Facebook to Start Using Instagram as New Advertising Vehicle

Facebook announced that it will begin using popular photo- and video-sharing service Instagram, which it acquired last year for about $1 billion, as a new vehicle for delivering advertisements. The move marks the first attempt by Instagram to leverage its growing popularity for revenue (it has yet to generate income for social giant Facebook). The announcement came shortly before competitor Twitter released financial details regarding its planned IPO. Continue reading Facebook to Start Using Instagram as New Advertising Vehicle

Amazon Plans to Release New Set-Top Box for Holiday Season

Amazon plans to release a video streaming device in time for the holiday shopping season. The set-top box, which will reportedly look similar to a Roku player, will feature a platform that runs apps and content from a variety of sources. Amazon has approached multiple app developers and cable TV providers with the hopes of attaining partnerships. The device will be a vehicle for Amazon’s expanding video streaming service that puts the company in competition with Netflix. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Release New Set-Top Box for Holiday Season

Chat Service Allows 10 People to Share Videos at Same Time

Spin is a new mobile video chat service that allows up to 10 parties per session. The app was created by a San Francisco company called Net Power & Light, known primarily for generating educational apps. Spin allows individuals to share photos and videos, and participants can simply swipe in and out of chats, known as “gatherings.” The app has been released for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, with an Android version coming soon. Continue reading Chat Service Allows 10 People to Share Videos at Same Time

Neo3Do: New Android Tablet Offers Glasses-Free 3D Experience

Some consumers enjoy 3D, but don’t care much for the required glasses. The Neo3Do tablet offers users the 3D experience without the spectacles. The $349 Android tablet plays 3D videos and also converts standard video into 3D. However, the 3D effect is spotty, according to this review, and sometimes works well and other times far less so. In a demo featuring a clip from the Blu-ray 3D version of “Predator,” the 3D feature was highly impressive. It also worked well with games such as “Fruit Ninja.” Continue reading Neo3Do: New Android Tablet Offers Glasses-Free 3D Experience

“Breaking Bad” Fans Flock to Social Media for Series Finale

Sunday’s series finale of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” led to unprecedented social media activity, especially on Twitter and Facebook. While AMC was running a marathon of the Emmy-winning drama leading up to the finale, Twitter experienced more than 100,000 tweets a day, sparked in part by interaction with cast and crew. Additionally, Facebook says that more than 3 million users generated about 5.5 million interactions on its social network during the finale. The activity comes as both social platforms are pursuing television dollars. Continue reading “Breaking Bad” Fans Flock to Social Media for Series Finale

Apple and MLB Team Up for Interactive Ballpark Experience

Major League Baseball is launching a new initiative involving customized features for its At the Ballpark app that will make attending games a more interactive experience for sports fans. The app will use Apple’s iBeacon indoor mapping, a new feature of the company’s recently released iOS 7, for a customized stadium experience. Apple’s mapping tool addresses the limitations of using GPS indoors. MLB and Apple have been working on the project since February. Continue reading Apple and MLB Team Up for Interactive Ballpark Experience

Amazon Launches Offline Viewing of Videos on New Kindles

Amazon is launching an offline viewing feature for its Prime Instant Video service on the new line of Kindle devices. The move is an attempt to catch up to Netflix and make the Amazon offering distinct from other subscription video services. Google is planning its own offline video feature for YouTube mobile apps as well. It remains to be seen if offline viewing will be a desired feature in the long term, but Amazon is the first to offer such an option. Continue reading Amazon Launches Offline Viewing of Videos on New Kindles

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix, the Emmys, and the Changing Face of Television

In the run-up to last weekend’s Emmy Awards, a great deal was written about the nominations received by “House of Cards,” and what those nominations mean for the future of television, both as a business and as an art form. Though the show missed out on most of the evening’s top honors, the three wins it did secure still mark a turning point in TV’s evolution. While it seems unlikely that the changes in the way television is produced and consumed will be as transformational or as swift as some predict, it does seem clear that the nature of television has changed and will continue to change in several important ways. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Netflix, the Emmys, and the Changing Face of Television

Cable Customers Want Change, But Seem Unwilling to Pay

A new study released yesterday by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that 44 percent of today’s consumers would prefer an a la carte system, while 73 percent note they would prefer a la carte or at least more customization of current packages. Notably, a mere 14 percent of consumers are satisfied with the status quo. However, since only 38 percent said they would be willing to pay more than $3 monthly per channel, it does not seem likely that TV providers would stray from bundling. Continue reading Cable Customers Want Change, But Seem Unwilling to Pay

Social TV: NFL Highlights Coming to a Twitter Feed Near You

The National Football League and Twitter are partnering to deliver football highlights and related content through the social media service. Content will include in-game highlights from the NFL Network on Thursdays and clips from games after they’ve aired on CBS and Fox. The NFL will offer news, analysis and fantasy football advice. The move is part of Twitter’s Amplify program that allows TV content owners to integrate programming in Twitter feeds. The revenue from embedded ads will be shared by the companies. Continue reading Social TV: NFL Highlights Coming to a Twitter Feed Near You

Advertising Week: Twitter Sees Opportunities in Social TV

Speaking at Advertising Week on Monday, Twitter exec Matt Derella noted that 85 percent of American consumers watch TV with a phone or tablet in their hands, while 70 percent of tweets are sent during programming rather than commercials. He suggests that these statistics are an important sign. This could mark a second revolution for TV viewing — the first being when consumers began channel-flipping with remotes, and the second involving the inclination to contribute via social media. Continue reading Advertising Week: Twitter Sees Opportunities in Social TV

Two Competing Visions for the Future at Tokyo Game Show

At the Tokyo Game Show, two keynotes presented very different visions regarding the future of video games. This year’s theme was “Limitless Evolution,” and Sony executives talked about the evolution of consoles, increased connectivity through a suite of Sony hardware, and the rise of downloadable content. In contrast, the CEO of GungHo Online Entertainment discussed the importance of luck and timing today, in addition to the runaway success of certain free-to-play mobile games. Continue reading Two Competing Visions for the Future at Tokyo Game Show

Amazon Pushes its Digital Services with New Kindle Fire HDX

Kindle plans to unveil two new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet today, featuring a faster processor and graphics, improved screen quality and a lighter, slimmer design. The Kindle Fire HDX, available with 7-inch or 8.9-inch screens, will undercut the price of competitors including Apple’s popular iPad and, not surprisingly, focus on sales of services such as digital music and e-books. “We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Continue reading Amazon Pushes its Digital Services with New Kindle Fire HDX

Microsoft Targets Content Creation Market with Surface Pro 2

Microsoft introduced two new tablets during a launch event on Monday. The Surface 2, starting at $499, is the company’s follow-up to the Surface RT. It features a higher-resoution 1080p ClearType display and Tegra 4 chip. Microsoft is making a play for the content creation market with its $899-$1799 Surface Pro 2, presenting it as a full-fledged mobile workstation. During the demo, Surface GM Panos Panay teamed it with a RED Dragon Carbon Fiber camera to showcase 6K video capabilities. Continue reading Microsoft Targets Content Creation Market with Surface Pro 2

Staples Connect Offers Universal Hub to Connect Your Home

It may seem an unlikely source for managing home automation or the next step forward for the Internet of Things, but Staples will launch its $100 Staples Connect hub in November. The Internet-connected hub by Linksys centralizes control of smart home appliances and other devices with the help of a single controller app. Staples hopes its approach will help curb the need for multiple proprietary apps that are common with smart home devices currently on the market. Continue reading Staples Connect Offers Universal Hub to Connect Your Home

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