Facebook entices content creators with new community-centered video platform

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Facebook announced several new live video features today that will allow creators to make their live streams more like games with polls and quizzes. The features are similar to those that creators on YouTube have had access to for months through the recent addition of the Community tab. These new features could entice established creators to migrate to Facebook’s video platform. Facebook says these features will reinvent traditional entertainment formats as more “community-centric,” and it noted a trend in more collaborative video consumption that relies on audience participation. YouTube integrated polling…

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Instagram’s Video Hub Dubbed IGTV Set to Launch Tomorrow

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The Instagram longer-form video hub that’s launching tomorrow is called IGTV and it will be part of the Explore tab, according to multiple sources. Instagram  has spent the week meeting with online content creators to encourage them to prepare videos closer to 10-minute YouTube vlogs than the 1-minute maximum videos the app allows today. Instagram is focusing its efforts around web celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional, old-school publishers and TV studios that might come off too polished and processed. The idea is to let these creators,  who have a knack for this…

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Twitter prioritizes breaking news in an app redesign

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Online news and social networking service, Twitter, announced  that it is changing up its service in favour of major events to make it easier for people to access the latest breaking news. This shift in focus sets the service apart from other social media networks such as Facebook who have opted to focus less on live events and news and more on the personal lives and interests of its user base. In terms of what they’re changing, the  app will now feature a “happening now” module to highlight all kinds…

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Facebook’s new AI research is a real eye-opener

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There are plenty of ways to manipulate photos to make you look better, remove red eye or lens flare, and so on. But so far the blink has proven a tenacious opponent of good snapshots. That may change with research from Facebook that replaces closed eyes with open ones in a remarkably convincing manner. It’s far from the only example of intelligent “in-painting,” as the technique is called when a program fills in a space with what it thinks belongs there. Adobe in particular has made good use of it with its…

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Children exposed to horror film ads on YouTube

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Children were left distressed after seeing ads for a horror film on YouTube, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed. Three parents contacted the ASA after their children saw ads for Insidious: The Last Key – rated 15 in the UK. One ad for the film was shown before videos of songs from Frozen, instructions for building a Lego fire station and a clip from the cartoon PJ Masks. The ASA has upheld the complaints. In a second ad, the ASA said a young woman was seen “lying on a…

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Facebook may now ban bad businesses from advertising

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Facebook will now let you file a complaint about businesses you’ve had a problem with if you bought something after clicking on one of their ads. If enough people complain about a business, it could lead to Facebook banning the company from running ads. The new policy is rolling out globally starting today, and it’s meant to help Facebook fight back against another type of advertising abuse on its platform. Facebook says it’s trying to combat “bad shopping experiences,” which can cost customers and make them frustrated with Facebook, too.…

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Google brings offline translations for 59 languages to its Translate app

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Currently, when the Google Translate apps for iOS and Android has access to the internet, its translations are far superior to those it produces when it’s offline. That’s because the offline translations are phrase-based, meaning they use an older machine translation technique than the machine learning-powered systems in the cloud that the app has access to when it’s online. But that’s changing today. Google is now rolling out offline Neural Machine Translation (NMT) support for 59 languages in the Translate apps. Today, only a small number of users will see…

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You can Now Delete Unopened Sent Messages on Snapchat

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Snapchat will now let users delete sent messages before they’re opened, as reported by 9to5Mac. The company rolled the feature out to some people yesterday, and everyone should have it within the next few weeks. To delete a sent message, simply press and hold on the media (text, audio, photo, etc.) you’d like to get rid of and a pop-up will appear asking if you’d like to delete. Just tap, and the content in question will disappear. The person you sent the message to will still get a notification that…

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Instagram might soon let you post videos up to an hour long

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Instagram is considering doing away with video length constraints, according to The Wall Street Journal, which published a report about “a new feature” that would let users post long-form clips of up to an hour. That would open new creative flexibility for users and bring Instagram closer in line with YouTube and its own parent company, Facebook. The plan is described as tentative, so Instagram could ultimately decide against radically extending the maximum running time of videos on its platform. The new feature “will focus on vertical video” according to…

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Facebook Agrees on Data Sharing With Chinese Firms

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Facebook has confirmed it has a data-sharing partnership with Chinese firms including Huawei, a company US intelligence previously flagged as a security threat. The agreements gave the Chinese firms some access to users’ data to help them build Facebook “experiences” on their own platforms. Facebook said all the data collected remained on users’ phones not servers. The company is already under scrutiny over how it uses members’ information. Facebook has been blocked in China since 2009 but the company has been trying to find other ways to access the massive…

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