YouTube Updates Its User Interface with New Look, Features

YouTube is getting a user interface update that includes a darker night mode and, for mobile users, a pinch-to-zoom feature similar to that used for photos on Android and iOS devices. Additionally, a new frame-by-frame search lets users find an exact moment within a video using thumbnails. YouTube’s watch page also gets a refresh, with links in the video descriptions restyled as buttons, while common actions (“like,” “share,” “download”) have been formatted for a cleaner look. On watch and channel pages, the subscribe button has been redesigned to stand out more, which should help creators. Continue reading YouTube Updates Its User Interface with New Look, Features

Twitter Circle Goes Wide with Tweets for 150 of Your Friends

Twitter is rolling out Twitter Circle globally on iOS, Android and on Twitter.com. The feature, which emulates Instagram’s Close Friends, lets people tweet to a select circle of up to 150 connections. “With Twitter Circle, people now have the flexibility to choose who can see and engage with their content on a tweet-by-tweet basis,” the company said, couching it as a way to “have more intimate conversations and build closer connections with select followers.” Before posting on Twitter, users will now see an option to share tweets with either their circle or full followers list. Continue reading Twitter Circle Goes Wide with Tweets for 150 of Your Friends

Plex Goes Social for Content Discovery, Adds Music Channels

Free streaming media service Plex is testing a new community-oriented feature called Discover Together that lets users add friends and keep tabs on their favorite programs, viewing their ratings and bookmarks. In addition to enhancing engagement by prompting online discussions, Plex hopes the crowd-sourced community data can eventually help power its recommendation engine. The idea is for Discover Together to launch with a high degree of privacy, inviting users to fill out Plex profiles with their geographic location and Plex Pass status, extending individual friend invites using a Plex username or email. The feature is currently in beta for web, iOS and Android users. Continue reading Plex Goes Social for Content Discovery, Adds Music Channels

Avid Debuts ‘Media Production in the Cloud’ by Subscription

Avid is moving its workflow to the cloud, providing its popular on-site editing interface to distributed production teams that will now have instant access to assets across platforms, from broadcast and cable to web and social media. Geared towards news and sports operations, the Avid Media Production in the Cloud subscription service offers a secure and convenient way to integrate existing tools and workflows with the power of the cloud “without committing to a forklift overhaul or the need for additional training,” Avid director of solutions marketing, media and cloud Raul Alba said of the rollout. Continue reading Avid Debuts ‘Media Production in the Cloud’ by Subscription

Google’s Search Criteria Now Includes ‘Mobile Friendliness’

Google has revamped its search criteria to make sure sites at the top of its search rankings are mobile friendly. The change went into effect earlier this week, along with other criteria that could dock a site for having hard-to-click links or a lopsided layout that requires too much scrolling. Google announced the new search criteria two months ago to give companies time to improve their mobile performance. The secret algorithm has about 200 factors that determine a site’s ranking. Continue reading Google’s Search Criteria Now Includes ‘Mobile Friendliness’

Smart Projector Displays Content from Your Phone or Tablet

The Beam is part LED lightbulb and part projector. Users can screw it into a light socket or place it on a flat surface and project content anywhere. The small-scale device has an onboard computer to access content on the Web. It can also project games or movies from a smartphone or tablet. The smart projector has a corresponding iOS and Android app for operation and programming commands. Beam Labs Inc. is offering the $399 Beam device as part of its Kickstarter campaign that ends March 24. Continue reading Smart Projector Displays Content from Your Phone or Tablet

“This” Social Network Takes New Approach to Selective Sharing

The new invite-only social network “This” lets users share one link per day of a stand-out Internet post, such as a compelling article or a podcast episode or a video. Rather than inundating the community with a flood of posts (a common model of other social networks), users on This only get the best-of-the-best on the Web. As a result, tech types and news junkies are clamoring for an invite. The new social network is a project of Atlantic Media and Andrew Golis. It is less than three months old and currently has about 4,500 users. Continue reading “This” Social Network Takes New Approach to Selective Sharing

Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

Google claims that it has taken additional measures to make search results more resistant to piracy. According to a new white paper, Google has changed its search-engine algorithms so the sites with a large number of takedown notices appear lower in search results rankings. The company has also enhanced autocomplete and related search, preventing the inclusion of terms associated with piracy. New advertising products will also promote copyright-friendliness.  Continue reading Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

YouTube Feature Enables Fans to Donate to Content Creators

In order for online video producers to make money, YouTube offers a feature that allows viewers to donate to their favorite artists. Independent content creators are the major source of revenue for YouTube, and while some of them do make money through pre-roll ads, it is not enough for many. Now, Google offers Fan Funding so viewers can essentially tip their favorite video creators. The feature works in both the browser and the Android app, and all transactions are processed by Google Wallet. Continue reading YouTube Feature Enables Fans to Donate to Content Creators

Teens Shifting From Traditional TV Content to Online Videos

Nielsen reports that the number of hours people ages 12 to 17 watch traditional television has dropped seven percent in the last five years, indicating that teens watch less television than any other age group. Meanwhile, over 75 percent of this age group use Facebook and 25 percent use Instagram. Recent statistics have highlighted a shift in younger viewers’ habits from traditional television programming to digital short form content such as YouTube, Vine and Instagram videos. Continue reading Teens Shifting From Traditional TV Content to Online Videos

New Form Digital Studio to Launch Program at USC This Fall

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer’s newly launched digital studio, New Form, will team up with students from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts to develop digital content. Two-person teams of students will participate in the year-long program to develop scripted series for the Web and pitch their projects. At the end of the first semester, three of the pitches will be selected for production to take place during the second semester. Continue reading New Form Digital Studio to Launch Program at USC This Fall

NSA Funds Development of All-In-One Programming Language

The National Security Agency is funding a project at Carnegie Mellon University to develop the world’s first “polyglot” programming language that combines CSS, JavaScript, PHP, HTML5, and more. Wyvern, the new language, intends to make Web programming easier. Files will be more organized, making it easier for Web developers to secure their websites, which seems to be the NSA’s primary goal. Wyvern is an open source project still in development. Continue reading NSA Funds Development of All-In-One Programming Language

Nearly 40 Million Twitter Users Do Not See Ads on Site or App

About 14 percent of Twitter’s 271 million users do not log in directly to the mobile app or website, where Twitter features its ads. These 37.9 million consumers instead access Twitter content through third-party apps such as Flipboard, Instagram, Foursquare or various news sources. When Twitter filed its IPO last year, the company projected that the number of people accessing via third-party apps would decline. However, growth of the third-party app population has doubled since then. Continue reading Nearly 40 Million Twitter Users Do Not See Ads on Site or App

TV Show Highlighting Popular Online Videos Tops Syndication

RightThisMinute, a TV show that focuses solely on online videos, has become the number one syndicated new show in the U.S. The show airs on HLN and local channels, with two million viewers per half-hour episode. Because the show consists only of online videos, rather than hiring writers, the producers and talent search for featured videos. The popularity of the show highlights a shift that makes the second screen — featuring content from YouTube, Hulu and Netflix — our first screen. Continue reading TV Show Highlighting Popular Online Videos Tops Syndication

Kits for Internet-Connected Devices to Hit RadioShack Shelves

RadioShack plans to stock DIY kits in its retail locations that provide consumers with the ability to create an array of connected devices. New York startup LittleBits has been selling sets that allow users to connect, for example, a sound detector to a LED light, for illuminating a small space every time a radio is turned on. LittleBits now offers its $99 Cloud Starter Bundle that connects gadgets to the Internet, while companies such as Bug Labs and Electric Imp are also offering ways to create connected devices. Continue reading Kits for Internet-Connected Devices to Hit RadioShack Shelves