a settlement with video network Machinima. Continue reading FTC Goes After Paid Endorsements Presented as Commentary

Yahoo Streamlines Online Magazine Project to Trim Work Force

Yahoo chief exec Marissa Mayer has decided to close the company’s online magazine initiative, which was one of her signature projects. Yahoo notified editors and writers at 15 publications that they would be let go. The digital magazines covered topics such as autos, crafts, fashion, food, health, real estate, technology and travel — some of which will be folded into Yahoo News moving forward. Yahoo plans to continue some original content for areas including tech and fashion, but publications covering autos and food lost all their staff. Continue reading Yahoo Streamlines Online Magazine Project to Trim Work Force

Publishing Giant Condé Nast Buys Niche Music Pub Pitchfork

Pitchfork, founded in 1995, made a big name as a small independent music website and quarterly magazine that was an outsized tastemaker in the arena it served. The site’s lengthy reviews took independent music and its practitioners seriously, making it the benchmark for fans, college radio stations and concert venues. Now, Pitchfork Media, the company behind the website and magazine, has been acquired by publishing behemoth Condé Nast for an undisclosed sum, effective immediately. Continue reading Publishing Giant Condé Nast Buys Niche Music Pub Pitchfork

Spotify Pursuing Major Media Companies to Partner on Videos

According to insiders, Spotify is reportedly in discussions with numerous media companies, TV networks, online video producers and magazine publishers to introduce short video clips to its streaming service as early as this month. The additional content would be available on Spotify’s mobile platform as part of an effort to keep users more engaged, challenge YouTube’s video dominance, and help the service sell more advertising. Discussions with potential partners are believed to be at an early stage and Spotify has yet to announce any deals. Continue reading Spotify Pursuing Major Media Companies to Partner on Videos

Digital Newsstand Magzter Offers Unlimited Access to Pubs

Subscription-based app Magzter wants to become the Netflix of the magazine industry by offering customers unlimited access to nearly 2,000 titles. For $10 per month, subscribers can enjoy access to titles such as Maxim, ESPN and Fast Company among other popular publications. Magzter also plans to offer an alternative plan by which customers pay $5 per month to read any five titles on a monthly basis. The company is in competition with two other subscription magazine services: Readily and Next Issue. Continue reading Digital Newsstand Magzter Offers Unlimited Access to Pubs

Social Trend: Facebook Changing the Direction of Journalism?

Facebook, which reaches around 1.3 billion people monthly, currently makes up 20 percent of traffic to news sites. The social media platform provides around 30 percent of U.S. adults with news, acting as the leading news source for many consumers. Facebook, which sees itself as a personalized newspaper, is hoping to lead the change in how readers consume journalism. The company, along with other social media sites, could potentially control the future of certain news sites. Continue reading Social Trend: Facebook Changing the Direction of Journalism?

Pinterest Touts 30 Billion Pins, Sees Big Hit in Related Pins

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann announced during an event in San Francisco last week that users of the social visual discovery tool have created more than 750 million boards and contributed more than 30 billion Pins since Pinterest was founded in 2010. Acording to Silbermann, the number of Pins has grown by nearly 50 percent during the past six months, due in part to the introduction of Related Pins about a year ago. More than 90 percent of current Pins are connected to Related Pins. Continue reading Pinterest Touts 30 Billion Pins, Sees Big Hit in Related Pins

Online Book Subscriptions Aim to Save the Publishing Industry

As the book industry struggles with plunging prices and a decrease in demand, some publishers are turning to magazines to save their businesses. At SXSW in Austin this week, San Francisco-based literary startup Plympton launched Rooster, a subscription-only online fiction service. The service is an example of the new alternative in packaging books like magazines. A similar service is Plympton’s Daily Lit, which emails customers five-minute installments of classic literature. Continue reading Online Book Subscriptions Aim to Save the Publishing Industry

News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Digital magazine platform Flipboard has acquired rival app Zite from CNN for an undisclosed amount. Flipboard, a popular cross-platform news reader app, is expected to launch custom magazines linked to a number of CNN shows. It also announced a new advertising partnership with CNN to help monetize combined coverage. CNN bought Zite in 2011 for a rumored $20 million. Flipboard, which generates 2.5 billion page views per month, launched on iOS in 2010 and landed on Android in 2012. Continue reading News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Actress Generates Pre-Oscar Buzz Using Twitter and Instagram

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, currently generating buzz for her performance in “12 Years a Slave,” is the only actress who is campaigning for an Oscar through social media engagement this year. Nyong’o has gained a significant number of followers on Twitter and photo-sharing site Instagram. She has been actively linking photos of herself in magazines and retweeting mentions of her appearances on both sites, which has helped her gain publicity during the ramp-up to this weekend’s Academy Awards.  Continue reading Actress Generates Pre-Oscar Buzz Using Twitter and Instagram

Paper: Facebook Launches Mobile App for Streaming News

Last week, Facebook finally unveiled Paper, its much-anticipated mobile app that allows users to enjoy a personalized news stream. The app is launching today for the iPhone (an Android release has yet to be announced). Paper is essentially staffed by a computer algorithm and human curators, based on links shared by Facebook’s 1.2 billion users. Paper offers news in sections, similar to those of a newspaper, and uses smartphone tech such as gyroscopes and sensors to help drive interactive navigation. Continue reading Paper: Facebook Launches Mobile App for Streaming News

BuzzFeed: Consumers Reading Longer Stories on Their Phones

Although many have thought that phones are largely used to consume short form content, stats recently released by BuzzFeed suggest otherwise. More than 50 percent of BuzzFeed’s traffic now comes from mobile devices. Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith believes this is partly due to the form factor of mobile devices. They feature a simple singular screen that allows the reader to infinitely scroll through an article without any disruptions, similar to a regular page of a book.  Continue reading BuzzFeed: Consumers Reading Longer Stories on Their Phones

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Introduces New Content and Ad Products

During the Yahoo keynote presentation, CEO Marissa Mayer announced a mobile acquisition, introduced a number of new products and services, and entertained the crowd with a “Saturday Night Live” skit featuring actual “SNL” performers. Mayer announced that Yahoo now has more than 400 million monthly mobile users, a figure which excludes social network Tumblr, purchased last year. Tuesday’s presentation was largely about simplifying Yahoo’s business and a focus on content creation and related advertising. Continue reading Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Introduces New Content and Ad Products

Samsung Introduces New Jumbo Screen Galaxy Tablets at CES

Samsung has updated its mobile computing line with two new models, the Galaxy NotePRO and the Galaxy TabPRO. Both are offered with 12.2-inch screens (the TabPRO also comes in 10.1-inch and 8.4-inch configurations) and are touted as the first mobile devices to offer 16:10 screen ratios. Each features sharp WQXGA displays at 2560×1600 resolution (more than 4 million pixels) for full HD viewing. The tablets run Android 4.4 KitKat. Continue reading Samsung Introduces New Jumbo Screen Galaxy Tablets at CES

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