All posts in “Video”

Messenger adds support for sharing HD video, 360-degree photos

Perhaps aiming to snag some attention away from Snapchat’s big group video call update out this morning, Facebook also announced an update to its chat app Messenger, which will now allow users to share 360-degree videos and HD quality video (720p). In both cases, you’ll have to capture the photo or video outside the Messenger app, the company notes.

The update follows another that rolled out last fall, allowing users to share high-resolution photos through Messenger – something that Facebook said was the result of its significant investments in helping people “communicate visually.”

The idea that mobile messaging is often a camera-first experience isn’t unique to Facebook Messenger, of course – it’s the premise of the Snapchat experience and, these days, Instagram too.

Unfortunately for Facebook, news of improved media-sharing capabilities comes at a time when the company is under siege for its mishandling of user data, and, most recently, another reveal that it had been retaining videos that users believed to be deleted. The broader effect of this news cycle around Facebook’s approach to privacy, is an increased general mistrust of Facebook’s products as the place to share – including sharing through Messenger, which isn’t as distanced from the core product as Facebook-owned Instagram and Whatsapp are.

Facebook says if you want to share a 360-degree photo, you’ll need to first snap it with your camera or another 360-photo app before uploading it to Messenger where it will then be converted to an immersive experience that can be navigated through by the recipients via either tapping and dragging on mobile, or clicking and dragging on Messenger.com.

Similarly, HD videos will need to be first captured from the phone, or re-shared from the Facebook Newsfeed or other messages.

The rollout of the HD feature is limited to select markets for now, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the U.K. and the U.S. on iOS and Android.

360 photos, however, are available worldwide on iOS and Android.

Twitter to live stream weekly MLB games in renewed deal

Major League Baseball games are coming to Twitter as a result of a renewed partnership. This Thursday, Twitter will live stream the Texas Rangers versus the Oakland Athletics at 3:35 PM ET. The game will be the first of the weekly day-game live streams of out-of-market MLB games in the weeks ahead, during the 2018 season.

The MLB will announce the games that will air on Twitter ahead of each month’s slate, usually via a tweet.

Twitter has worked with the MLB before. As the company was ramping up its live streaming efforts in 2016, it announced it would begin streaming weekly MLB games, along with those from other sports organizations like the NHL and NFL. It then aired weekly games from April through October 2017.

Now it will be a home to weekly games, available to U.S. users to stream for free from April through September 2018.

Fans can watch the games on live.twitter.com/MLB online and on connected devices, and they don’t need to login to a Twitter account in order to do so. However, the games will not be exclusive to Twitter. The company notes that each stream is a simulcast with a participating team’s local TV broadcast, and that Twitter will be offering advertising packages for the content to be made available to sponsors.

There is a rev share on those ad deals, but Twitter declined to comment on how the revenue is split.

Twitter is not the only online home to MLB games. Facebook recently scored an exclusive deal to live stream 25 afternoon games – which means they won’t be available elsewhere.

The MLB has been busy making its games available on newer streaming services, too. For example, YouTube TV announced last month a multi-year deal to be the presenting sponsor for the World Series, which includes plans to heavily market its service with in-stadium signage, TV ads, on-air callouts, and more. And ESPN+, the Disney-owned streaming service arriving this month, will air over 180 MLB games, with the option to view more by purchasing the MLB.TV out-of-market package.

In addition to the games, the MLB will again be making real-time highlights available via its @MLB Twitter account throughout the season, with Spanish highlights available from @LasMayores during 2018, says Twitter.  And Twitter has partnered with the MLB on hashtag-triggered emoji for all 30 MLB teams.

The April schedule of games is available below:

Clipisode launches a ‘talk show in a box’

A company called Clipisode is today launching a new service that’s essentially a “talk show in a box,” as founder Brian Alvey describes it. Similar to how Anchor now allows anyone to build a professional podcast using simple mobile and web tools, Clipisode does this for video content. With Clipisode, you can record a video that can be shared across any platform – social media, the web, text messages – and collect video responses that can then be integrated into the “show” and overlaid with professional graphics.

The video responses feature is something more akin to a video voicemail-based call-in feature.

Here’s how it works. The content creator will first use Clipisode to record their video, and receive the link to share the video across social media, the web, or privately through email, text messaging, etc. When the viewer or guest clicks the link, they can respond to the question the show’s “host” posed.

For example, a reporter could ask for viewers’ thoughts on an issue or a creator could ask their fans what they want to see next.

How the video creator wants to use this functionality is really up to them, and specific to the type of video show they’re making.

To give you an idea, during a pre-launch period, the app has been tested by AXS TV to promote their upcoming Top Ten Revealed series by asking music industry experts “Who Is Your All-time Favorite Guitarist?

BBC Scotland asked their Twitter followers who they want to see hired as the new manager for the Scotland national football team.

A full-time Twitch gamer, Chris Melberger asked his subscribers what device they watch Twitch on.

The content creator can then receive all the video responses to these questions privately, choose which ones they want to include in their finished show, and drag those responses into the order they want. The creator can respond back to the clips, too, or just add another clip at the end of their video. Uploading pre-recorded clips from services like Dropbox or even your phone is supported as well.

Plus, content creators can use Clipisode to overlay professional-looking animations and graphics on top of the final video with the responses and replies. This makes it seem more like something made with help from a video editing team, not an app on your phone.

Because Clipisode invitations are web links, they don’t require the recipients to download an app.

“[People] don’t want to download an app for a one-time video reply,” explains Alvey. “But with this, people can reply.” And, he adds, what makes Clipisode interesting from a technical perspective, is that the web links users click to reply can work in any app in a way that feels seamless to the end user.

“That’s our biggest trick – making this work in other people’s apps, so there’s no new social network to join and nothing to download,” he says.

The app is free currently, but the plan is to generate revenue by later selling subscription access to the authoring suite where users can create the animated overlays and branding components that give the video the professional look-and-feel.

In an online CMS, creators can author, test and deploy animated themes that run on top of their videos.

The final video product can be shared back to social media, or downloaded as a video file to be published on video-sharing sites, social media, or as a video podcast.

Clipisode has been in development for some time, Alvey says. The company originally raised less than a million from investors including Mike Jones and Mark Cuban for a different product the founder describes as a Patreon competitor, before pivoting to Clipisode. Investors funded the new product with less than half a million.

The app itself took a couple of years to complete, something that Alvey says has to do with the animation studio it includes and the small team. (It’s just him and technical co-founder Max Schmeling.)

Clipisode is a free download on iOS and Android.

Twitter makes it easier to share the right part of a live video with launch of ‘Timestamps’

Twitter today is introducing a new feature that will make it easier to share a key moment from a live video, so those viewing the tweet don’t have to scroll to the part of the broadcast you want to talk about. The feature, called “Timestamps,” is something Twitter says it built in response to existing user behavior on Twitter.

Before, users could only tweet an entire live video . So, if they wanted to highlight a particular segment, they would tweet the video along with the specific time in the video where the part they’re trying to share begins.

Those viewing the tweet would then have to scroll through the video to the correct time, which can be cumbersome on longer broadcasts and challenging on slower connections.

For instance:

The new Timestamps feature makes this whole process simpler. Now, when you tap to share a live video (or a replay of a live video), you’re able to scroll back to the exact time you want the audience to watch. You can then add your own thoughts to the tweet, and post it as usual.

But anyone seeing the tweet will start watching right at the time you specified.

If the video is still live, they’ll then be able to skip to what’s happening now by clicking the “live” button, or they can scroll back and forward in the video as they choose.

The new option ties in well with Twitter’s live streaming efforts, which has seen the company focused on offering live-streamed sporting events, news broadcasts, and other events.

For example, those live-streaming a sports match could re-share the same live video broadcast every time the team scores a goal, with the video already positioned to the right part of the broadcast to capture that action. That could increase the video’s number of viewers, which could then translate to better advertising potential for those live streams.

However, Twitter will not allow advertisers to place their ads against the Timestamped moments at launch, because they don’t want to get into a situation where an advertiser is positioned up against a moment that’s not considered ‘brand-safe.’

Beyond the sports-focused use cases, people could also take advantage of Timestamps to share their favorite song from a live-streamed concert, while reporters could highlight something important said during a press conference.

Twitter notes the Timestamps feature will be available to anyone – not just professional content publishers. It will also work for anyone doing a broadcast from their phone, and will support live videos both on Twitter and Periscope.

On Twitter, you’ll be able to share the live video as a tweet, while on Periscope you’re able to share to your Periscope followers, in addition to sharing to Twitter or sharing as a link.

Timestamps isn’t the first feature Twitter built by watching how people were using its product. The company has a long history of adapting its product to consumer behavior as it did with the previous launches of @ replies, the hashtag, retweets and, most recently, threads. 

The update that delivers support for Timestamps is rolling out today on Twitter for Android and iOS, Twitter.com and Periscope.

GoPro to license camera lenses and sensors to third party manufacturers

GoPro is today announcing a multi-year deal with Jabil that aims to put GoPro technology in everything from police body cameras to video conferencing solutions. Through this agreement, Jabil will use GoPro’s design and intellectual property for use in approved third-party devices. This is the first time GoPro is letting other manufacturers build products with GoPro parts. The products will not be branded GoPro at this time.

GoPro has worked with Jabil since the GoPro Hero4, which was released in 2014. Jabil is a United States-based manufacturing firm that operates 90 facilities across 23 countries. Financial terms of this new agreement was not announced.

Irv Stein, Jabil’s vice president of Jabil Optics, said in a released statement that it sees “early market feedback indicating strong demand in the enterprise action camera segment for applications in smart homes, military, fire, police, rescue, and security.” And that’s just the beginning.

GoPro CTO Sandor Barna sees opportunity for GoPro to provide the lens and image sensors for video conferencing solutions, robotics and self-driving cars.

It seems GoPro is ready to expand from the action camera market and leverage its brand in other segments. This agreement allows for licensing a range of GoPro’s products and service including digital imaging and consumer products. At this time, third party action cameras are not allowed as the agreement only covers products that do not compete with GoPro’s products.

GoPro, who’s stock is at an all-time low of less than $5.00 is struggling to stay afloat. The company just laid off a good chunk of its drone division and has struggled to find its footing even as the company releases new and improved products. This move could put GoPro on solid ground. Even though GoPro undeniably makes the best action cameras on the market, the company keeps losing value. It’s a smart move to leverage its brand through a partner to brand out into new markets.