Snapchat Teams with Major Media Companies on New Feature

Snapchat is in talks with Buzzfeed, ESPN, CNN, Vevo and others to help launch a new feature for its popular app that offers a much wider variety of content than friends’ selfies. These media companies will produce articles, music and video for the upcoming “Discover” section of the Snapchat app, making it more of an all-inclusive media consumption app. No date has been announced regarding when the “Discover” section will make its debut on the popular photo- and video-messaging app. Continue reading Snapchat Teams with Major Media Companies on New Feature

Brands, Media Companies Try Out Tumblr Autoplay Video Ads

Tumblr is following in the footsteps of Facebook with its new autoplay video ads that will appear in users’ feeds. Yahoo, which owns Tumblr, launched the service with ads from Universal, CW, Hulu, and others. The video ads will be mute by default and play in a continuous loop. They will only play automatically when a mobile user has a Wi-Fi connection. Yahoo is hoping that the new ads will help the $1.1 billion Tumblr deal lead to generating significant revenue. Continue reading Brands, Media Companies Try Out Tumblr Autoplay Video Ads

Microsoft Opens The Garage, Unveils Wild Ideas of Employees

Microsoft recently launched a new section on its website to provide the public with access to various projects in development. Microsoft Garage started in 2009 within the Office Labs group as a place for employees to work on innovative new ideas. Until last week, The Garage was largely an internal effort that supported side projects, hackathons and science fairs. The Garage is now offering public access to 16 free consumer-facing apps across Android, Android Wear, iOS, Windows Phone and Xbox One. Continue reading Microsoft Opens The Garage, Unveils Wild Ideas of Employees

New Google App “Inbox” Serves as Personal Gmail Assistant

Google’s Gmail team launched a new app called Inbox to help users manage their email. Inbox sorts your mail as an assistant might by categorizing incoming messages into Bundles. While this may not be a new concept, the Highlights feature is compelling. Highlights will pull the important information from a message and push it to the top (for example, flight times in a confirmation email from an airline). It even has the ability to update that information (think gate changes or delays). Continue reading New Google App “Inbox” Serves as Personal Gmail Assistant

CNN App Combines VOD and Live TV on One Second Screen

The CNNgo app for tablets and desktops may just be what the future of television will look like. The app opens automatically to a live feed of the current show airing on CNN, and along the bottom, viewers can browse video, text, tweets, and photos related to the live programming. Another menu shows segments about different topics from the past couple of hours or days. The app abandons the traditional linear and often problematic model of consuming television news. Continue reading CNN App Combines VOD and Live TV on One Second Screen

Yahoo’s Tumblr Teams Up with TV Shows for Fan Engagement

Tumblr is teaming with TV shows to explore new ways to reach audiences. NBC’s “The Voice,” Fox’s “MasterChef” and AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire” are among the programs using Tumblr for second screen engagement. Networks are posting preview clips and sharing recipes on Tumblr. “The Voice” has incorporated animated illustrations from Tumblr artists onto its set, and has invited Tumblr bloggers backstage. Yahoo is hoping that integration with TV will help grow Tumblr and justify its $1.1 billion price tag. Continue reading Yahoo’s Tumblr Teams Up with TV Shows for Fan Engagement

Third Party Site May Have Stored 200,000 Snapchat Images

Members of anonymous online messaging forum 4chan claim to have access to as many as 200,000 Snapchat photos through a third-party app called Snapsaved. The smartphone tool allows creators to store photos from their Snapchat accounts. Anonymous members have said that a link will be posted, allowing users to download the photos. It is not clear who created Snapsaved, and the app’s site is no longer working. Meanwhile, Snapchat claims that its servers have not been compromised.

Continue reading Third Party Site May Have Stored 200,000 Snapchat Images

Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Facebook unveiled its hyper-local advertising feature this week. “Local Awareness” ads are designed to be more targeted and cost effective by allowing businesses to select a specific area for advertising and the age and gender of the desired audience. Meanwhile, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel says, “People are going to see the first ads on Snapchat soon.” The LA-based startup, which makes a mobile app for sharing brief photo messages, attracted investors this year at a $10 billion valuation without any revenue. Continue reading Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

GoPro’s Hero4 Black Features 4K Video Recording at 30 FPS

GoPro will launch its Hero4 line on October 5th with some notable new features. The $499 Hero4 Black, which the company claims doubles the performance power of its predecessor, supports cinema 4K video recording at 30 fps, 2.7K at 50 fps, and 1080p at 120 fps. Meanwhile, the $399 Hero4 Silver features a touchscreen display, 2.7K recording at 30 fps, 1080 recording at 60 fps, and 720p at 120 fps. Both models include 12-megapixel photo resolution, improved audio capture, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more. Continue reading GoPro’s Hero4 Black Features 4K Video Recording at 30 FPS

Twilio Aims to Help Businesses Send Photo, Video Messages

The company behind Uber’s driver calls and Airbnb’s text messages is now offering multimedia messages for businesses that want to reach their customers with photos and videos. Twilio’s API enables businesses to run call centers and send voice and text messages through Amazon Web Services for mere pennies. The new multimedia offering will work via MMS, or multimedia messaging service, through contracts with phone carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Continue reading Twilio Aims to Help Businesses Send Photo, Video Messages

Reddit Earns Significant Revenue During Celeb Photo Scandal

Social news and entertainment site Reddit was one of the most shared channels linking to controversial celebrity photographs reportedly hacked from iCloud accounts. In the six days prior to Reddit’s removal of the photos, the site earned enough revenue to run its servers for a month. This is based solely on Reddit Gold, and does not include ad revenue from the quarter billion page views. As Reddit seeks a new round of investments, the site’s belated removal of the page is not considered a coincidence. Continue reading Reddit Earns Significant Revenue During Celeb Photo Scandal

Samsung Unveils New Galaxy Note 4 Phone and VR Headset

Samsung’s updated Galaxy Note 4 can serve as a screen in a new virtual reality headset accessory. The phone has a higher resolution 5.7-inch display and camera, and can snap into the Gear VR headset to provide users with an immersive video game or concert experience. Samsung has partnered with Facebook’s Oculus VR to develop a new headset, the Gear VR Innovator Edition. This wireless headset contains speakers and electronics to display the Note 4’s screen in a 360-degree experience. Continue reading Samsung Unveils New Galaxy Note 4 Phone and VR Headset

Dropbox Hires Computer Vision Experts to Mine Photographs

Dropbox wants to add image recognition software to its cloud storage service so that photos would automatically be tagged with the objects, people, and places found in the images. The company has hired the co-founders of Kriegman-Belhumeur Vision Technology, Peter Belhumeur and David Kriegman, to engineer the new technology. The two men are university professors with extensive experience in computer vision, facial recognition, and machine learning. Continue reading Dropbox Hires Computer Vision Experts to Mine Photographs

Apple to Add Security Alerts Following Celebrity Photo Leaks

Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the hackers responsible for recently leaking nude photos of celebrities were able to break into the celebrities’ iCloud accounts. The company plans to add additional security alerts to help prevent future security breaches. In the next two weeks, Apple users will start receiving notifications when someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device, or when a new device logs onto the account for the first time. Continue reading Apple to Add Security Alerts Following Celebrity Photo Leaks

BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

BuzzFeed, which currently draws more than 150 million average monthly viewers, wants to become known for more than its numbered lists popular with Web surfers. To achieve this goal, the startup just closed a $50 million investment from Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. The investment will be used to develop new content sections for the site, create an in-house incubator for new technologies, and put more resources toward its LA-based video arm, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Continue reading BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

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