Pinterest starts testing video ads – Pinterest’s long-awaited video ads have arrived. Promoted video pins are being tested among a small group of users, and internally at Pinterest, according to one source briefed on the tests. The source said that the videos employ an autoplay function that sets them in motion when a user stops scrolling over them. Pinterest is testing video ad length, according to sources. The video ads complement Cinematic Pins, which play only as a user scrolls and then stop when a user stops scrolling.
Google is reportedly building a new live streaming app called YouTube Connect – Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope have become popular with users, and Google is reportedly about to break into the live streaming game. Venture Beat reports that the tech giant is building a standalone live-streaming app called YouTube Connect that would function in a similar way to Facebook Live and Periscope. YouTube Connect would have chat and tagging features, as well as a news feed that displays videos from friends and brands to which a user has susbcribed. This app would directly compete with Snapchat, Facebook Live, and Periscope and would not integrate with Facebook or Twitter.
Snapchat reportedly acquires Bitmoji maker Bitstrips for $100 million – Fortune is reporting that Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging platform that has today become the number one free app on the App Store, has agreed to acquire Bitstrips, the folks behind popular emoji-creation service Bitmoji. Given Bitstrip’s experience with keyboard integrations and general design that people have grown to love, there are a number of options for Snapchat to integrate the service into the main Snapchat platform. For one, Snapchat’s geofilters could become more personalized and tailored to each user. On the other hand, Snapchat could use the Bitstrips team to integrate Snapchat into the phone’s main keyboard, as Fortune suggests.
Daily Talk Show Live From E! Relaunches via Facebook Live – Cable network E! launched a daily talk show via Facebook Live,Live From E! on Monday. Todd Spangler of Variety reported that the existing show was completely redeveloped for the social network, adding that it is being shot using an Apple iPhone 6S Plus. Live From E! will “air” at 12:30 p.m. ET weekdays, running 15 to 20 minutes, and Spangler added that the show’s revamp for Facebook included a new desk on the set to better accommodate the screen size, as well as a 60-inch monitor to share content with viewers in the same shot as the hosts. Also, viewers will be able to submit questions or comments via Facebook, which may be incorporated into the show.
This is how you play Facebook Messenger’s secret basketball minigame – Good news for people with boring friends — Facebook has once again hidden a minigame inside its Messenger app, this time to celebrate college basketball’s March Madness tournament. To play, make sure you have the latest version of Facebook Messenger, then simply send a friend the basketball emoji. Once sent, press the ball, and be transported away from your conversation to a wonderful world where there’s no baby photos, relationship drama, or Candy Crush invites — just a white screen, a basketball, and a hoop.