Australian Landmark Law Passes, Big Tech to Pay for Content

Australia’s parliament passed the first law of its kind, requiring Facebook and Google to pay local publishers for news content on their platforms. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg noted that, “the code is a significant microeconomic reform, one that has drawn the eyes of the world on the Australian parliament.” In fact, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison had discussed the new law with leaders of Canada, France, India and the United Kingdom. Facebook recently pledged to spend at least $1 billion over the next three years to license news content. Continue reading Australian Landmark Law Passes, Big Tech to Pay for Content

Social Media Firms, Marketers Ink Deal to Limit Hate Speech

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter struck a deal with the World Federation of Advertisers to take steps to dampen hate speech and other harmful content on their platforms. In addition to establishing common definitions of such content, the platforms agreed to adopt coordinated reporting standards. Three months ago, many big advertisers boycotted Facebook in the wake of the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests. Facebook also revealed its Oversight Board will begin to hear cases as soon as mid-October. Continue reading Social Media Firms, Marketers Ink Deal to Limit Hate Speech

Snapchat Shows to Introduce 25 New Series From the U.K.

Snapchat currently touts 5 million users in the United Kingdom who watch Shows on the social platform that are produced by its U.S. publishing partners. As part of its efforts to better compete with popular services such as Google’s YouTube and Instagram’s IGTV for the growing number of online and mobile video fans, Snap Inc. is adding 25 new series from 17 U.K. content producers. The content will largely target millennials. The move highlights Snap’s strategy of leveraging more TV-style content to grow engagement in specific markets and increase revenue. Continue reading Snapchat Shows to Introduce 25 New Series From the U.K.

BuzzFeed News Is Trying New Methods to Generate Revenue

BuzzFeed News plans to debut a feature at the bottom of its news pages asking readers to donate between $5 and $100. In exchange, said one source, donors will get updates on big news stories and new programming. This move could presage a membership program with more perks, continued that source, who added that the company is not planning to charge for content. In another revenue-earning venture, BuzzFeed introduced a new product-review/recommendation site, earning revenue from online purchases. Continue reading BuzzFeed News Is Trying New Methods to Generate Revenue

Google Develops AI That Can Detect Hateful Internet Speech

Google technology incubator Jigsaw has released software designed to help Web publishers moderate the unruly comments on their sites. The software is called Perspective and it is available free of charge to publishers that apply for access. Jigsaw used machine learning to help train Perspective to identify toxic comments. Each comment is assigned a score, so that human moderators or even readers can filter out responses that score above a certain toxicity level. Perspective is part of Jigsaw’s Conversation AI initiative. The team wants to help foster more civil discourse and eradicate Internet trolls.  Continue reading Google Develops AI That Can Detect Hateful Internet Speech

Google’s AMP Speeds Mobile, But Ad Limits Raise Concerns

A year after Google introduced its Accelerated Mobile Pages, aimed at speeding up content on mobile platforms, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Hearst, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Vox Media and many other publishers are using it. But the reviews are mixed, since, with AMP, Google has begun to send users to stripped-down pages rather than to the publisher’s mobile website, and publishers say they are not generating revenue from AMP pages at the same rates as their full mobile sites. Continue reading Google’s AMP Speeds Mobile, But Ad Limits Raise Concerns

Google Takes On Facebook with Faster Mobile News Delivery

Google has updated its mobile search with a fast-loading format, developed with input from various publishers, so that smartphone users can access news articles more quickly. Conducting a Google search will now bring users to a horizontal carousel of articles where each news item will feature a lightning bolt icon and the letters ‘AMP’ (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Clicking on an article will bring it up almost immediately. The new format comes as Facebook is expanding its Instant Articles program in an effort to speed the delivery of news articles and videos. Continue reading Google Takes On Facebook with Faster Mobile News Delivery

Kickstarter Hires Reporter to Investigate Drone Startup Failure

Kickstarter has hired an investigative journalist to look into a recent case in which a successful fundraising campaign led to spectacular failure. British drone startup Torquing Group raised $3.4 million (£2.3 million) and, less than a year later, went down in flames. Its co-founder/chief executive Ivan Reedman left the company for “personal health issues and irreconcilable differences” and, a visit to the company’s Wales headquarters didn’t turn up a working prototype of the product due to ship within months. Continue reading Kickstarter Hires Reporter to Investigate Drone Startup Failure

Vice to Decide on TV, Mobile, OTT Expansion Deals in Europe

A large number of potential partners are vying to cut deals for Vice TV channels across Europe, expected to launch in the next 12 to 18 months. But plans aren’t moving fast enough for chief executive Shane Smith who is eager to ink agreements not just for TV but mobile, online and OTT. The company is already set to launch a U.S. channel, and expected to partner with A+E for that venture (although Smith more recently declined to say who his U.S. partner would be), and has a Canadian outlet with Rogers Communications. Continue reading Vice to Decide on TV, Mobile, OTT Expansion Deals in Europe

Advertisers Face an Increase in Ad-Blocking, Search for Fixes

The use of ad-blocking software is increasing to the point that some advertisers say it could be perilous to the Internet’s economic model. And it’s about to get worse for them. Whereas, now, ad-blocking software is limited to desktop computers, Apple iOS 9 will extend ad-blocking to mobile phones as well. But there could be a solution, say some experts. Advertisers are going to have to create simpler, less intrusive ads to survive. The other option — begging for customers to disable ad-blocking — hasn’t seen much success. Continue reading Advertisers Face an Increase in Ad-Blocking, Search for Fixes

Facebook Now Hosting Articles from Major News Organizations

After months of negotiations, media companies have finally started publishing their content directly to Facebook. Nine major news organizations, including BBC News, NBC News and The New York Times, have agreed to the Facebook deal. The articles will load faster and the news organizations will be able to sell advertisements and keep the entire revenue. However, some analysts believe that this deal might draw readers and advertisers away from the media companies’ own sites. Continue reading Facebook Now Hosting Articles from Major News Organizations

Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

A full 32-page version of YouTube’s contract for its upcoming premium music subscription service has been leaked online through the blog Digital Music News. So far, the most controversial clause included in the contract concerns the ability of major labels to agree upon lowered rates and therefore influence the rate of royalties paid to independent labels. The leaked contract was drafted to send to these independent labels, but is not a reflection of the actual signed deals.  Continue reading Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

Oculus VR: Palmer Luckey Answers Angry Gamers on Reddit

Oculus Rift, the virtual technology headset created by 21-year old Palmer Luckey, has developed quite a loyal fan base in a short amount of time. When Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion this week, gamers and developers responded with mixed reviews, many disappointed and critical of the move. Luckey responded on Reddit by explaining that he was also skeptical of a Facebook deal at first, but now believes the social giant could help bring virtual reality to the masses. Continue reading Oculus VR: Palmer Luckey Answers Angry Gamers on Reddit

Facebook Offers User Data to TV Networks and News Outlets

Facebook recently announced two new API tools for TV networks and news outlets to access its user data, offering measurements such as the number of statuses mentioning certain celebrities or which gender is interested in a specific news story. The APIs will give TV networks and news media more insight into their audience and programming. The features, Public Feed API and Keyword Insights API, are being offered to CNN, NBC, Sky TV, BuzzFeedThe GuardianSlate and social media analytics firm Mass Relevance. Continue reading Facebook Offers User Data to TV Networks and News Outlets