Immersis Projector Aims to Make VR Experience Less Solitary

A team of French and American designers at Catopsys has developed a projector for immersive gaming and video experiences that can be shared by a room full of people. The Immersis is designed to display a 180-degree view of a virtual reality experience. Instead of everyone shutting out the world (and each other) when they put on a VR headset like the Oculus Rift, people can share in a VR experience. The LED projector could encourage developers to make more party games and turn VR into more of a social experience. Continue reading Immersis Projector Aims to Make VR Experience Less Solitary

Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Facebook is launching a new service designed to be appropriate for the workplace called Facebook at Work. The service is almost identical to the regular social network, except for a white color scheme that replaces the iconic blue layout. The difference in colors is to help employer’s distinguish when someone is using a work account as opposed to a personal one. Facebook at Work will allow users to connect with colleagues to become more efficient around the office. Continue reading Facebook Aims to Make Social Media a Tool for the Workplace

Advertisers Opting for Pinterest Influencers Over Pinterest Ads

With nearly 70 million visitors per month, Pinterest is becoming a popular destination for advertisers to reach new audiences, except not in the way that Pinterest intended. Instead of advertising directly through Pinterest via “Promoted Pins,” advertisers have found success in partnering with an array of “Pinfluencers,” individuals that have accrued millions of followers. Advertisers see the influence these individuals have over followers, and are discovering new ways to leverage them as effective marketing tools.  Continue reading Advertisers Opting for Pinterest Influencers Over Pinterest Ads

Ellen DeGeneres Goes Interactive with Ellentube App and Site

Ellen DeGeneres is launching Ellentube, a website and app that will screen exclusive content from her popular daytime television program. The TV personality already runs one of the largest YouTube channels focused on television content. Now, along with executive producers Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, DeGeneres has created Ellentube for interactive use. Fans will be able to upload videos, the best of which will be deemed suitable for a showcase on her daily program. Continue reading Ellen DeGeneres Goes Interactive with Ellentube App and Site

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

Rooms: Facebook Embraces Anonymity with New Chat App

Facebook’s new “Rooms” app is reminiscent of the Internet bulletin boards and chatrooms of old. The iOS mobile app allows users to create discussion boards on almost any topic and chat with people they may or may not know. Participants can use any username they want and they can change usernames in different rooms. Unlike traditional text-heavy, desktop-based chatrooms, the Rooms app is designed for users to post videos and images and have online discussions on-the-go. Continue reading Rooms: Facebook Embraces Anonymity with New Chat App

Social Trend: Facebook Changing the Direction of Journalism?

Facebook, which reaches around 1.3 billion people monthly, currently makes up 20 percent of traffic to news sites. The social media platform provides around 30 percent of U.S. adults with news, acting as the leading news source for many consumers. Facebook, which sees itself as a personalized newspaper, is hoping to lead the change in how readers consume journalism. The company, along with other social media sites, could potentially control the future of certain news sites. Continue reading Social Trend: Facebook Changing the Direction of Journalism?

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

Facebook Introduces Safety Check for Users During Disasters

Facebook recently announced Safety Check, an easy way to check on others when disasters strike. The service will first allow users to let others know they are safe during a disaster. It will also allow users to check in on others and mark friends as safe. Only friends will have access to these updates. The tool is designed for users to remain connected to those they care about. Safety Check will be available on Android, iOS, feature phones and desktops globally. Continue reading Facebook Introduces Safety Check for Users During Disasters

Digital Media Pipeline: Media Farm Team, Competitor or Both?

At last week’s Digital Media Pipeline conference staged by the Entertainment Merchants Association in Los Angeles, the closing discussion centered on Internet fueled approaches to content authorship. “The Vast Expansion of Original Content,” moderated by Steve Apple of EMA, featured Derek Dressler of Vimeo, Reed Lucas of Bent Pixels, and Dana Shayegan of Collective Digital Studio. Topics included a maturing Internet video space, the influence of direct fan support, and the need for building engagement. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Media Farm Team, Competitor or Both?

Deal Now Complete: Amazon Acquires Twitch for $970 Million

According to a new SEC filing, Amazon’s buyout of online video game streaming company Twitch is now complete. The acquisition, worth $970 million and first revealed in late August, marks Amazon’s largest and most expensive deal to date. This follows earlier reports that suggested a similar deal was in the works with Google subsidiary YouTube. Twitch touts more than 55 million active monthly users, and is currently the largest live-streaming website in the U.S. by a significant margin. Continue reading Deal Now Complete: Amazon Acquires Twitch for $970 Million

Hootsuite Takes Customer Service from Twitter to Phone Calls

Many consumers have found that the fastest way to get a response from a company is to send a tweet, but the 140-character length and the public nature of the social network limit the conversation. Hootsuite Media, the maker of the popular social media management app, is rolling out a solution: a feature that allows businesses to initiate calls with their customers via Twitter. Consumers who send the company tweets will get a reply with a phone number so that they can talk offline. Continue reading Hootsuite Takes Customer Service from Twitter to Phone Calls

Qzzr: New Quiz Creation Tool Helps Sites Drive Social Traffic

Online quiz startup Qzzr allows users to create as many quizzes as they want for free. The service helps websites drive social traffic by uploading quizzes to their webpages. The pro version also helps companies capture leads and present special offers. Sites such as BuzzFeed and Zimbio have seen a burst in views due to these quizzes. Qzzr officially launched last week with $2 million in seed money and partnerships with ESPN, Yahoo, Mashable, Reddit, College Humor, and others.  Continue reading Qzzr: New Quiz Creation Tool Helps Sites Drive Social Traffic

Rockbot: Universal Music Invests in Social Jukebox Service

Universal Music Group, largest of the major music labels, just closed an investment deal with Rockbot, a virtual jukebox service that provides music to bars, restaurants and other locations. Through Rockbot, businesses can play licensed music while customers use a mobile app to check in and interact with the songs. One perk is the ability for customers to vote on which music will be played. Rockbot expects to use the new funding to expand its reach throughout the U.S. Continue reading Rockbot: Universal Music Invests in Social Jukebox Service

Spotify’s New Serendipity Feature May Make Music Social Again

Spotify’s Artist in Residence Kyle McDonald created a new map feature known as Serendipity that shows when two people in the world are listening to a song at the same time. The interactive map plays a snippet of the song, which both users had to start within a tenth of a second of each other, and spins around to show the two users’ locations in the world. The new feature may help Spotify rise above other music streaming services, and make music a social experience once again. Continue reading Spotify’s New Serendipity Feature May Make Music Social Again

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