WWDC: Apple Unveils macOS Ventura, iOS 16, MacBook Air

Apple unveiled a slew of new tech at WWDC 2022, previewing macOS Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, the next MacBook Air with new M2 chip, the Apple Pay Later service, password updates, new security features and more. Propelled by the tagline “Personal is powerful,” iOS 16 is crafted around helping customers create individual experiences, with ways to customize the Lock Screen, organize desktops and optimize video calls. The Stage Manager feature of macOS 13 Ventura allows easier multitasking and promises updates to improve Spotlight and Apple Mail. Safari is substituting “passkeys” for passwords, allowing users to login to websites using their iPhones or Macs. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Unveils macOS Ventura, iOS 16, MacBook Air

Snap Teams with Cameo and Introduces Its New Ad Initiative

Appearing at the NewFronts, Snap unveiled a new program in conjunction with celebrity greeting app Cameo as well as a new advertising initiative called Snap Promote and some new original programs. Snapchat creators will have the opportunity to team on short-form video ads with the 45,000-plus actors, athletes, musicians and influencers. The new Snap x Cameo Advertiser Program venture — an expansion of the Creator Marketplace Snap launched last year to increase monetization opportunities — was created by Cameo for Business and built by Snap. Continue reading Snap Teams with Cameo and Introduces Its New Ad Initiative

Reddit Is Evaluating Video Reactions to Enhance Discussions

Community forum aggregator Reddit is looking into expanding user-generated video content. Although it hasn’t yet reached the testing phase, reports say the platform is exploring a TikTok-like suite of editing tools, including a reaction feature comparable to Stitches and Duets (which have inspired similar functionality on Instagram’s Reels and Snapchat’s Spotlight). Reddit already supports video, but not reactions. Reportedly, its interest at this early stage is in reactions as an engagement tool for discussions, not in fostering a full-blown creator economy like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. Continue reading Reddit Is Evaluating Video Reactions to Enhance Discussions

TikTok Fights Attention Deficit, Chases Ads with Longer Vids

Having ridden the short-form video wave to popularity, TikTok now faces a quandary: advertisers want longer-form content in which to place their messaging, while users say they don’t even have sufficient attention span for minute-long videos. Last year, a TikTok survey indicated 50 percent of its users find clips of more than a minute stressful, and about a third of them zip through 60-second clips at double-speed. “It’s not because I don’t have time, but because I can’t concentrate,” one twentysomething user reportedly explained in a survey response. Despite that feedback, TikTok began experimenting through the second half of 2021 with videos of five minutes and 10 minutes. Continue reading TikTok Fights Attention Deficit, Chases Ads with Longer Vids

Snapchat Debuts Mid-Roll Ads with Revenue-Share for Stars

Popular messaging app Snapchat has added a new way for its top creators to earn money on the platform, introducing mid-roll ads in public Stories. The feature is in U.S. beta testing now with an early set of Snap Stars, who will receive a share of the revenue generated from ads within their public Stories. “Stories lower the barrier to content creation and engagement, and we believe placing ads within a Snap Star’s public Story will allow an easier path to financial success,” Snap says of the program, which it plans to roll out commercially later this year. Continue reading Snapchat Debuts Mid-Roll Ads with Revenue-Share for Stars

Video Emerges as Killer Social App, Everyone Chasing TikTok

Meta and Snap both appear to have re-focused their social media strategies on video, leading to speculation they’re chasing TikTok, famously the U.S.’s “most downloaded app of 2021,” which at 94 million handily topped the 64 million of the second most popular, Meta’s Instagram. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts last week that even though Instagram’s Reels is the company’s most rapidly growing format, “we also have a competitor that is compounding at a pretty quick rate, too.” ByteDance’s TikTok, Zuckerberg said, “continues to grow at quite a fast rate off of a very large base.” Continue reading Video Emerges as Killer Social App, Everyone Chasing TikTok

Sports Illustrated Launches Original Video Series on Snapchat

Sports Illustrated makes its Snapchat debut with “America’s Best Sports Videos.” The Snap Original series aims to connect the 67-year-old sports franchise with younger audiences through user-generated footage debuting Fridays. According to Snap, more than 85 percent of the Gen Z population watched a Snap Originals video in the second half of 2020. Snap users can access the program by scanning SI’s unique Snapcode or searching by title on the Snapchat Discover page. The show is hosted by 28-year-old Ashley Nicole Moss, host and co-creator of SI’s “Laces Out” series about sneaker culture. Continue reading Sports Illustrated Launches Original Video Series on Snapchat

Google Search Will Use MUM AI to Combine Text and Images

Google Lens visual search will be updated to incorporate the company’s new AI technology, the Multitask Unified Model (MUM), which understands context and draws from various formats, including text, images and videos. With MUM, users will be able to incorporate text in order to specify queries on visual search. For instance, you could use your phone to snap a photo of a favorite shirt using the Google Lens feature — or find a shirt you like through Google Search — then tap the Lens icon on the open image and type in “socks with this pattern” to search with specificity. Continue reading Google Search Will Use MUM AI to Combine Text and Images

TikTok’s Three-Minute Videos Let Creators Expand, Monetize

ByteDance-owned TikTok revealed that over the coming weeks it would introduce the ability to share videos of up to three minutes on its platform. TikTok debuted with 15-second videos and later expanded to 60-second videos. TikTok product manager Drew Kirchhoff said the longer videos will give creators “the canvas to create new or expanded types of content … with the flexibility of a bit more space.” With 100 million monthly active users in the U.S., TikTok is now facing competition from Instagram Reels and Snapchat’s Spotlight in an evolving video landscape that could impact the streaming wars. Continue reading TikTok’s Three-Minute Videos Let Creators Expand, Monetize

YouTube to Reward Creators of Shorts with $100 Million Fund

YouTube unveiled its $100 million YouTube Shorts Fund, which rewards creators who post the most engaging clips on its new “TikTok-style” feature. The program will debut in Fall 2021 and continue into 2022. Shorts was introduced in India before debuting in the U.S. in March. Regarding monetization, YouTube plans to experiment, including testing ads, sometime this year. YouTube Shorts director of global partnership enablement Amy Singer said the company will “reach out” to thousands of creators every month. Continue reading YouTube to Reward Creators of Shorts with $100 Million Fund

YouTube to Offer a 4K Option and Shorts That Mimic TikTok

YouTube in unveiling a suite of new features, including the launch of its YouTube Shorts, which will enable users to create short-form vertical videos similar to those featured on video-sharing platform TikTok. The company will also introduce an option for its pay-TV service YouTube TV that will enable subscribers to watch in 4K, stream programs to an unlimited number of devices and download content for offline viewing. YouTube also plans to expand its new e-commerce feature so viewers can buy products from creators’ channels. Continue reading YouTube to Offer a 4K Option and Shorts That Mimic TikTok

Snap’s New Spotlight Feature Aims to Encourage Viral Videos

Snap is introducing a video-sharing feature called Spotlight designed to help its Snapchat app better compete with TikTok and Instagram Reels. Spotlight allows the creation of content that could go viral, a marked difference from its long-time focus on communication between friends and curated posts. Snap will spend $1+ million a day to reward those who post the best content and highlight top snaps to its 249+ million daily users in a feed they can swipe or tap. With Spotlight, Snap hopes customers increase the time they spend on the app. It also opens the door to advertising. Continue reading Snap’s New Spotlight Feature Aims to Encourage Viral Videos

Amazon Makes the Case That Rekognition Is a Force for Good

In June, in a letter to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, almost 19 groups of Amazon shareholders expressed concern about the company’s cloud-based facial recognition system Rekognition being provided to law enforcement in Orlando, Florida and the Washington County (Oregon) Sheriff’s Office. They joined forces with Amazon employees, the ACLU, academics and more than 70 other groups to protest the decision. After the ACLU showed how Rekognition can err in IDing people, three Democratic lawmakers joined the chorus. Continue reading Amazon Makes the Case That Rekognition Is a Force for Good

Spotify Adds Content to Compete With Radio, YouTube, Apple

Popular streaming music service Spotify plans to take on radio and podcasts from Apple and others by introducing news and political coverage to its content offerings. Spotify’s new Spotlight feature will include programming from partners such as BuzzFeed and Refinery29. BuzzFeed, for example, will provide daily newscasts that run four to seven minutes in duration. Spotify’s 70 million users already have access to music and new video and podcast offerings; Spotlight will add news, politics, pop culture and sports coverage. The strategy could position Spotify as a competitor to YouTube and Apple. Continue reading Spotify Adds Content to Compete With Radio, YouTube, Apple

Facebook Introduces Video Series, Targeting TV Ad Market

Facebook is in production on new video series, with an eye on the $70 billion TV advertising market. First up from the social media company are reality competition series “Last State Standing” and a second season of comedy “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” which first appeared on MTV. Facebook hopes that if it adds original programming to the site, it will encourage cable networks and ad-supported, youth-oriented online services to upload their own premium video content. Facebook executives have compared its efforts to priming the pump. Continue reading Facebook Introduces Video Series, Targeting TV Ad Market