Onscreen Text Messages Appear in Chinese Movie Theaters

Select movie theaters in Chinese cities have begun experimenting with “bullet screens” (or “danmu”) — a new model in which audience members can comment on the film via text messages and have their impressions projected directly onto the screen. The experience is targeting young viewers who often have difficulty being away from their tablets and mobile phones. The experiment currently involves theaters in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai, in addition to smaller cities such as Hangzhou. Continue reading Onscreen Text Messages Appear in Chinese Movie Theaters

Siri Creators Build a New Improved AI That Can Teach Itself

Viv Labs, a startup founded by three of the people who developed Siri for Apple, is currently working on an artificial intelligence technology that will truly be able to perform tasks at the sound of a voice command. Unlike Siri, the new AI named Viv will be able to teach itself to perform almost any function, not just the ones that are programmed. The AI will also get to know its user, recognize the services that the user prefers, and eventually know what the user needs before it is stated. Continue reading Siri Creators Build a New Improved AI That Can Teach Itself

Following Facebook’s Lead, Twitter Starts Testing Video Ads

Twitter announced yesterday that it has been experimenting with “Promoted Video” ads. The product is basically a video version of Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, which provides advertising that appears in users’ content feed. The video ads are embedded into tweets via the platform’s card technology. The company says it has been testing a new Twitter Video Card since earlier this year “that streamlines video playback and brings a one-tap viewing experience in our users’ timelines.” Continue reading Following Facebook’s Lead, Twitter Starts Testing Video Ads

Instagram’s Audience Engagement is Triple That of Facebook

Social media shop Shareablee discovered that marketers are very active on Instagram, despite the fact that most cannot run ads on the photo- and video-sharing service yet. During the second quarter, Instagram had 56 percent more total actions than Facebook. While Instagram is four years old, and Facebook went live in 2004, it is not surprising that the brand activity is growing much faster on the mobile app. However, Instagram is also bringing in three times the engagement per post. Continue reading Instagram’s Audience Engagement is Triple That of Facebook

Foursquare’s Revamped Mobile App Now Personalizes Results

Foursquare has made dramatic changes in its smartphone app while rethinking its approach to local business recommendations. Since the company became popular in 2009 due to its check-in feature, Facebook and Instagram have taken much of that attention with their own check-in features. The revised app urges users to explore their surroundings while using Foursquare as their guide, with its database of 10,000 “tastes” to help users discover exactly what they want. Continue reading Foursquare’s Revamped Mobile App Now Personalizes Results

Beamly App for Android TV to Offer A Personalized TV Guide

Beamly, a social TV startup known for making second screen apps for iOS, Android and the Web, is now developing a first screen app for the new Android TV platform. The Android TV app will feature a personalized TV channel that will continuously show programming from both live TV channels and online video services. The app will also interact with Beamly’s existing mobile apps to offer interactive experiences such as voting during a competitive reality television show. Continue reading Beamly App for Android TV to Offer A Personalized TV Guide

Facebook Pursues Video Advertising with LiveRail Acquisition

Facebook announced Wednesday that it will acquire ad technology firm LiveRail, furthering its efforts with effective video advertising. LiveRail, sometimes referred to as a “supply side” platform, helps media companies sell video ads programmatically. The company currently works with clients such as A&E, Univision, MLB and BET. Facebook believes that the LiveRail acquisition will eventually lead to better video ads that are more relevant to its community. Continue reading Facebook Pursues Video Advertising with LiveRail Acquisition

Facebook Reportedly Developing a Version for the Workplace

Facebook is currently building FB@Work, a version of its social media platform specifically designed for use during work hours. The effort, based in London, is a version of the site optimized for professional use, although sources did not specify whether FB@Work would focus on a chat system for communication within the office, or if it would be a professional social tool along the lines of LinkedIn. The general idea, however, is to create a version of Facebook that is less distracting in a work environment. Continue reading Facebook Reportedly Developing a Version for the Workplace

After Beta Success, Twitter Launches Mobile-App Install Ads

Twitter is augmenting its lineup of advertising options with new mobile-app install ads. These ads, which feature links directly to an app on Apple’s App Store or Google Play, have already been appearing in users’ Twitter feeds for a few months. The company says the beta tests were successful and it officially launched the new ad platform on Monday. Mobile-app install ads may help Twitter generate more revenue, most of which comes from advertising. Continue reading After Beta Success, Twitter Launches Mobile-App Install Ads

Livestream App Lets Google Glass Users Share Live Video

On Tuesday, Google officially released the Livestream app that allows people to share live video captured with their Google Glass headsets. Glass users simply tell their devices to start broadcasting and the video that the headset records can be shared with other Livestream users for free. To broadcast to non-Livestream viewers, users can pay up to $399 per month to stream video to the Web. Google vetted Livestream’s policy to ensure the app addresses privacy concerns. Continue reading Livestream App Lets Google Glass Users Share Live Video

Intel Enters the Mobile App Business with Avatar Messages

Last week, chipmaker Intel introduced its own mobile app called “Pocket Avatars.” Unlike most of Intel’s functional software, Pocket Avatars is purely recreational. The app uses a smartphone’s camera and microphone to record the user’s voice and facial movements. Then the app translates those signals into a talking, animated avatar message that users can send to their friends. The free app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones. Continue reading Intel Enters the Mobile App Business with Avatar Messages

Corporate Shift in Social Media Seeks Quality Over Quantity

Last year, Ritz-Carlton Hotel experienced a different kind of disappointment with advertising campaigns. The company wanted to promote its brand page on Facebook but quickly stopped the campaign. Unhappy executives saw too much gain from these ads. Now, rather than trying to grow its fan base, Ritz-Carlton has focused on analyzing its social media conversations to better grasp the likes and dislikes of its guests. The plan highlights a shift in corporate social media strategies. Continue reading Corporate Shift in Social Media Seeks Quality Over Quantity

Qplay Changes Direction, Brings its Video App to Chromecast

Earlier this year, we reported the launch of Qplay from TiVo co-founders Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Qs” from various online sources. The startup also offers a $49 TV adapter for those who want to watch their video streams on their television. A new version of Qplay’s iPad app now adds the ability to cast videos to Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, which could eliminate the need for Qplay’s streaming player. Continue reading Qplay Changes Direction, Brings its Video App to Chromecast

Facebook Takes on Snapchat with Slingshot Messaging App

Facebook launched its new Slingshot messaging app for both iPhone and Android this week. The app has been described as similar to Snapchat, although it has one significant difference. In order to see what others have sent you, you need to send a photo or video in response. The free app is meant to feel more like a game that involves active engagement than a traditional social messaging tool, based on the inability of users to watch so-called “shots” passively. Continue reading Facebook Takes on Snapchat with Slingshot Messaging App

Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company’s new Fire Phone yesterday in Seattle. The 4.7-inch smartphone, which features a 3D display that detects where eyes are looking on the screen with “Dynamic Perspective,” will be available July 25 starting at $200. The device includes a scanning feature with its Firefly app, which allows users to scan products, signs, UPC or QR codes (ideal for shopping on Amazon), and Shazam-like features to identify songs and pinpoint scenes in movies or TV shows. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

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