A bunch of publishers are about to find out that Facebook’s algorithm thinks their video content is worthless (FB)

mark zuckerberg

  • Facebook’s algorithm could mean the beginning of the end for a certain type of news feed video.
  • The company has said that it will penalize “passive content” in favor of content that people have meaningful interactions with. But no one knows exactly how that will play out.
  • Some publishers that have perfected racking up cheap Facebook views will probably take a hit. In the meantime, several publisher see the algorithm tweak as ultimately benefiting Facebook Watch.

Some top web publishers are predicting that Facebook’s major algorithm reboot will sound the death knell for short-form, news feed video, as the company moves to prioritize Facebook Watch.

While some are championing this strategic shift – given how hard it is to make money from short news feed clips – others worry that Facebook’s algorithm is about to determine that a slew of video producers are no longer welcome.

What’s driving all this is Facebook’s two pronged pledge. First off, the algorithm tweak promises to prioritize posts from friends and family, ideally reinvigorating the social part of the social network.

Second, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants to rid the news feed of content that people don’t engage with, or what he called “passive content.”

Of course, only Facebook’s engineers know what Facebook constitutes engaging and what doesn’t. That’s got some media companies suddenly worrying, is my content passive? At the same time, Facebook is trying to encourage people to go to the fledgling Facebook Watch tab to watch lots of videos on purpose.

couch

Some say that short form news feed video was never going to last

Presumably, once the full algorithm change takes effect, Facebook will grade video content on how much time people spend with it, whether they share it or comment on it. But it’s not totally clear at the moment what will exactly go into that grading system.

One publisher told Business Insider that ‘likes’ will be less important than in the past in Facebook’s engagement calculation.

In addition, while shares still matter, videos receiving comments – particularly longer comments – will be given more weight via the new algorithm, said a person familiar with the matter.

Either way, racking up empty-calorie view numbers on Facebook seems suddenly less viable.

To Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg, videos designed to pop in Facebook’s news feed never had legs. “Facebook’s presentation of video always felt forced and non-sustainable,” he told Business’s Insider. ‘Publishers should be creating long-form video. The short-form video craze was obviously never going to work.”

That’s because there weren’t many ways to attach ads to short videos that suddenly pop into people’s feeds.

“No one’s monetizing that short form video anyway,” said Ben Lerer, CEO of Group Nine Media, who predicted that Facebook’s move signalled that Watch would receive renewed focus – which should a good thing for quality publishers. 

What is ‘video,’ anyway?

As recently as 2016, Facebook regularly touted how its platform was generating 8 billion video views a day.

That figure was mostly a shot at then ascendant Snapchat. But it also served to point at how fleeting some of Facebook’s video viewing was – particularly as it came to light that it counted a view after just three seconds of screen time.

As Facebook started to talk up those numbers, publishers like BuzzFeed and Mic and others also started boasting of video operations generating millions, if not billions of views.

You don’t hear that talk much these days. That’s probably because many have been critical of some publishers seemingly figuring out how to rack up video view numbers with, let’s say, less-than-content-rich videos.

That’s the kind of passively consumed content many expect the Facebook algorithm to whack.

So what do passive videos look like? 

Take this Elite Daily clip that has amassed close to a million views in less than one day. It’s essentially just a 45-second gif of Anthony Anderson of ABC’s ‘Blackish’ crying.

Similarly, here’s a cute video of an otter jumping around from LADBible, the UK-based publisher which according to the analytics firm Tubular Labs regularly generates more views than most publishers on Facebook.

It’s not exactly an episode of “Game of Thrones.” But it does have over 4 million views and nearly 20,000 shares. Is this ‘passive’ or active?

It gets even grayer for newsy publications such as NowThis and Mic. Both have built up large video followings on Facebook. But at times, their video content isn’t technically “video.”

For example, here’s a Mic Facebook video focused on Net Neutrality. It cleverly explains the complicated subject using bright animation. But there’s no video footage per se.

Or take these NowThis videos on James Franco and Donald Trump respectively. They are comprised mostly of photos, text and music, but NowThis doesn’t appear to have filmed any real original video. 

 

Lastly, here’s a similar no-video video from AJ+

Each of these videos has been shared widely, which would seem to indicate that people are responding to them. So how Facebook will treat them is a big open question.

Several video producers have defended these formats noting that social media feeds require different types of mobile story telling than typical slick TV productions.

“I don’t think this is about specific formats,” said Lerer. “This kind of content should be native to Facebook. I don’t think you’ll see short form video go away in the News Feed by any way, shape, or form. There may be a new set of best practices and tactics.”

“But if to Facebook premium means content that stokes conversation and emotion, we meet that better than anybody.”

If Facebook is serious about Watch, now’s the time to go for it

Several publishers believe that if Facebook clears out a lot of video from its newsfeed, that’s ultimately a good thing for Watch, which should become more distinctive and clear in its purpose.

“Facebook has suggested it will reward intentional content viewing and deprioritize accidental or passive consumption on its feed,” said Matthew Segal, cofounder of the social news startup ATTN. “This is good news for publishers who meticulously produce video with a goal of reaching a specific, passionate audience. Publishers who tend to trick their audience into viewing content with video gifs or animal reactions will probably take a hit.” 

Facebook has clearly made longer form video a priority for Watch going forward. Thus, quality content producers should excel. But that won’t be an easy pivot for companies that have mastered churning out quick hit news feed clips.

“My fear is that this change will be an excuse used by a lot of media companies that spent all kinds of money without building a brand or telling stories,” Evan Gotlib, SVP of sales at the women-focused web publisher LittleThings, told Business Insider. “They’ll say, ‘oh, it’s Facebook’s fault.'”

“If you’re in the business of using video to tell stories you should do great,” Gotlib added. “If you don’t do that you may not be in business anymore.”

Join the conversation about this story »

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UBS: Netflix is likely to stay on top of the video streaming world despite fierce competition (NFLX)

stranger things

  • Netflix is well-positioned to lead the competition because it is a master of both content and technology, a UBS analyst said.
  • Its increasing subscriber growth, loyal fan base, and original content are likely to sustain the company’s growth trajectory.
  • View Netflix’s real time stock price here.

While competition for the hearts of video streaming viewers is expected to heat up, Netflix will remain on top, according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan.

Even though a growing number of video streaming services are likely to enter the fray, “we believe Netflix will likely remain the leader due to its scale, excellent execution, brand, proven technology & content expertise, singular product focus, and lead in building its own exclusive original content library,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan raised his price target to $250 per share from $221.66.

Netflix is a master of both content and technology, which will help it sustain its subscription growth and keep loyal customers satisfied, he said.

Based on UBS’s estimates, Netflix subscription growth is expected to keep rising, particularly as the company invests in original content, expands its overseas local content, and adds more to its selection that will attract international subscribers.

Netflix raised its US subscription prices in October, which had no material effect on its subscription growth. Sheridan notes that this “can be viewed as supportive of the platform’s pricing power.” Sheridan reasons that the more subscribers and views Netflix can attract, the higher potential there will be for increased average revenue per user and overall revenue.

Sheridan pointed out the strength of Netflix’s original content, particularly the widely popular “Stranger Things” and “13 Reasons Why.” Spending on original content can bring in more subscribers and position “Netflix to sustain its clear global leadership in the emerging online video subscription business.” 

Netflix has its share of bulls and bears on Wall Street. Many of its detractors see rising competition as a threat. No less a heavy hitter than Disney has entered the scene by acquiring a video streaming company and parts of 21st Century Fox.

Yet Macquarie analyst Tim Nollen said the company is “miles ahead of its peers,” as it chooses to focus on subscriptions over advertising, and offers scaled distribution with a growing international presence. 

Netflix’s stock is trading at $218.28 a share and is up 8.58% for the year.

The company is expected to report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 22. 

Read more about the reasons why one analyst thinks Netflix has room to grow.

Netflix stock price

SEE ALSO: Netflix still has a ton of room to grow — even with Disney in the ring

Join the conversation about this story »

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Siri ya permite escuchar las noticias del día en formato Podcast

Si Apple quiere que su futuro HomePod pueda competir con otros modelos del mercado, debe comenzar a ponerse las pilas con su particular asistente virtual. Siri parece haber añadido una nueva habilidad en la última actualización y ahora te ‘mostrará’ las noticias en un formato nuevo.

Cada vez usamos más los móviles en cualquier sitio. Asimismo, tal es la integración que tienen en nuestras vidas que muchas veces no es necesario tener que estar mirando la pantalla para interaccionar con ellos. Así es lo que habrán pensado desde Cupertino para añadir una nueva función a Siri, su popular asistente virtual que cada vez está más presente en sus equipos. Al parecer, con la llegada de iOS 11.2.2 Siri permitirá escuchar las noticias en versión podcast, uno de los formatos más populares en Estados Unidos y que cada vez adoptan más medios y usuarios en el resto del mundo. ¿Sabes que nosotros tenemos uno? ¿A qué esperas para suscribirte?

Siri función podcast para noticias

Dejando nuestra promoción de lado, Siri permitirá que una vez actives por voz con un «Oye, Siri» y le preguntes por las noticias del día, éste te resuma todo en un archivo de audio. Suponemos que se basará en Apple News, por lo que en España todavía no será posible disfrutar de esta nueva función.

Ahora bien, los países que ya pueden disfrutar de esta nueva modalidad de estar al tanto de lo que sucede —Estados Unidos y Reino Unido, por el momento— podrán elegir las fuentes de dónde Siri debe nutrirse para informarte. En Estados Unidos se podrá saltar de The Washington Post, a Fox News o la CNN, aunque de modo predeterminado cogerá la información de la NPR (National Public Radio). Mientras, en Reino Unido el usuario podrá elegir entre BBC, Sky News o LBC.

Pero como bien decimos, esta función viene más enfocada, no al uso con el iPhone —que también, y sobre todo si usamos CarPlay—, sino al futuro HomePod que debería aparecer en escena lo antes posible si no quiere nacer con la etiqueta de fracaso colgada.

El artículo Siri ya permite escuchar las noticias del día en formato Podcast ha sido originalmente publicado en Actualidad iPhone.

OLED TV: what you need to know

OLED is the future of television. Or, at least one of the many possible futures televisions could take down the road. It's a technology that becomes infinitely more interesting the more you know about it and, even for those of us who know quite a bit, still finds a way to improve upon itself year over year. 

OLED (which stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode) describes a type of panel that TVs use – like LED-LCD, plasma or CRT. It's different from the other types of panels that have come before it, but the overarching idea is exactly the same: OLED panels help bring images and video to life in front of your eyes. 

In short: OLED truly is the next big thing in home entertainment and it's finally at a price where the average consumer can buy one their own. It offers better image quality (think blacker blacks and brighter whites), reduced power consumption and fast response times over traditional LED TVs.

So why doesn't everyone own one? Because it's prohibitively expensive and for a very long time only two companies, LG and Panasonic, currently used the technology in their television panels. 

But that's changing, Sony, one of the initial developers of the technology got back in the game in 2017 with its new Bravia A1E OLED and will continue production of OLED in 2018 with the Sony A8F OLED TV.

But just what is OLED? Are they worth it? And what are the advantages of an OLED TV? Read on to find out all about the latest big screen buzzword.

OLED TV

What’s the difference between OLED and LCD/LED?

Everything. They might sound alike, but the processes are completely different.

OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode, with "organic" referring to the carbon film that sits inside the panel before the glass screen. 

OLED panels emit their own light when an electric current is passed through, whereas cells in a LCD display require an external light source, like a giant backlight, for brightness.

This backlight is what separated LCD screens from their LED variants. A traditional LCD screen has a backlight (called a cold-cathode fluorescent light, or CCFL) which is uniform across the entire back of the screen.

This means that whether the image is black or white, it is being lit by exactly the same brightness across the panel. This reduces what we call "hotspots," or areas of super bright light, because the actual light source illuminating them is uniform.

This all started a few years back when engineers at companies like Samsung and Sony introduced an array of LEDs as a backlight, which meant that if a certain part of the screen was black then those LEDs behind that portion could be turned off to make it appear blacker.

OLED TV

This is a better solution than a CCFL backlight, but it still has its problems. Since it’s a light behind the LCD producing the illumination rather than the LCD layer itself, the illumination is not entirely in-sync with the pixel in front of it. The result is an effect called ‘blooming’, whereby LED light from bright portions of the image bleeds over into areas of blackness.

This is what separates OLEDs from LCD/LED displays. In an OLED display, the pixels themselves are the things producing the light, and so when they need to be black they are able to turn off completely, rather than relying on a backlight to turn off on their behalf.

What are the advantages of OLED?

The result is remarkably dark blacks in an image, and when you combine this with the brightness of the whites an OLED panel is able to produce you're left with a fantastically vibrant image.

LG and Panasonic, pretty much the only two consistent producers of OLED televisions on the planet, like to use the term "infinite contrast" to describe how the self-lighting pixels switch off completely when reproducing black giving it an "absolute" black color instead of a "relative" black that only describes how dark one pixel can get compared to the brightest pixel on the screen.

OLED

For years there was a question mark about longevity of OLED panels, while production lines have been impossible to make profitable due to high failure rates. But as companies like LG have invested huge quantities of money in the technology its affordability has gotten better, although it’s still much more expensive than competing technologies.

The advantages of OLED go beyond simple static image quality to the responsiveness and smoothness of the display itself, meaning gamers and home cinema aficionados are going to absolutely love OLED. It’s capable of a refresh rate of as low as 0.001ms, which for reference, is around 1,000 times faster than a standard LED-backlit LCD panel, while also being superior to the now-discontinued plasma tech, too.

And, because the lighting source they use is so tiny, the depth of screen sizes has shrunk at the same rate. That means OLED TVs have awesomely deep blacks and bright, peak whites, improved color accuracy as well as smooth responsive motion – and all from a form factor that’s just a few millimetres in depth and much lighter than standard TVs.

Which OLED TVs are out now?

OLED TVs have been on the market since 2012, and a variety of manufacturers have tackled the technology over the years. It used to be the case that OLED's were produced by just Samsung and LG, but Samsung dropped the technology over its cost and how difficult it was to produce, and has no intention of restarting production any time soon.

LG, on the other hand, has been releasing OLED sets consistently over the last few years, and in 2016 introduced four easy-to-understand product lines – the G6, E6, C6 and B6 – featuring OLED panels. In 2017, LG continued with the 7-Series TVs, and now, in 2018, has worked its way up to the 8-Series of TVs: the B8, C8, E8, G8 and ultra-thin LG Signature W8 OLED.  

If you're not big into LG TVs, Sony also offers two OLED TVs: the Sony Bravia A1E OLED from 2017, and the new Sony Bravia A8F OLED for 2018. Besides Sony, at last year's IFA, Panasonic announced its first OLED set, the TX-65CZ950, and we've been impressed by the other sets in its lineup thus far. 

Can OLED do 3D?

3D may have lost the allure it once had as a TV feature, but that hasn't stop manufacturers from including it in their high-end models.

LG and Panasonic both include 3D as a feature in their 2016 OLED sets, and in most cases this is 3D of the passive variety, which means cheaper glasses and less screen flicker.

The downside of passive 3D is the drop in resolution you'll experience, but thankfully with almost all of the OLED sets now featuring an Ultra HD 4K display this is less of a cause for concern than it once was.

That said, LG did tell us that they don't plan on including 3D in 2017 models.

How much do OLED TVs cost?

OLED TVs are definitely getting cheaper, but they’re still a long way from what we’d call affordable. The prices of LGs sets start at $1,800 in the US and £1,400 in the UK, and Panasonic’s are more expensive still.

The scarcity of OLED TVs on the market means that those small number of players in the market are more or less free to charge exactly what they want. We’re not going to see prices drop until we get more competition.

That said, usually when one company starts to pull ahead, the others quickly catch up. Prices should come down when manufacturers can work out the kinks on the production line and demand increases for these phenomenal pieces of tech.

What’s the future for OLED?

OLED is an expensive new technology that even after several years is still proving difficult for manufacturers to get right.

In fact, OLED has been around for so long without having made it to the masses that over a year ago we wrote an opinion piece about how the technology might be dead.

OLED TV

Obviously the fact that we're still talking about OLED in 2017 means that the technology is far from dead, but after so many years of trying to make it work it's difficult to maintain hope that it will ever be truly affordable.

But just because OLED isn't affordable yet doesn't mean it's not getting better. An $1,800/ £1,400 price tag isn't what we'd consider budget, but it's a great deal cheaper than what OLED was retailing for even just a year ago.

If this trend continues we might just see the technology become mainstream in a couple of years time, but for now OLED remains something for enthusiasts.

Original reporting on this article by Jamie Carter.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/television/oled-tv-what-you-need-to-know-1056228

Apple gana Sexto lugar en lista de los 100 líderes mundiales en tecnología

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters publicó hoy su primera lista de “Top 100 Global Technology Leaders”. Diseñada para identificar y celebrar a “Las organizaciones más exitosas desde el punto de vista operativo y financieramente exitosas de la industria”. Las cinco compañías principales de la lista son Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, IBM y Alphabet.

Mientras que Apple ocupa el sexto lugar, seguido de Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, SAP, Texas Instruments y Accenture.

Thomson Reuters explicó que evaluó a cada compañía, usando un algoritmo de 28 puntos de datos para “identificar objetivamente a las organizaciones con la fortaleza para el futuro en el complejo entorno empresarial actual”.

Top 100 de los Líderes de Tecnología Global

Específicamente se vio el desempeño de cada empresa, a través de ocho categorías medidas antes de clasificarse:

  • Financiero.
  • Gestión y Confianza del Inversor.
  • Riesgo y Resiliencia.
  • Cumplimiento Legal.
  • Innovación.
  • Personas y Responsabilidad Social.
  • Impacto Ambiental
  • Reputación.

“Las compañías tecnológicas operan a gran velocidad con cadenas competitivas. A menudo, su éxito financiero eclipsa su integridad operativa, por lo que es difícil identificar aquellas organizaciones con verdadera longevidad para el futuro”, dijo Alex Paladino – Director General Global del Grupo de Práctica Tecnológica de Thomson Reuters.

“Con los Top 100 Global Tech Leaders, hemos identificado los puntos de datos únicos que encarnan el liderazgo de la industria de la tecnología en el siglo XXI. Felicitaciones a las compañías que hicieron la lista”.

Fuera del top 10, empresas como Amazon, Facebook, Mastercard, Samsung, Qualcomm y Pegatron se incluyeron en esta lista. Estas 90 compañías restantes en la lista no están clasificadas, pero se midieron y se agregaron según el mismo algoritmo de 28 factores que las 10 principales.

La lista completa se restringió a las empresas que tienen al menos $ 1,000 millones en ingresos anuales también. El informe completo entra en mayor detalle y desglosa cómo se investigó cada categoría individual para las empresas.

Por ejemplo:

El número de patentes otorgadas que se emiten cada año, se incorpora a la Innovación, y un sentimiento global de noticias. Y el puntaje de medios globales, mide la reputación de una compañía.

Para el cumplimiento legal, Thomson Reuters midió la cantidad de litigios en los que la empresa era acusada “en las áreas de empleo / trabajo, propiedad intelectual, derecho comercial y contratos, derechos civiles y competencia desleal”.

En total, el 45 por ciento de las 100 empresas tienen su sede en los Estados Unidos. Seguido por Japón y Taiwán, empatados en el segundo lugar con 13 empresas cada uno, y seguidos de India con cinco empresas más.

En términos de continentes, Norteamérica lideró con 47 compañías, Asia siguió de cerca con 38, Europa tuvo 14 y Australia tuvo una (empresa de transferencia de acciones Computershare).

Apple encabezó algunas listas en el último año

Apple estuvo incluido en el ranking de Interbrand como las “Mejores Marcas Globales del 2017”.  También se participó en la lista de Fortune como las “Empresas con más admiradas del mundo”.

La compañía también participo en la lista de Fortune Global 500. Por el contrario, en Diciembre, Apple cayó al puesto 84 en la lista anual de Glassdoor de las mejores compañías para trabajar en los Estados Unidos. Luego de obtener el décimo puesto en la misma lista años antes en 2012.

UBS: Netflix is likely to stay on top of the video streaming world despite fierce competition (NFLX)

stranger things

  • Netflix is well-positioned to lead the competition because it is a master of both content and technology, a UBS analyst said.
  • Its increasing subscriber growth, loyal fan base, and original content are likely to sustain the company’s growth trajectory.
  • View Netflix’s real time stock price here.

While competition for the hearts of video streaming viewers is expected to heat up, Netflix will remain on top, according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan.

Even though a growing number of video streaming services are likely to enter the fray, “we believe Netflix will likely remain the leader due to its scale, excellent execution, brand, proven technology & content expertise, singular product focus, and lead in building its own exclusive original content library,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan raised his price target to $250 per share from $221.66.

Netflix is a master of both content and technology, which will help it sustain its subscription growth and keep loyal customers satisfied, he said.

Based on UBS’s estimates, Netflix subscription growth is expected to keep rising, particularly as the company invests in original content, expands its overseas local content, and adds more to its selection that will attract international subscribers.

Netflix raised its US subscription prices in October, which had no material effect on its subscription growth. Sheridan notes that this “can be viewed as supportive of the platform’s pricing power.” Sheridan reasons that the more subscribers and views Netflix can attract, the higher potential there will be for increased average revenue per user and overall revenue.

Sheridan pointed out the strength of Netflix’s original content, particularly the widely popular “Stranger Things” and “13 Reasons Why.” Spending on original content can bring in more subscribers and position “Netflix to sustain its clear global leadership in the emerging online video subscription business.” 

Netflix has its share of bulls and bears on Wall Street. Many of its detractors see rising competition as a threat. No less a heavy hitter than Disney has entered the scene by acquiring a video streaming company and parts of 21st Century Fox.

Yet Macquarie analyst Tim Nollen said the company is “miles ahead of its peers,” as it chooses to focus on subscriptions over advertising, and offers scaled distribution with a growing international presence. 

Netflix’s stock is trading at $218.28 a share and is up 8.58% for the year.

The company is expected to report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 22. 

Read more about the reasons why one analyst thinks Netflix has room to grow.

Netflix stock price

SEE ALSO: Netflix still has a ton of room to grow — even with Disney in the ring

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Chipotle vs. Qdoba, the bear case on Apple, and diagnosing a bitcoin bubble

Google’s fix for the weird Chromecast and Google Home glitch that broke WiFi networks will be released on January 18

electrical power line worker repair

A weird glitch that caused WiFi networks to temporarily break down for certain Chromecast and Google Home users is getting a fix on Thursday January 18.

It was previously thought that Google’s casting devices, like the Chromecast and Google Home, were the culprits. But a short blog post on Google’s support site on Wednesday said the issue was actually isolated for Android smartphone users.

The glitch was caused by Android phones running Google’s casting software, which casts music to the Google Home and video streams to Chromecast devices from Android phones.  

In certain cases, the Google Cast software inside Android smartphones would malfunction and overwhelm home WiFi routers with too much information at very high speeds. It could cause some internet speed slowdowns every so often, or cause a WiFi router to reboot entirely, causing a temporary disruption. 

The company said that Android users should look out for a Google Play Services update on their Android phones on Thursday January 18. It also suggested Android users reboot their phones and check to make sure their WiFi routers are running on the latest firmware.

SEE ALSO: The technology that hides fingerprint sensors underneath displays will make the dreaded smartphone bezel extinct

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