Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Reddit rolls out a new ‘Reddit Live’ reporting tool for breaking news submissions

Reddit rolls out a new ‘Reddit Live’ reporting tool for breaking news submissions
Image Credit: Meme Illustration by Tom Cheredar

Reddit launched a new feature today targeted at users that want to keep others updated on a breaking news topics in real-time.

The Reddit Live tool, which launched as a beta version back in February, is essentially a live-blogging tool that’s tailored to Reddit. It was prompted after the Reddit team noticed a growing trend of submissions that saw users constantly updating a post with new information as it became available. The regular Reddit submission process wasn’t built for this purpose, as it limits the number of times you can update a post, doesn’t allow you to alter the headline, and won’t let you collaborate with other Reddit users.

One example of this would be last year’s tragic Boston Marathon bombings in which a handful of users provided a real-time account of the situation that required seven total submission threads over a 32-hour period — primarily from one user. There was also a difficulty in eliminating incorrect facts from these types of submissions, leading to the spread of misinformation.

The new “Reddit Live” tool focuses on making this process easier. There’s no limit on the number of updates someone can make, and elements like headlines, descriptions, and individual updates can be edited or deleted at any time. You can also specify who can make real-time updates to the thread (and how much control each person has over the post) by adding a person’s Reddit handle. And making a Reddit Live submission is a pretty simple process, as is closing or deleting the submission thread.

A screenshot of the newly launched Reddit Live reporting tool.

Above: A screenshot of the newly launched Reddit Live reporting tool.

Image Credit: Screenshot via Tom Cheredar

Initially, Reddit Live posts live outside of the regular “subreddit” (aka categories) submission ecosystem — meaning Reddit Live posts won’t show up on the main site where you can vote or comment on them. You can, however, share a link to a Reddit Live post with the general public, or even submit that link to a particular category on Reddit proper. But while testing the new tool I did notice a handful of people were watching it (as you can see from the screenshot above), despite me never having shared the link anywhere.

Typically, Reddit has always used the same submission process for everything but the Reddit Live tool definitely was built for a specific kind of submission. It’ll be interesting to see if the company decides to use this same strategy for other distinct types of user submissions, like photo galleries, anonymous submissions from disposable (aka “throwaway”) accounts, etc.

VentureBeat has reached out to the Reddit team for more details about the long-term strategy for the new Reddit Live tool. Stay tuned for more details.


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Reddit is a source for what's new and popular on the web. Users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what's good () and what's junk (). Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the fro... read more »










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Lytro’s light-field photos get their first outside showcase on photo site 500px

Lytro’s light-field photos get their first outside showcase on photo site 500px

Above: The new Lytro section on 500px

Image Credit: Lytro/500px

Lytro‘s “living pictures” are now taking on more life.

The company made quite a splash a few years ago when it debuted its light-field photos — images that allow viewers to change focal points and perspective after the photo has been taken. But Lytro’s cameras were slow to sell initially, and the company is now trying to get its format accepted into the general photography community.

Toward that goal, Lytro announced several weeks ago that it was going to exhibit photos from its new Illum camera on high-end photo site 500px. Today, that Lytro-dedicated section on 500px went live.

“We’re super-excited about this,” Lytro founder and executive chairman Ren Ng told VentureBeat.

“500px is a super-vibrant community of photographers of the highest quality,” he said, calling it “a great ecosystem.”

“Lytro is very interested in getting this fundamentally richer data into places where people view content.”

You do need a special viewer to see images created with Lytro technology. Last month, Lytro said that its images will be viewable online using a new, open source player based on the WebGL standard for 3D graphics. This means the images can be readily viewed on many devices, with the 500px site being the first outside presenter.

Light-field imagery can offer post-capture manipulation because the sensor captures much more data from the available light than normal cameras do, including the color, intensity, and direction of incoming light rays.

“We’re now seeing other cameras with Lytro-like tricks,” Reticle Research analyst Ross Rubin pointed out. These cameras — some in smartphones — can offer “selective focus after shooting, done with software, not optics,” he said.

“We welcome that,” Ng told us, although he pointed out that Lytro uses “fundamentally richer data, not a visual effect.”

“The visual signature of [Lytro] has been to refocus the picture,” he said, and “the cultural impact has been so great [that other companies] decided this was competitive ground.”

“[Think about] how fast this has confirmed that pictures should not be just static.”

500px is also offering a deal on the Illum for 500px members: $250 off the soon-to-be-released second-gen camera, whose list price is $1,599.

Sales are “terrific,” Ng said, “well ahead of projections.”


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Lytro is transforming the camera into a powerful computational photography platform and making conventional cameras a thing of the past. The key innovation is “light field” technology, which captures all of the light rays in a scen... read more »










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Facebook’s mobile ad revenue is leading ad growth

Facebook’s mobile ad revenue is leading ad growth
Image Credit: Facebook

Facebook says it’s a mobile-first company, and its earnings are boosting this claim.

Facebook announced its quarterly earnings today, with revenue for the second quarter totaling $2.91 billion, a year-over-year increase of 59 percent. And mobile advertising led the way, providing 62 percent of Facebook’s $2.68 billion advertising revenue. But Facebook isn’t just increasing its mobile-ad power — it’s also branching out with app install adds, its mobile ad network, and its acquisition of Liverail. And it intends to keep growing that revenue for next quarter with an increasing focus on mobile.

The company noted in its quarterly earnings call that desktop use of Facebook continues to decline while mobile usage ramps up.

“People on Facbeook use it 40 minutes everyday and one to five minutes on mobile. Overall people engage nine hours a day on digital media, which leaves a lot of room for growth” says CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

One of the places that Facebook is looking to grow is video. Earlier this year, the company acquired Liverail, a video advertising platform that enables publishers to monetize their videos through live bidding.

“People think mobile app install ads are a majority of our mobile advertising and they’re not,” says COO Sheryl Sandberg. She sees mobile advertising for Facebook as much broader, comprising of in-feed ads coming from a variety of publishers and ad developers. She also sees it focusing on what she terms as “storytelling,” much like television advertising has for decades.

“I think for a long time television was for creative storytelling and online ads were for targeted text based results, but were’ seeing that change,” says Sandberg. Part of the trick going forward will be making the ads feel like they’re part of Facebook’s user content, a seamlessly string of stories — not product pushing.

The company is also toying with autoplay, having videos automatically start when users stop scrolling in their news feed.

Mobile advertising totaled $9.69 billion in the U.S. in 2013 and will increase 83 percent to reach $17.73 billion this year, according to eMarketer. Though Facebook is growing, Google is still on top: It took 41.5 percent of all net U.S. mobile ad revenues in 2013.

 

Facebook Quarterly Earnings Report Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.38.20 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.38.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.37.50 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.37.39 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.37.28 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.37.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.34.30 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.31.31 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.31.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.31.11 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.30.00 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.29.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.29.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.29.26 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.28.53 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.28.41 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.28.30 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.28.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.28.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.25.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.25.01 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.24.44 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.24.33 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.24.20 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.24.05 PM

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Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »










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