Ghostery Goes Open Source and Intros New Business Model

Ghostery, an ad blocker recommended by Edward Snowden, just published all its code on GitHub. The company was acquired last year by Cliqz, “the first browser with integrated privacy protection,” including anti-tracking and anti-phishing. Ghostery’s revenue model has been hard to understand for some users, who opt-in to share data about the ad trackers they find on the web. Ghostery then sells that data to e-commerce websites and other companies, a seeming incongruity with its stated mission. Continue reading Ghostery Goes Open Source and Intros New Business Model

Google Debuts AMP Stories With Publisher Content for Mobile

Google is taking a step in the direction of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, with new technology for mobile devices that lets users easily create and publish visual-centric stories. Dubbed AMP stories, the technology, to debut first as a developer preview, features swipeable slides of text, photos, graphics and videos. Time Warner’s CNN, Condé Nast, Meredith Corp. and Vox Media were among the publishers that aided in its development. AMP stories does not yet allow advertising, unlike Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles. Continue reading Google Debuts AMP Stories With Publisher Content for Mobile

The First Reviewers Laud Apple iPhone X’s Screen, Camera

Apple only gave reviewers 24 hours to test out the iPhone X, so the reviews aren’t in-depth — but most of them are thumbs-up for the Silicon Valley company’s most expensive iPhone ever. Apple has positioned the iPhone X (pronounced “ten”) as its most cutting edge phone, with an almost full edge-to-edge 5.8-inch screen, no physical home button and new Face ID facial recognition to unlock it. The phone, which will be in stores on November 3, is priced at $999 for 64 gigabytes of storage and $1,149 for 256 gigabytes. Continue reading The First Reviewers Laud Apple iPhone X’s Screen, Camera

Roku Makes it Simpler for Publishers to Offer Video Channels

Through an update to the Roku Direct Publisher Platform this week, Roku introduced new tools designed to make it easier for publishers to deliver streaming video content via Roku media players without the need to write any code. Creators merely go through a few steps in order to create a video feed and make their channel go live on Roku. The platform is also supported by Brightcove, JW Player, Kaltura and Ooyala. Roku, which currently touts more than 10 million monthly active users, is expanding its advertising options by offering to address video ad sales for publishers. Continue reading Roku Makes it Simpler for Publishers to Offer Video Channels

Media Publishers Testing Video Content on Instagram Stories

Many media publishers creating content for Snapchat Discover are now gravitating to the new Instagram Stories. CNN, Food Network, People, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan and Tastemade are now regularly producing Instagram Stories and respectable numbers of viewers are watching. AwesomenessTV, a tween/teen site, is even running ads on the new platform. Stories on Snapchat and Instagram, which disappear after 24 hours, are a package of phone images and/or videos that are annotated and embellished with graphics and emoticons. Continue reading Media Publishers Testing Video Content on Instagram Stories

Facebook Inks Video Deals with Media Brands and Celebrities

In a bid to fill the Facebook Live pipeline with high quality video, Facebook has inked deals with almost 140 media companies including CNN, The New York Times, Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and The Huffington Post, and celebrities including Kevin Hart, Gordon Ramsay, Deepak Chopra and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson. With these high-profile media contracts, Facebook plans to tap into a potentially lucrative advertising market, as well as more deeply engage its 1.65 billion monthly users. Continue reading Facebook Inks Video Deals with Media Brands and Celebrities

Tumblr Users Can Stream Live Video to Followers’ Dashboards

Blogging platform Tumblr now enables users to live stream video directly to their followers’ dashboards. Live videos “can be reblogged like any other post,” while push notifications can be distributed when someone goes live or reblogs a live stream. Unlike Facebook Live, Tumblr is positioning itself as the publishing and discovery platform for existing services, including YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose. All partner apps are ready to support live streaming to Tumblr on iOS and Android, with the exception of YouTube, which is Android-ready now and will add iOS support shortly. Continue reading Tumblr Users Can Stream Live Video to Followers’ Dashboards

Mashable Buys YouTube Channel for Filmmakers, Movie Fans

In another sign that New York-based Mashable is heading toward video, the digital media company has acquired YouTube channel CineFix from Lloyd Braun’s media and tech company, Whalerock Industries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The channel, which is geared toward filmmakers and movie fans, has produced more than 1,200 videos and attracted over 1.6 million YouTube subscribers. The site is “a natural fit with Mashable’s focus on entertainment, technology, and influential geek culture,” said Mashable chief content officer Gregory Gittrich. Continue reading Mashable Buys YouTube Channel for Filmmakers, Movie Fans

Facebook Sells Video Advertising for Third Party Sites, Apps

Facebook is now expanding its reach into video by selling video ads for other companies, getting an as-of-yet-undisclosed cut of the revenue. Facebook says it will sell and place both “in-stream” and “in-article” video ads on websites and apps, such as those run by Daily Mail, Mashable and USA Today Sports Media Group. Marketers are willing to pay higher prices for video ads than other forms of advertising, making this a compelling sector and one where Facebook can compete with Google for video ad dollars. Continue reading Facebook Sells Video Advertising for Third Party Sites, Apps

Viacom Signs Multiyear Deal with Snapchat to Sell Advertising

Viacom just inked a multi-year deal with Snapchat to sell advertising for the vanishing-message app. Viacom will get a bigger investment in digital media and the millennial-focused Snapchat — which already carries content from Viacom’s MTV and Comedy Central — will get the chance to draw in bigger advertisers. In addition, Viacom will add the U.S. version of MTV and an international version of Comedy Central on Snapchat’s “Discover” page, where CNN, Vox, Mashable and The Wall Street Journal also have channels. Continue reading Viacom Signs Multiyear Deal with Snapchat to Sell Advertising

Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook Sweeps Top Awards at CES

Now that the CES dust has settled on Las Vegas — analysts, journalists and tech bloggers can’t seem to say enough about the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook, which is generating an impressive number of awards from “Best PC” and “Best of CES” to “People’s Choice Award.” Engadget, Mashable, TechRadar and SlashGear are just a few of the numerous publications that are praising the $999 Razer Blade Stealth. The gaming laptop runs Windows 10 and touts a 12.5-inch multi-touch display with IGZO 16:9 aspect ratio. The Razer Core, an external graphics docking station, is also on its way. Continue reading Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook Sweeps Top Awards at CES

Qzzr: New Quiz Creation Tool Helps Sites Drive Social Traffic

Online quiz startup Qzzr allows users to create as many quizzes as they want for free. The service helps websites drive social traffic by uploading quizzes to their webpages. The pro version also helps companies capture leads and present special offers. Sites such as BuzzFeed and Zimbio have seen a burst in views due to these quizzes. Qzzr officially launched last week with $2 million in seed money and partnerships with ESPN, Yahoo, Mashable, Reddit, College Humor, and others.  Continue reading Qzzr: New Quiz Creation Tool Helps Sites Drive Social Traffic

Google Acquires Mobile Startup Polar to Reinvigorate Google+

Google has acquired mobile startup Polar, to bring the founder Luke Wroblewski and his team to Google+. Polar developed online polling technology for clients such as HBO, TechCrunch and USA Today to poll their users on mobile websites and apps. At Google, the new hires are expected to work on optimizing Google’s struggling social network for the mobile platform. Wroblewski is a prominent mobile designer and author of the book, “Mobile First.” Continue reading Google Acquires Mobile Startup Polar to Reinvigorate Google+

Twitter Acquires Gnip, Could Provide More Data to Advertisers

Twitter has agreed to purchase data partner Gnip, in a move that could lead to an expanded role by Twitter in analyzing tweets for businesses that are seeking new insights from social media. While financial terms of the deal have yet to be released, Gnip has reportedly raised $6.6 million in funding. Twitter also announced that it has hired Daniel Graf as its new product chief. Graf, an expert in mobile apps, most recently served as a director at Google where he oversaw Google Maps. Continue reading Twitter Acquires Gnip, Could Provide More Data to Advertisers

Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

Popular websites have been scrambling to update software and Internet users have been encouraged to change their passwords following the news of an encryption flaw known as the Heartbleed bug, which is already being categorized as one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever experienced. The bug has affected a number of websites and services (although the extent is not clear), and may have exposed account info including passwords and credit card numbers going back two years. UPDATE: Cisco and Juniper said yesterday that some of their networking products contain the bug, which means sensitive info may have been obtained while moving across corporate networks, home networks and the Internet. Continue reading Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

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