Twitch Debuts Mobile App Updates Including Cam Streaming

Amazon-owned Twitch updated both its iOS and Android apps with a new navigation bar, interface options, recommendation algorithm and mobile streaming. The features will make it easier to use the camera for selfie-style videos and likely result in more content on the platform. Although Twitch has been focused on live gaming-related video — with a total market worth $4.6 billion — it has begun to include non-gaming content as part of Twitch IRL. Twitch also opened subscriptions to affiliates that don’t have as many viewers as a Twitch Partner. Continue reading Twitch Debuts Mobile App Updates Including Cam Streaming

LinkedIn Acquires E-Learning Service Lynda.com for $1.5 Billion

In a deal worth $1.5 billion in cash and stock, LinkedIn has agreed to acquire popular online learning service Lynda.com. With this new acquisition, LinkedIn gains another resource to push content to users and promote interaction (LinkedIn already encourages users and influencers to provide content to its site). Originally founded as a service to learn Web design skills, Lynda has become the go-to destination for e-learning and professional development at a starting subscription cost of $25 per month. Continue reading LinkedIn Acquires E-Learning Service Lynda.com for $1.5 Billion

UPS: Free Shipping Attracts More Online Shopping Customers

UPS’s “Pulse of the Online Shopper” survey shows that 93 percent of customers are willing to take some action in order to qualify for free shipping. Not only will people do more to get free shipping, but 58 percent have also cancelled orders because shipping costs were too much, with 50 percent doing the same because the shipping wasn’t free. Along with attraction to free shipping, there has also been a 12 percent increase in the amount of people that have returned an item.

Continue reading UPS: Free Shipping Attracts More Online Shopping Customers

LinkedIn Hopes to Grow Audience with User Generated Content

Social network LinkedIn brought in $473.2 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2014. The company’s plan for the coming years is to increase the number of users and the frequency that those users visit the site by focusing on content posted by well-known professionals and everyday users alike. Currently, LinkedIn has 300 million people signed up for an account on their site, but during Q1, it had only 186 million unique visitors monthly via computers. Continue reading LinkedIn Hopes to Grow Audience with User Generated Content

Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

Amazon pioneered the idea of cloud services that allow individuals to build websites and other apps without using their own hardware. Google has also offered these services, but is repositioning itself to create a larger business out of cloud services. The IT market that spans hardware and software used to operate businesses is worth $600 billion, and cloud services have the potential to take a major share. Google is hoping to make its cloud service business even larger than its enormous ad business. Continue reading Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

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

MIT Researchers Use Algorithm to Take Pictures in the Dark

Researchers have discovered the ability to create ultrasharp images from barely illuminated objects. This is done by mathematically stitching together information from particles of light. The development will likely be used to support studies of fragile biological materials such as the human eye, that could be damaged or destroyed by illumination. The development could also be used for military surveillance applications in locations with low light.  Continue reading MIT Researchers Use Algorithm to Take Pictures in the Dark

Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Twitter is testing a new timeline for its mobile app based on location, called “Nearby,” which shows users recent tweets that originated in the user’s vicinity. The Nearby feature has occasionally appeared on the smartphones of users who allow the service to use their location (users can also opt out of location sharing). Twitter has yet to comment on the feature, which some suggest could be attractive to advertisers, but says it experiments regularly to provide a better user experience. Continue reading Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Will a Facebook News Reader Fill the Void Left by Google?

Earlier this week, we reported that for more than a year Facebook has been quietly working on a service called Reader that could essentially become a newspaper for mobile devices. As Google retires its RSS news reader on Monday, Facebook Reader could become an opportunity for the social giant to increase engagement and create a viable ad channel. However, there is a question regarding whether Facebook can offer a mobile app that competes with existing readers. Continue reading Will a Facebook News Reader Fill the Void Left by Google?

Facebook Targets News Aggregation in Latest Mobile Effort

Facebook has been quietly working on a service called Reader that could essentially become a newspaper for mobile devices, according to inside sources. The service, which has reportedly been in development for more than a year, displays content from the social network’s users and publishers in a new visual format designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. Recent versions have been similar to mobile news aggregator Flipboard. Continue reading Facebook Targets News Aggregation in Latest Mobile Effort

The Flipinator: Google Propeller Sets its Sights on Flipboard and Facebook

  • Google is working on a social and news reader designed to rival Flipboard, according to numerous sources close to the project. Dubbed “Propeller,” the “souped-up version of similar reader apps” will reportedly allow users to navigate multiple social media feeds through a polished interface.
  • “I heard from someone working with Google that Google is working on a Flipboard competitor for both Android and iPad,” posted Robert Scoble on his Google + social feed. “My source says that the versions he’s seen so far are mind-blowing good.”
  • Flipboard is currently the most prominent company offering this type of service, and even turned down an offer from Google last year to buy the company. (Flipboard is available only for the iPad, although an iPhone version is in development.) Similar apps include AOL’s Editions, Yahoo’s Livestand, Zite and Pulse. Facebook is also creating social versions of publications that enable personalized, reformatted content when users access a pub’s page through Facebook.
  • “All these apps are part of the drastically changing habits of media consumers, helping them better navigate numerous social and media feeds — such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as news sites and more — using handsome interfaces and touch technologies,” reports Kara Swisher in All Things D.

Scribd to Launch Subscription News Hub this Fall

  • Scribd — a Web site that lets users share reports, personal stories and recipes — revealed plans this week to launch a digital newsstand that provides a vast library of news to readers for a monthly fee, similar to the Netflix subscription service model.
  • The newsstand, named Float, is the latest in a collection of strategies that have attempted to make money from online news. Other news hubs include Flipboard, Zite, Pulse, News.me and Ongo.
  • Publications that are made available via Float will receive a share of the revenue after the subscription program launches this fall (although subscription fees and the amount to be shared with publishers have yet to be announced).
  • Float will introduce a free version this week featuring articles from 150 publications such as The Associated Press, People, Fortune, Salon and Time magazine (publishers participating in the free version will share in the advertising revenue).
  • Float will initially be available to consumers online and through an iPhone app, while Android and iPad versions are expected at a later date.