Apple Clips Launches: Cool Features, But Not Always Intuitive

Apple is debuting a standalone video app called Apple Clips that allows users to shoot, edit and share video clips for mobile phones. Apple Clips, for iOS 10.3 or higher, features real-time captioning and facial recognition as well as giant emoji, cartoon filters and lively title screens — and the end results can be distributed to iMessage contacts. Automatic captioning, dubbed Live Titles, allows the user to choose a font and style; after hitting record, the app transcribes speech to text. But less ideal features mar the app, say critics. Continue reading Apple Clips Launches: Cool Features, But Not Always Intuitive

Facebook Betting On VR with New 360-Degree Video Feature

Facebook introduced a new 360-degree spherical video feature this week for the social platform’s newsfeed. At launch, users can roam an immersive trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” by dragging their mouse over the video in order to access different vantage points. Mobile users can change their angle within clips featuring NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and workouts by NBA star LeBron James by simply tilting their smartphone or swiping their finger across the screen. Continue reading Facebook Betting On VR with New 360-Degree Video Feature

Whipclip Attracts Media Partners and $40 Million Investment

Whipclip’s app, which allows users to immediately and legally share clips from TV shows and other media, raised an additional $40 million in Series C financing. Led by asset management firm Eminence Capital, other investors include Institutional Venture Partners, Rain Ventures and content partners A&E, ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, Fox, Lifetime, Sony Music and Universal Music Group. Whipclip CEO Rich Rosenblatt, previously co-founder of Demand Media, states that some clips have been viewed millions of times. Continue reading Whipclip Attracts Media Partners and $40 Million Investment

Spotify Sweetens the Deal with New Video and Podcast Content

Spotify is no longer just about music streaming. The service — facing new pressure from emerging rivals — is adding podcasts, video clips, original music and video series, a better recommendation engine, and a special feature for runners. The new videos and podcasts will come from media partners like ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, ESPN and Maker Studios. Spotify has also developed some of its own original content, including music tracks that will change tempo based on how fast the user is running. Continue reading Spotify Sweetens the Deal with New Video and Podcast Content

Spotify Pursuing Major Media Companies to Partner on Videos

According to insiders, Spotify is reportedly in discussions with numerous media companies, TV networks, online video producers and magazine publishers to introduce short video clips to its streaming service as early as this month. The additional content would be available on Spotify’s mobile platform as part of an effort to keep users more engaged, challenge YouTube’s video dominance, and help the service sell more advertising. Discussions with potential partners are believed to be at an early stage and Spotify has yet to announce any deals. Continue reading Spotify Pursuing Major Media Companies to Partner on Videos

Advertising May Result From $10 Billion Snapchat Investment

Snapchat is expecting a $10 billion investment from VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Even though the startup does not have a clear business model, its valuation has increased dramatically from last year’s $2 billion. The investment could help Snapchat advance into the advertising world, a move that is expected this year. Snapchat, which is the third-most used app among millennials, may become a viable platform for generating revenue from the age group through advertising. Continue reading Advertising May Result From $10 Billion Snapchat Investment

Twitter Hopes New Import Feature for Vine Will Attract Brands

Vine’s new import feature is aimed at brands that want to produce videos without the limitations of a smartphone camera. Previously, Vine only allowed for six-second videos to be recorded and shared using the camera on users’ phones, which boosted creativity for individuals but hindered any commercial use. Now, users can upload videos shot with professional-grade cameras that are edited with computer software. The move is a step toward Twitter’s plan to monetize its video-sharing service. Continue reading Twitter Hopes New Import Feature for Vine Will Attract Brands