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Facebook’s Next Big Bet Is Making Your Phone’s Camera Smarter

Facebook has gotten us all to share text posts and photos, and is seeing a lot of use of video. Now, it wants to turn is all into live streamers, and use advanced technology to aid our use of our phone cameras: That’s the gist of an outlook that Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox gave at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference in Laguna Beach, Calif. Tuesday.

Cox said that Facebook has already seen 400 percent growth in live streaming since opening it up to all of its users in May. Not all of that is coming from users watching broadcasts of major media brands, he explained, adding that the number of small broadcasters — teenagers that stream to just a dozen of their friends — was a surprise even to Facebook itself.

Key to Facebook Live’s future growth will be technology that adds to the live broadcast experience, said Cox. He showed off one example that Facebook is currently experimenting with in the lab: An app that automatically takes the camera input and in real-time renders it in the style of famous painters like van Gogh using neural networks.

The bigger idea behind experiments like this is to turn the camera into an advanced tool that unlocks live streaming and augmented reality experiences, said Cox. “This is going to help take the technology to the next level.”

Cox was joined on stage by Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who argued that Live is an evolution of free expression on Facebook, complete with the challenges that come with it. The company has been in hot waters in the past for overzealous removal of content, and suggested last week that it was ready to relax some of its guidelines for acceptable content.

“Facebook is a platform for all ideas,” Sandberg said. “We also want to be a really safe community. Those two things can come into conflict.”

As Facebook is making decision what content to keep on its platform and what to ban, it often finds itself confronted with criticism that it is exercising editorial control — a charge that Sandberg and Cox denied. “A media company is about the story that it tells,” said Cox. “A technology company is about the tools that it builds.”

Source: Variety, article by Janko Roettgers (http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/facebook-chris-cox-sheryl-sandberg-live-1201900331/)

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Snapchat is the latest service you might not be able to use on inflight wifi

Snapchat, the ethereal social messaging service, has joined the ranks of apps and sites that travelers aren’t able to access through onboard wifi while flying.

Some airlines in the US with inflight wifi are blocking access to the service. Users can send each other short photos and videos, and media organizations can create daily stories that users can watch through the section of the app called Snapchat Discover. It seems that the videos are causing the app to be blocked.

Most inflight wifi services, such as Gogo are very upfront about the fact that people wishing to use their services will not be able to access high-bandwidth sites and apps like Netflix, Hulu, or other video-streaming services. While other social networks like Facebook and Twitter are generally accessible in the air, they will often have their video-streaming capabilities throttled.

On recent flights on American Airlines and JetBlue, Snapchat was unavailable to use. It’s worth noting that this isn’t the case for all airlines, however: A representative for Southwest Airlines said that Snapchat should be available for those flying on its planes, and Delta and Alaska Air said similarly. Some in-flight wifi services are slow, in any case, meaning even that if Snapchat does load, it might not be the best experience.

But hopefully, this will just be a temporary inconvenience for those with the cash and desire to Snap mid-air: Gogo is in the process of rolling out a new wifi service, called 2Ku. Unlike older generations of in-air wifi, where the internet seems to chug along at speeds that haven’t been acceptable on the ground since the days of dial-up modems, Gogo’s new service averages a connection of about 10 Mbps, more than fast enough for video calls, streaming, and perhaps even the social networks du jour.
Source: Quartz, Article by Mike Murphy (http://qz.com/678636/snapchat-is-the-latest-service-you-might-not-be-able-to-use-on-inflight-wifi/)
 

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YouTube Sets The Record Straight On Treating The Music Industry

Earlier this month, Design & Trend reported that the head of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) accused YouTube of not properly compensating artists. The consumption of music is skyrocketing but revenues for creators have not kept pace

Now, YouTube has responded to the accusation and has promised that starting now, musicians, artists and creators will be able to earn revenue even if their music was used in a fan video.

Today, thousands of labels and rightsholders have licensing agreements wth YouTube to actually leave fan ideos up and earn revenue from them.

They agree that a world where fans express love for their favorite artists by uploading concert footage and remixes is something to be celebrated. Fan-uploaded content also provides artists exposure and boosts record sales.

Because of this new deal, revenue from fan-uploaded content accounts for 50 percent of the rightsholders’ revenue.

YouTube underpays artists compared to music streaming services like Spotify. A comparison was made between YouTube and radio. YouTube makes money through advertising like on radio, but YouTube is able to pay labels through the majority of its ad revenues.

Radio stations in the United Kingdom and France pay royalties, but YouTube pays at least twice as high than those.

Radio is a promotional tool like YouTube, but the video service is able to pay rightsholders.

Music is YouTube’s core popularity, users only spend just an hour a month watching music-related content on YouTube. This is considered to be a minute amount of time when compared to music streaming services like Spotify, where users spend around 55 hours a month listening to music.
This means that only 2.5 percent of traffic on YouTube is music-related, according to Digital Music News.

Source: Design&Trend, Article by Ken Salcedo (http://www.designntrend.com/articles/75170/20160430/youtube-sets-record-straight-treating-music-industry.htm)

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