Instagram Expands Spots to 60-Seconds, to Boost Ad Revenue

Instagram has extended its 30-second video ad format to 60-seconds, to capture more advertising dollars. T-Mobile, with a longer version of its Super Bowl ad featuring Drake, and Warner Bros., promoting its film “How To Be Single,” are the first to take advantage of the new advertising policy. By offering longer-form ads, Instagram is enabling advertisers to re-use existing ads rather than produce new ones for its specific requirements. Instagram users, however, can only post a maximum 15-second video. Continue reading Instagram Expands Spots to 60-Seconds, to Boost Ad Revenue

VR/AR Expected to Impact Much More Than Video and Gaming

Most conversation about virtual reality and augmented reality focuses on how it will impact gaming and video entertainment. But a recent report from Goldman Sachs upends that notion, with its prediction that VR and AR will instead open up “an entirely new marketplace of applications” for both the business and consumer sectors. The report states that virtual reality hardware will be an $80 billion industry within 10 years, which is actually a slow adoption when compared to that of smartphones and tablets. Continue reading VR/AR Expected to Impact Much More Than Video and Gaming

3D Touch Technology Could Heighten Interaction with Devices

Sensory technology could soon allow smartphones and other devices to interact with humans through touch. Apple’s 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s is one of the most recent developments to hit the market. It allows the iPhone 6S to detect how hard the user is pressing on the screen and send feedback to the user via vibrations. In the future, sensory technology could have a variety of applications such as adding another dimension to gaming, photos, social media and any kind of user interface. Continue reading 3D Touch Technology Could Heighten Interaction with Devices

People Can’t Get Enough of the Peach Social Network App

It looks like the next big thing in the world of mobile apps could be yet another social network and messaging service. Peach allows users to share statuses, pictures, locations, GIFs and songs. People can also like their friends’ posts and send each other emoji. It sounds very similar to every other social networks available today, but due to Peach’s functionality and short-cut feature for sharing, it has caught the interest of early adopters. The app, which was created by Vine founder Dom Hofmann, is growing so fast that it crashed last week. Continue reading People Can’t Get Enough of the Peach Social Network App

Podcast Experiments with Sharing Related Multimedia Content

Podcasts have some unique challenges in attracting new listeners, since there is no universal method for sharing audio files on social media and distribution has been mainly limited to the Apple Podcasts app. However, podcasts like “Serial” are trying to change that by producing more multimedia content to make it easier to share on a wider variety of social media and spread the word about the show. Other brands, like Google Play and Pandora, are jumping into podcast distribution with new apps and products. Continue reading Podcast Experiments with Sharing Related Multimedia Content

CES 2016: Virtual Reality Headgear, Platforms, Ecosystems

Virtual reality began to dominate headlines last year at CES, and that drumbeat will only grow louder this year. Falling at the beginning of the proclaimed release window for two of the flag bearers of the VR renaissance, Oculus and Sony, and accompanied by a bumper crop of hardware and software suppliers, VR is ready to emerge from the shadows of the early adopters and meet the general consumer. We expect to see innovative products in January from companies such as Google, GoPro, HTC, NextVR, Sixense, Yezz and others. Beyond gaming and 360-degree video, we’ll be watching for new approaches to live streaming sports and music events. Continue reading CES 2016: Virtual Reality Headgear, Platforms, Ecosystems

CES: Emerging Opportunities and Equally Growing Risk of IoT

The Internet of Things will grow larger once again at CES 2016 with both incremental and innovative advances in objects, systems and simplicity, but for the entertainment industry the past year should also serve as a cautionary tale. Smart home sensors that track and analyze movements to enable new levels of seamless interaction will impact both the home and the world at large. Security will likely become an increasing concern as the infrastructure is created to effectively connect devices and systems. Continue reading CES: Emerging Opportunities and Equally Growing Risk of IoT

Facebook Now Offers Live Video to Group of U.S. iPhone Users

Facebook is introducing its tool for sharing live video to a small group of U.S. iPhone users, four months after it was initially debuted by several celebrities and public figures. It differs from its closest competitors, Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat, in that the videos are only available to a small group of approved viewers, and replay videos are automatically saved and permanently visible. Facebook positions its video feed as ideal for personal and family events, rather than the breaking news featured on other sites. Continue reading Facebook Now Offers Live Video to Group of U.S. iPhone Users

Dropbox Unveils Advanced Tools, Seeks Enterprise Customers

Cloud storage company Dropbox made announcements during yesterday’s Dropbox Open conference in San Francisco meant to attract more business customers. The company introduced Dropbox Enterprise, a new tier for its business offering intended for larger companies that require more advanced functionality. Dropbox also announced that it has reached a new milestone: 400 million users and 150,000 business customers. And to continue growing its business side, the company has formed new partnerships with Synnex, Ingram Micro and HP Enterprise. Continue reading Dropbox Unveils Advanced Tools, Seeks Enterprise Customers

Users Express Concern Over Snapchat’s Updated Privacy Policy

Snapchat has appealed to its fans for a variety of reasons, chief among them the fact that its photo messages disappear once they’ve been opened. That ephemeral nature has now been up-ended with the startup’s new Terms of Service. Whereas, formerly, Snapchat noted that its privacy policy was “delete is our default,” its new terms state that the company has the right, specifically in regards to the ‘Live Story’ feature, to reproduce, modify and republish photos as well as save them to Shapchat’s servers. The update has led to concern and confusion by many users. Continue reading Users Express Concern Over Snapchat’s Updated Privacy Policy

Instagram Answers Competitors with Short Boomerang Videos

Instagram has launched a new app called Boomerang that allows users to record 1-second video clips and share them on social media. The app records a burst of five photos and then stitches them together into a video loop, similar to an animated GIF, and plays the loop backwards and forwards to create the Boomerang effect. The app, available on Android and iOS, does not require an Instagram account. This is the third standalone app from Instagram; Layout is used to create collages to upload to Instagram, while Hyperlapse lets users create time-lapse videos. Continue reading Instagram Answers Competitors with Short Boomerang Videos

Facebook Expands its Shopping Options with Dedicated Feed

Facebook is focusing full-bore on shopping with an array of new features. But the most prominent is a new Shopping feed that aggregates posts and photos from different retailers for specific products. The Shopping feed is being tested as a way to pull out all the products being showcased by retailers on their own Facebook pages. Facebook is also allowing retailers to host entire product catalogs on Facebook pages — what the company is calling “immersive ads” — as opposed to sending users to a mobile browser. Continue reading Facebook Expands its Shopping Options with Dedicated Feed

New Low-Light Pixel Could Have Wide Range of Applications

At Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, Professor Eric Fossum and doctoral student Jiaju Ma have developed a new pixel with dramatically improved low-light sensitivity. Fossum, who invented the CMOS image sensor used in most cellphones and digital cameras, worked with Ma for more than three years before publishing results of their new Quanta Image Sensor (QIS) in an IEEE publication. Among the applications for the new sensor are security cameras, astronomy and life science imaging. Continue reading New Low-Light Pixel Could Have Wide Range of Applications

New Drone Adds Wearable Remote, Head-Tracking VR Goggles

The FLYBi automates many of the operational tasks that often frustrate drone users. In addition to standard features (remote control, companion app, 12MP camera, 1080p video, on-board Wi-Fi), the FLYBi has the ability to take off, hover, land — even return and change batteries — with little or no interaction by the pilot. VR goggles aid in operation, thanks to a camera unit installed on a gimbal and connected to the head-tracking unit. The FLYBi also features a 1.8-inch display with anti-glare glass and a wrist-worn remote, one of the first wearable drone controllers. Continue reading New Drone Adds Wearable Remote, Head-Tracking VR Goggles

Companies Develop Tools for Sifting Through Online Images

Internet users are typically more engaged when accessing websites and social platforms that include photos and videos. Marketing firm Shift, for example, notes that readers are five times more likely to click an embedded link if a tweet includes an image. As a result, companies are now developing software solutions for sifting through the millions of online images in an effort to help brands, advertisers and e-commerce players identify what draws viewers. EyeEm Mobile and Neon Labs are among those looking to enhance the power of online visuals. Continue reading Companies Develop Tools for Sifting Through Online Images

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