Clips camera is a Google hit
Google’s new artificial intelligence personal camera called Clips is already a runaway success with social savvy users.
The device uses AI to take a picture when it sees something interesting and is designed to be always ‘on’, in the background waiting for the right moment to record a snap.
While this might have suggestions of Google being ‘big brother’ and watching users’ every movement, this hasn’t put off consumers in the US, where the device has already launched. It’s proved so popular that Google has had to stop taking orders.
The web giant also points out that the device does not send any information to external servers and works off its own hardware to decide when a moment is right to record a ‘clip’.
Vine to return as v2
Vine, the Twitter-owned six second looping video app that closed in 2016, is to return.
Given how other social platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram have developed since Vine disappeared, it is a brave move to bring it back. The new Vine version 2, or v2, will feature:
Videos of two to 6.5 seconds that loop the same way Vines do
The ability to capture videos in-app or upload from the camera roll
The capacity to film in vertical full-screen and flip to selfie mode while recording
There will be no filters or effects and v2 will take a tough line on copyrighted content, while protecting the rights of content creators.
v2 has reportedly been contacting former Vine stars to get them onboard, but many have since moved on to platforms where they’ve built huge audiences, enabling them to better grow their brands and make money. So it remains to be seen where the audience for v2 will be exactly.
Full body augmented reality coming to Facebook
The latest attempt from Facebook to fully steal Snapchat’s social audience is the development of full body augmented reality.
This new feature, which could be used in Instagram Stories and Facebook’s camera, will able to track people’s actions while walking, sitting or dancing and even identify the subject when obstructed by other objects.
In addition, Facebook is developing location locked AR art tools that are similar to Snapchat’s virtual art installations.
This means users will be able to be dressed in a variety of outfits within a real world scene while on social media. All this is currently still in development, but it’s clearly the next phase of AR and one where Facebook appears to be leading.
Facebook updates branded content tags
Facebook’s Branded Content tags are designed to enable influencer marketing and sponsored partnerships, providing transparency over which endorsements are paid.
How it works is that the sponsoring brand makes a deal with the associated Page, which then adds the relevant Page as a tag in the post.
In practice, it can simply be an article or video that a brand paid a publisher or creator to distribute. It may not even be content, but instead a link to a product page on a brand’s e-commerce site, making something that was already closely related to an ad now identical to one.
This means that brands can distribute ads through another means, which is not what Branded Content tags were intended for. To counter this, Facebook is updating its Branded Content rules, adding a new regulation to detect and stamp out violations of use.
It’s a small revision, but will likely become increasingly important as businesses seek new means to boost their Facebook distribution in the face of the platform’s upcoming News Feed changes, which will limit Page reach.
Twitter improves image cropping
Twitter’s sometimes frustrating image cropping technique – that can often slice the best bit of a photo out of a tweet, to the annoyance of brands seeking social media consistency – is being updated.
Instead of using face detection to automatically focus the image on one point, twitter is now to use neural networks to ‘predict’ the most important part of the image.
This more scientific method is based on eye tracking technology, predicting where a user’s eyes will fall first on the entire image and cropping accordingly. Twitter is confident its new algorithm will greatly improve the cropping process.