Tag Archives: video

Facebook’s new video hub is coming to everyone in the US

Facebook’s new video platform is rolling out to all users in the US over the next few days, the company announced today. The platform, called Watch, will have hundreds of original shows for people to choose from.

Facebook is priming the platform by paying creators to make 20- to 30-minute shows. But eventually, Facebook plans to open up content-making privileges to everyone. The platform was initially announced in early August and will replace the current video tab in Facebook on mobile, desktop, and TV.

For Facebook, this is a golden opportunity for luring in ad revenue, especially for a company that has run out of advertising space on its packed News Feed. Billions of people already watch and share Facebook videos regularly, so it’s easy to imagine them simply tapping one tab over to continue doing so.



Amazon’s new Echo Show can make video calls

Amazon on Tuesday rolled out yet another version of the Echo – this time sporting a screen that allows users to make and take video calls.

The Echo Show, as it’s called, signals that Amazon is not only pushing ahead with its goal of ruling the home, but it is also taking a major shot at a messaging platform. The Echo Show looks to complement – or even supplant – the phone or personal computer when it comes to real-time communication.

It also illustrates how deeply Amazon and other companies want to embed themselves in consumers’ lives, with technology that almost fades into the background of our homes.

(Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos also owns The Washington Post.)

The calls work just about as you might expect, using a front-facing camera. There’s also a “drop-in” mode on the Echo Show, which automatically will accept a video call after 10 seconds.

That could feel invasive to some. But Amazon’s ads indicate that only people of your choosing can use the feature – close friends and family, for instance. Recipients also can decline a drop-in or make it audio-only, if they respond in that 10-second window.

The 7-inch screen also serves other purposes. Consumers will be able to watch short videos from YouTube and Amazon on the screen, in addition to movie trailers. If you call up tunes from the company’s Prime Music service, the lyrics to songs will scroll by as it plays. The addition of a screen also adds to the smart home functions already available on the Echo with users being able to use the Echo Show to peek in on their home security cameras or baby monitors.

The screen also could make certain apps easier to use, by displaying visual menus rather than having Alexa rattle off a string of options.

Amazon also will let people place video calls through the Alexa app and Echo users will be able to leave voicemail – effectively sneaking a new Amazon messaging platform onto the Echo, smartphones and tablets.

Home hubs give companies access to a lot of user data, by essentially running the lives of their customers – something that’s appealing to companies and perhaps alarming to the privacy-conscious. And the battle in the home hub space is becoming very fierce. Google and Amazon products are already on the market, and a Microsoft home hub was announced last week, as these tech giants vie to become the company that consumers turn to for advice and information at every point in the day.

Apple is also expected to get in on the market, with analysts speculating the announcement of a Siri-powered home hub device, which also may have a screen, as early as next month.

The Show costs $229 and is expected to ship on June 28.

TEC--Amazon-New Echo Speaker



Facebook lets content owners claim ad earnings of pirated videos

Facebook finally has a better solution to freebooting — the common practice of stealing video and uploading it to one’s Facebook Page to reap the engagement and audience growth. Today’s update to the Facebook Rights Manager tool that launched last year includes the new option to “claim ad earnings” on other people’s uploads of a video you own. This way if an infringing video includes a new mid-roll ad break Facebook is testing, the revenue will be sent to the content’s owner instead of the uploader who stole it.

And now instead of manually reviewing all pirated content instances, rights owners can set automated rules for whether infringing uploads should instantly be blocked, allowed but the viewing metrics shown to the owner, allowed with the owner claiming the ad earnings or sent to manual review.

The “claim ad earnings” option puts Facebook Rights Manager closer to feature parity with the industry standard, YouTube’s Content ID. When Facebook launched Rights Manager last year, TechCrunch noted this feature was the one big thing it was lacking.


Previously, the only course of action for rights holders was to allow or block and take down infringing videos. Both removed the opportunity for content owners and pirates to share in the benefits of compelling content — the owner getting the money and the pirate getting the engagement.


Rights Manager works by having content owners upload original versions of videos to be indexed. It can then detect when the same video or a portion of it is uploaded by someone else.

For now, the amount of revenue original rights holders will be able to collect may be small because the mid-roll ad breaks aren’t fully rolled out yet and are only available to a closed set of beta testers. They let content owners choose when to insert a 15 to 20-second ad into their video at least 20 seconds in and at least two minutes apart. Facebook shares 55 percent of the revenue from these ad breaks with the uploader, unless those ad earnings are claimed by someone else through Rights Manager.

This newfound financial protection and incentive could lure more premium video content owners to Facebook and its massive audience of 1.8 billion users.


Facebook lets content owners claim ad earnings of pirated videos

Why Facebook is overhauling video (again)

Facebook is overhauling its video platform in a bid to outmaneuver its competitors in social media and elevate itself as a premier video destination on large screens. Facebook this month has introduced new video formats, a refined viewing experience in the News Feed and announced plans to release a video app for set-top boxes. The company is also starting to put ads in the middle of live and uploaded video on Facebook and publishers’ sites.

“These changes reflect more seamless integration of video to the Facebook experience which will drive and reinforce user adoption, and as a result open up advertising opportunities,” says Chris Ross, research director, Gartner.

Some of the changes, while seemingly minor, could have a significant impact on how you experience video on Facebook and how marketers try to reach you on the platform. Silent videos will no longer be the default on smartphones. Facebook updated its mobile apps to start all videos in the News Feed with sound. You can still watch videos in silence by disabling the feature in settings or switch their phone into silent mode.

Facebook is also putting a greater emphasis on vertical video, a format popularized by Snapchat, by displaying a larger preview of vertical videos in the News Feed on iOS and Android devices. You can also minimize videos you are watching so you can continue browsing stories in the News Feed while a picture-in-picture view plays in the corner of the screen.

Facebook integrates video deeper into its platform

These changes and others highlight Facebook’s determination to be more video-friendly with deep integrations to the Facebook experience, according to Ross. “Video, both live and pre-produced, will continue to evolve and Facebook is likely to continue to advance what they do in line with those changes.”

The 1.23 billion people who use Facebook daily are already experiencing these adjustments, but marketers are going to define more broadly how video will evolve in a social context. “Marketers are still working out how best to leverage video with applications ranging from [livestreaming] to corporate documentaries,” Ross says. “Facebook’s changes are in line with ongoing consumer interest in video and marketer desire to better utilize its capabilities.”

With Facebook’s ad load nearing a point of saturation, the company is searching for new places to put ads — and video appears to be the next frontier for Facebook’s ad business. Mid-stream ads and a new Facebook video app for televisions are integral to Facebook’s strategy. The TV app will soon hit app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, according to Facebook.

Video ads are coming to Facebook in a big way

Facebook has largely held off on video ads until recently, but the company is undergoing a major expansion that should drive significant ad revenue for Facebook, publishers and other video stars on the platform. Facebook will retain 45 percent of all revenue from video ads, which could a long way toward justifying the massive effort the company has put into video during the last couple years, according to Jan Dawson, chief analyst and founder of tech research firm Jackdaw.

While consumers, of course, prefer content without advertising, many are willing to tolerate a level of advertising to access free content, according to Ross. Facebook is trying to allay those concerns by imposing guidelines for mid-roll ads with different criteria for live and uploaded videos. Pre-roll video ads are still forbidden and there are limits on ad length and frequency, according to Facebook.

“All video outlets will continue to explore the boundaries of advertising integration and the intersection of consumer experience, advertiser value and marketing performance,” Ross says.