Instagram Adds Snapchat-Like Features in Social Media Battle

Facebook tried and failed to acquire Snapchat, and now Facebook-owned Instagram is having a go at beating Snapchat at its own game. The photo-sharing company just debuted Instagram Stories, which in format is very similar to Snapchat Stories: users can share photos and videos that last no more than 24 hours. This might spark a battle between the two apps, which have never been in direct competition. Both mobile apps are now trying to increase digital advertising, which could bring the issue to a head. Continue reading Instagram Adds Snapchat-Like Features in Social Media Battle

Facebook Develops Prototype Camera to Encourage Sharing

Facebook, concerned about the slowdown in users sharing videos, photos and updates, is developing a standalone camera app. Facebook’s “friend-sharing” team has created a prototype that, similar to Snapchat, opens to a camera that also allows users to live stream video. But people familiar with the project say it may never come to fruition. Facebook has built other sharing apps: Slingshot let users trade photos and videos that disappeared in 24 hours; Camera was a photo-editing/sharing app. Neither caught on and were dropped. Continue reading Facebook Develops Prototype Camera to Encourage Sharing

OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Israel-based technology company OrCam is introducing its compelling take on augmented reality at this year’s CES. The company’s device is similar to Google Glass, but the hardware is more discrete and does not save images or audio, which could help alleviate privacy concerns. The MyMe digital assistant is designed to give the user advice based on the world around them. The assistant speaks through a Bluetooth earpiece and the tiny camera clips to a shirt. All of the data processing is done in real time. Continue reading OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Kapture Audio Debuts Sensor-Based Recording Tech at CES

In discussing CES 2016 trends, Consumer Technology Association CTO Shawn DuBravac identified “ambient sensing,” or the ability of sensors to monitor and measure data in continuous time. On the stage at CES, he showcased a product that exemplifies some of the innovation possible with ambient sensing. Kapture Audio, a wearable platform and app, enables users to capture 60-seconds of audio and share it with others. DuBravac interviewed co-founder Mike Sarow about the device and its capabilities. Continue reading Kapture Audio Debuts Sensor-Based Recording Tech at CES

Periscope Streams Wimbledon But Is Banned at Tournament

Periscope both was and was not at Wimbledon this year. The tournament’s digital content team used Twitter’s live video broadcasting app to take fans on a Roger Federer-led walking tour of the facility. Federer also anchored Wimbledon’s Periscope feed of the matches at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. But Wimbledon simultaneously banned attendees from using the live-streaming app in the stands. Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour wasn’t fazed by the seemingly contradictory move. “Their motivation is preserving the sanctity of play,” he said. Continue reading Periscope Streams Wimbledon But Is Banned at Tournament

Instagram Unveils Plans to Open its Photo Feed to Advertisers

Facebook-owned Instagram announced that it plans to open its photo feed to all advertisers later this year. Aside from working with a few select brands to post commercial messages, the mobile photo-sharing service has remained largely free of ads to this point. Opening the feed to advertisers of all sizes will provide marketers with the ability to target the platform’s 300 million users by age, gender, interests, and other factors. The service also plans to introduce a new ad type that encourages users to click links to make product purchases or install advertised apps. Continue reading Instagram Unveils Plans to Open its Photo Feed to Advertisers

Flickr Upgrade Includes Cloud Storage and Object Recognition

Photo sharing site Flickr is helping users store and organize their photos with new cloud computing and machine learning solutions. The service recently introduced a new automatic photo uploader for mobile and desktop and each user gets 1,000 gigabytes of free cloud storage. Sorting through photos is now easier with the new search function, which relies on machine learning tech to recognize objects, places, and people in photos. The new search engine works because the service automatically adds descriptive tags to uploaded photos. Continue reading Flickr Upgrade Includes Cloud Storage and Object Recognition

Amazon Launches Unlimited Cloud Storage for $60 Annual Fee

Amazon’s latest cloud storage plan, Unlimited Everything, offers customers unlimited cloud storage for only $60 per year. At that price point, Amazon’s new plan is virtually unmatched by any other storage plan available on the market today. Amazon has also launched Unlimited Photos, a plan available for $12 per year that offers customers unlimited photo storage and 5GB of space for other files. Previously, 5GB of free storage was only made available to Amazon Prime members. Continue reading Amazon Launches Unlimited Cloud Storage for $60 Annual Fee

Clarifai’s Artificial Intelligence Can Recognize Video Content

Startup Clarifai has developed artificial intelligence technology based on deep learning that can identify what is in a video. This ability could be significant for search engines, which currently have to rely on textual clues around a video to guess what might be in it. Clarifai’s AI has the ability to identify objects, in addition to letting users know exactly when those objects will appear in the video. This technology could be used to help advertisers and other companies analyze their videos. Continue reading Clarifai’s Artificial Intelligence Can Recognize Video Content

The Instagram Rapture: Millions of Fake Accounts are Purged

Instagram, the photo- and video- sharing service owned by Facebook, is deleting all the accounts it has identified as “spammy.” As a result, more than 29 percent of Instagram’s own followers disappeared last week. According to software developer Zach Allia, stars such as Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian also lost millions of followers. The purge was intended to combat fake accounts, a problem that leads to hijacked hashtags, artificially inflated follower counts, and increased advertising costs. Continue reading The Instagram Rapture: Millions of Fake Accounts are Purged

More Social Interaction Surrounding This Year’s Emmy Awards

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will air tonight on NBC, this year with a few social media twists. Actor Aaron Paul, nominated again for his role in “Breaking Bad,” is thanking his fans with another Hollywood scavenger hunt. He recently posted a photo on Instagram promising signed scripts, posters and more. Facebook is providing an oversized tablet designed to let celebs answer questions from fans during the festivities. And Google has posted TV filming locations that you can check out on Street View. Continue reading More Social Interaction Surrounding This Year’s Emmy Awards

LiketoKnowit Gives Instagram Users Easy Way to Shop Online

LiketoKnowit is a website that allows Instagram users to easily locate items, such as clothing and jewelry, in an Instagram post and then purchase them online. After signing up on the website, whenever a user “likes” a post on Instagram that links to “liketoknow.it,” they receive the information about the product in their inbox with links to shop online. RewardStyle, a company that allows fashion bloggers and publishers to earn commissions on items they link to, developed the site. Continue reading LiketoKnowit Gives Instagram Users Easy Way to Shop Online

Snapchat Mobile App Plans to Add News Content and Sell Ads

Snapchat, the mobile app that creates vanishing messages and currently touts 27 million users, may soon become a service for distributing television and movie clips, news videos and articles, and advertisements. According to people familiar with the matter, the startup has met with advertisers and media companies in recent weeks about a service to launch in November called Snapchat Discovery. At least a dozen newspapers, magazines and TV networks have reportedly discussed providing content. Continue reading Snapchat Mobile App Plans to Add News Content and Sell Ads

Instagram’s Audience Engagement is Triple That of Facebook

Social media shop Shareablee discovered that marketers are very active on Instagram, despite the fact that most cannot run ads on the photo- and video-sharing service yet. During the second quarter, Instagram had 56 percent more total actions than Facebook. While Instagram is four years old, and Facebook went live in 2004, it is not surprising that the brand activity is growing much faster on the mobile app. However, Instagram is also bringing in three times the engagement per post. Continue reading Instagram’s Audience Engagement is Triple That of Facebook

Software Allows Photographers to Manipulate Objects in 3D

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new photo-editing tool that lets users turn and flip objects as if they were in 3D. Photo editors have only been able to manipulate objects in 2D by resizing them or changing their location within the photo. This new software uses a publicly available database of models to recreate objects, even the sides that were not captured by the camera. Researchers found that this software could be used for animations as well. Continue reading Software Allows Photographers to Manipulate Objects in 3D

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