Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Known for filing copyright infringement lawsuits, musician Prince has targeted 22 individuals for posting links of his live concerts and posting them on Facebook and blogs, and filed a lawsuit for $22 million in damages. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California. Only two of the defendants are referenced by their real names in the lawsuit, and the others are referenced by their online usernames.  Continue reading Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Music Fans Recording Live Performances: Harmless or Illegal?

Crowdsourced music videos of live performances are becoming more and more popular as concert-goers increasingly record shows with their smartphones or cameras. One Neil Young fan named Tom Adams went so far as to piece together multiple recordings of the same performance captured from different angles by other fans in attendance. On top of the video, he added a single audio recording of the concert to create one cohesive video. Continue reading Music Fans Recording Live Performances: Harmless or Illegal?

Research Suggests Strikes Systems Not Curbing Online Piracy

Several countries have launched “graduated response” initiatives in an effort to reduce online piracy, but new findings from U.S. and French researchers suggest the measures do not have the intended effect. Last year, the U.S. implemented its six-strikes system to warn infringing file-sharers, and then penalize them after multiple warnings. Although the penalties range from a fine to a prolonged Internet disconnection, the study suggests this does not prevent piracy.  Continue reading Research Suggests Strikes Systems Not Curbing Online Piracy

Pinterest CEO Unveils Revenue Growth Plan for the New Year

Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has quickly transformed from a quirky website into a social media base used by one-fifth of American adults. To continue nurturing this growth, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann has announced a new business model that will finally start to generate revenue. Pinterest plans to charge advertisers for promoting their products on the site. An analyst at Wedbush Securities believes this has the potential to earn Pinterest more than $500 million in 2016.  Continue reading Pinterest CEO Unveils Revenue Growth Plan for the New Year

VIDAA: Hisense Unveils its Android-Based Smart TV Platform

At CES, Hisense showed its new line of VIDAA smart TVs, the first to incorporate Android since Google TV ceased to formally exist. The new displays come after Google scrapped the manufacturing of its own display and began allowing other manufacturers to build TVs with built-in Android technology. Google services like Chrome and TV programming guide Primetime are available on the displays. The platform was developed by Ontario-based design and engineering company Jamdeo. Continue reading VIDAA: Hisense Unveils its Android-Based Smart TV Platform

Google Shuts Down Bump App: Users Have January to Save Data

The team behind popular contact- and file-sharing app Bump and photo-aggregating app Flock announced this week they will be shutting down the apps to continue work on other projects inside Google. Bump, acquired by Google in September, will no longer be available by the end of this month. Bump and Flock users are encouraged to export all their data by following the instructions that become available when opening either of the apps. Continue reading Google Shuts Down Bump App: Users Have January to Save Data

Rdio Shutters Video Streaming Site After Six Month Experiment

Six months after Rdio launched its streaming video platform Vdio, the startup has announced it will discontinue the service. Prior to its launch, most reports suggested Vdio would compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. However, the platform was more similar to on-demand video rental services such as Google Play or iTunes. Explaining it was not able to “deliver a differentiated customer experience,” Vdio is shuttering and offering users reimbursement for purchases. Continue reading Rdio Shutters Video Streaming Site After Six Month Experiment

Social Media Update: 73 Percent of Adults Access Social Networks

Some 73 percent of online adults now use a social networking site, while 42 percent now use multiple social networking sites, according to new figures released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. In terms of number of users, Facebook remains the dominant platform, but an increasing number of consumers are diversifying onto other services such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. In addition, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in daily. Continue reading Social Media Update: 73 Percent of Adults Access Social Networks

Snapchat Unveils App Updates with Filters and Replay Option

Snapchat rolled out a significant update to its iOS and Android apps on Friday that offers support for new services such as swipeable photo filters. The update supports “smart filters” that can overlay information on pictures including the current time, temperature (using data supplied by the Weather Channel), and how fast a user is moving. Additionally, a new Replay option enables users to view one of their incoming messages one more time. Continue reading Snapchat Unveils App Updates with Filters and Replay Option

Twitter Planning to Launch a New Feature for Editing Tweets?

Media blogger and former Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys wrote this week that three sources inside Twitter have confirmed that the microblog is working to launch a new feature that would allow users to edit their tweets after they are already published. According to the company employees, the feature has been a priority at Twitter as it looks to expand partnerships with media organizations and original content producers. Continue reading Twitter Planning to Launch a New Feature for Editing Tweets?

Instagram and Twitter Enable Direct Messaging with Photos

Facebook-owned Instagram has launched Instagram Direct, a photo messaging tool that allows users to send videos and photos directly to individual friends, as opposed to its standard function of simply broadcasting images to all users’ friends’ feeds. It is similar to Snapchat in that it is a direct messaging function, but unlike Snapchat, the photos do not quickly disappear. Twitter, meanwhile, has also been updated to allow sharing photos in direct messages. Continue reading Instagram and Twitter Enable Direct Messaging with Photos

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

Facebook Helps Companies Gauge Social Chatter About Media

Facebook is working on ways to give brands and media companies a better look at conversations happening on the social media service about TV, movies and media. Facebook recently launched new APIs allowing certain companies to read what people are saying about them online. The goal, of course, is to allow those companies to better engage with target audiences. But for now, the program is limited just to media brands and content producers. Continue reading Facebook Helps Companies Gauge Social Chatter About Media

YouTube Expected to Earn $5.6 Billion in Revenue for 2013

Google-owned YouTube reached an impressive milestone when it passed the one billion user mark earlier this year. Now the popular online video service is poised to achieve another milestone by crossing the five billion dollar mark. According to recent estimates by eMarketer, YouTube is expected to generate $5.6 billion in gross revenue for 2013, up 51 percent from last year. That figure would represent 11 percent of Google’s total advertising revenues. Continue reading YouTube Expected to Earn $5.6 Billion in Revenue for 2013

Twitter’s Experimental Apps Focus on Fostering Conversation

Twitter has announced a plan to run experiments on some of its users. While there have been rumors of Twitter becoming more involved in messaging, it is probably more accurate to say that Twitter is interested in conversations. With Twitter’s experimental apps, conversation is moved to the forefront. Namely, the way you send and receive direct messages, monitor your friends’ behavior, and participate in public conversations are all a lot more obvious. Continue reading Twitter’s Experimental Apps Focus on Fostering Conversation

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