Instagram Launches Carefully Curated Autoplay Video Ads

Facebook’s Instagram introduced autoplay video ads into its users’ feeds last week. Activision, Banana Republic, the CW, Disney and Lancome are the initial advertisers to strike a deal with Instagram for the 15-second spots. The company reviewed all of the video ads before the launch to ensure that they fit with Instagram’s overall vibe and contain fresh content. Other social network competitors, like Tumblr and Snapchat, have also recently added autoplay video ads. Continue reading Instagram Launches Carefully Curated Autoplay Video Ads

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

Yahoo’s Tumblr Teams Up with TV Shows for Fan Engagement

Tumblr is teaming with TV shows to explore new ways to reach audiences. NBC’s “The Voice,” Fox’s “MasterChef” and AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire” are among the programs using Tumblr for second screen engagement. Networks are posting preview clips and sharing recipes on Tumblr. “The Voice” has incorporated animated illustrations from Tumblr artists onto its set, and has invited Tumblr bloggers backstage. Yahoo is hoping that integration with TV will help grow Tumblr and justify its $1.1 billion price tag. Continue reading Yahoo’s Tumblr Teams Up with TV Shows for Fan Engagement

Yahoo Now Envisions Tumblr as Its Own Version of YouTube

After Yahoo purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013, CEO and founder David Karp was promised that the site would remain an independent property. Tumblr would use Yahoo’s advertising technology while Yahoo would use Tumblr’s publishing tools. Now, Yahoo executives see Tumblr as their version of YouTube. Tumblr would solve YouTube content creators’ complaints that they do not make enough money, and the poached YouTube stars would set up their new channels on Tumblr.  Continue reading Yahoo Now Envisions Tumblr as Its Own Version of YouTube

‘Twilight’ Coming to Facebook, Netflix Unveils Exclusive Deals

Lionsgate and “Twilight” creator Stephenie Meyer announced plans to distribute a series of short films exclusively via Facebook. Five aspiring female directors will be hired to produce mini-movies based on the “Twilight” characters. Meanwhile, Netflix announced a new original series for kids, the animated “Kong: King of the Apes,” in addition to an exclusive four-picture deal with Adam Sandler. Netflix is also dealing with a potential exhibition boycott after announcing the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Continue reading ‘Twilight’ Coming to Facebook, Netflix Unveils Exclusive Deals

YouTube Stars Hire Agents, Managers in Traditional Media Push

More than 20 talent agencies and management companies are vying to represent some of YouTube’s biggest celebrities with the promise of growing these stars’ online audience and traditional media presence. Agents often negotiate endorsement deals, acting gigs, music deals and book deals. They can also help the young-adult and teenage stars navigate licensing contracts. YouTube stars have started attracting traditional media companies, and now traditional management companies. Continue reading YouTube Stars Hire Agents, Managers in Traditional Media Push

Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown Generates Big Numbers

Public interest groups and tech companies participated in an Internet “slowdown” yesterday to raise awareness of the potential impact to net neutrality and an open Internet if slow lanes were to result from proposed FCC rules. It was not an actual throttling of Internet speeds, but a campaign in which sites featured messages about the issue and symbolic “loading” icons. Thousands of websites urged their users to take action. As a result, the FCC received a record 1,477,301 public comments. Continue reading Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown Generates Big Numbers

Snapchat Now Third Most Popular Social App with Millennials

According to comScore research, Snapchat is now the third most popular social app among the millennial demographic (18-34 year olds). With 32.9 percent penetration on mobile phones, Snapchat trails only Facebook and Instagram. Jumping from 12.1 percent back in November 2013, the app is now more popular with millennials than Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Google+ or Tumblr. The shift is important considering that this age group is the most active of mobile social networkers. Continue reading Snapchat Now Third Most Popular Social App with Millennials

BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

BuzzFeed, which currently draws more than 150 million average monthly viewers, wants to become known for more than its numbered lists popular with Web surfers. To achieve this goal, the startup just closed a $50 million investment from Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. The investment will be used to develop new content sections for the site, create an in-house incubator for new technologies, and put more resources toward its LA-based video arm, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Continue reading BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

Tech Companies Argue the Internet Should Be a Public Utility

Tech companies of all sizes are urging the Federal Communications Commission to enforce net neutrality by reclassifying the Internet as Title II. This reclassification would mean that Internet providers would have to abide by the same laws as public utilities and there would be no Internet “fast lanes.” Representatives from Kickstarter, Spotify, Vimeo and others met with the FCC to discuss the issue last week. Netflix also submitted a filing to the FCC about the proposed net neutrality laws. Continue reading Tech Companies Argue the Internet Should Be a Public Utility

Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

After a few months of delays, Yahoo plans to launch its new video service this summer. Like YouTube, the service will allow users to post videos, create their own channels, and embed the Yahoo video player into other sites. Yahoo’s video service is different in its more generous revenue-sharing deals with video creators. Content producers with a Yahoo contract will also have the ability to publish their videos on Yahoo properties including the homepage and Tumblr. Continue reading Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

Yahoo No Longer Honoring ‘Do Not Track’ Requests by its Users

In a blog post this week, Yahoo announced that its privacy policy will no longer recognize when users activate “Do Not Track” signals in their browsers. Although users purposefully use this setting to indicate they do not want companies to monitor their online behavior, the tracking is necessary for Yahoo to create a more personalized experience for its users. The move is part of larger strategy by CEO Marissa Mayer to brand Yahoo as a “personalization company.” Continue reading Yahoo No Longer Honoring ‘Do Not Track’ Requests by its Users

F8: Facebook Introduces Ad Network, App Tools and New Motto

At Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s newest projects that emphasize app development for third parties. The company’s motto “move fast and break things” has become less relevant as Facebook grows and third party apps rely increasingly on Facebook databases. The new ad network and app development tools will make it easier for third party app developers to create apps with Facebook functions. Continue reading F8: Facebook Introduces Ad Network, App Tools and New Motto

Twitter Acquires Gnip, Could Provide More Data to Advertisers

Twitter has agreed to purchase data partner Gnip, in a move that could lead to an expanded role by Twitter in analyzing tweets for businesses that are seeking new insights from social media. While financial terms of the deal have yet to be released, Gnip has reportedly raised $6.6 million in funding. Twitter also announced that it has hired Daniel Graf as its new product chief. Graf, an expert in mobile apps, most recently served as a director at Google where he oversaw Google Maps. Continue reading Twitter Acquires Gnip, Could Provide More Data to Advertisers

Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

Popular websites have been scrambling to update software and Internet users have been encouraged to change their passwords following the news of an encryption flaw known as the Heartbleed bug, which is already being categorized as one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever experienced. The bug has affected a number of websites and services (although the extent is not clear), and may have exposed account info including passwords and credit card numbers going back two years. UPDATE: Cisco and Juniper said yesterday that some of their networking products contain the bug, which means sensitive info may have been obtained while moving across corporate networks, home networks and the Internet. Continue reading Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords