YouTube Music, a new music streaming service, is coming soon

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From Beyonce’s livestream at Coachella to landmark videos like “ Despacito,” “ New Rules” and “ This Is America,” more than 1 billion music fans come to YouTube each month to be part of music culture and discover new music. It’s also where over 2 million artists come to share their voices and art with the world. YouTube is where artists and fans connect: creating and discovering a world of music. 

But YouTube was made for video, not just music. On Tuesday, May 22, we’ll be changing that by introducing YouTube Music, a new music streaming service made for music with the magic of YouTube: making the world of music easier to explore and more personalized than ever. The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over. Whether you want to listen, watch or discover, it’s all here. YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music: official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s tremendous catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else - all simply organized and personalized. For the first time, all the ways music moves you can be found in one place. 

So what is YouTube Music exactly? 


A new music streaming service from YouTube 

  • A reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player that are designed for music.

  • YouTube Music has thousands of playlists, the official versions of millions of songs, albums, artist radio and more, in addition to all the music videos people expect from YouTube.

Find more of the music you’re looking for 

  • Remixes, covers, live versions as well as deep cuts you can’t find anywhere else – from the biggest artists in the world to freshest voices breaking through.
  • New and iconic videos from "God’s Plan" and "Havana" to "Thriller," "Sledgehammer," and more.
  • YouTube Music search works even if fans don’t know exactly what they’re looking for … we’ll find it if they describe it (try “that hipster song with the whistling”) or give us some lyrics (try “I make money moves”).

Effortlessly discover new music 

  • YouTube Music’s personalized home screen dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on people’s listening history, where they are and what they’re doing. At the airport? We’ll recommend something relaxing before the flight. Entering the gym? We’ll suggest some beats to get the heart-rate going.
  • Thousands of playlists built to help you discover new music. That means no matter what kind of music you like, where you are, what you’re doing, or what mood you’re in, you can easily find the right playlist for that moment.

While fans can enjoy the new ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free, we’re also launching YouTube Music Premium, a paid membership that gives you background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience for $9.99 a month. If you are a subscriber to Google Play Music, good news, you get a YouTube Music Premium membership as part of your subscription each month. And if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change -- you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always. 

To extend the features of YouTube Music Premium beyond the music app, we’re soon introducing YouTube Premium, the new name for our YouTube Red subscription service. YouTube Premium includes ad-free, background and offline across all of YouTube, as well as access to all YouTube Originals including Cobra KaiStep Up: High Water and Youth & Consequences. YouTube Premium will continue to provide an ad-free experience, background play, and downloads across the millions of videos on YouTube. But because it includes our brand new YouTube Music service, the price will be $11.99 for all new members. If you’re already a YouTube Red (soon to be YouTube Premium) member, don’t worry you’ll still enjoy your current price. 

Starting Tuesday, we're rolling out the new YouTube Music experience in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea*. It will expand more broadly in the coming weeks. We’ll also soon be launching in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. If you want to know when the new YouTube Music is available in your country, head to music.youtube.com/coming-soon and let us know you’re interested. 

SOURCE: YouTube Blog

New Ways to Share and Connect on Instagram

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New ways to share in the moment on Stories, connect with friends over video and discover new interests on Explore.

Stories

Sharing to Stories:
From a sticker of your new favorite song on Spotify to action shots from GoPro, it’s now easy to share what you’re up to or how you’re feeling by posting directly to Instagram Stories from other apps. More apps will be adding the sharing to Stories feature soon.

Just tap the share button in the Spotify or GoPro app and your content is pulled directly into the Instagram camera. From there you can edit and add to your story or send it via Direct. You don’t have to connect your Instagram account to other apps in order to share to Stories.

Camera Effects Platform for Instagram

Face filters, text styles and stickers help turn casual moments into experiences you can’t wait to share. Now we’re unlocking the ability for third parties to design unique, interactive camera experiences for their followers.

That means you turn any video into a NBA dunkcam or add a cloud of hearts and Pomeranians to fluff up your photo. 

If you see a new effect in Stories from an account you follow and want to try it yourself, just tap “Try it on” and the tool will be added to your tray.

More fun creative effects from your favorite accounts are coming soon, including Ariana Grande, Baby Ariel, Liza Koshy, Vogue, and Buzzfeed.

Video Chat

More than 100 million Instagrammers watch or share on Live every day. But we’ve heard from our community that sometimes they also want to experience real-time video in a smaller group.

In the coming weeks, we’ll bring video chat to Instagram and give friends a new way to spend time together — even when they aren’t actually together.

To start a video chat, simply tap the new camera icon at the top of a Direct thread. You can chat one-on-one or with a small group — and you can keep the conversation going for as long as you like. You can also minimize the video and continue the chat while doing other things on Instagram.

Video chat is testing now and will roll out globally soon.

The New Explore

People come to Explore every day to discover new ideas, people, and experiences. And now we’re excited to bring you a redesigned Explore that makes discovery even easier.

Explore is still personalized for you, but the content is now organized into topic channels so you can browse across your interests and go deeper on any area you’d like.

The new Explore will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

SOURCE: Instagram Blog

LinkedIn Introduces video for Sponsored Content and Company Pages

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LinkedIn is excited to announce two major updates that let you use sight, sound and motion to tell more compelling stories: video for Sponsored Content and Company Pages. These offerings build on the momentum of member video, which they launched in August.

Bring Your Campaigns to Life with Video for Sponsored Content

Video for Sponsored Content that lets you engage with business decision-makers throughout the buyer’s journey on Linkedin. Unlike pre- or post-roll video ads, video for Sponsored Content ads live directly on the news feed as standalone posts.

Video for Sponsored Content helps you achieve your marketing objectives across the funnel by:

  • Building brand awareness by telling rich, visual stories in the premium context of LinkedIn

  • Driving traffic to your desktop or mobile website, and

  • Collecting high-quality leads with a persistent “call to action” button or through our integrated Lead Gen Forms product.

What’s more, we’ve integrated tools that LinkedIn marketers love, including Matched Audiences, Lead Gen Forms, and Conversion Tracking for video to help their achieve their goals. We’ve also begun serving impressions not just on mobile, but also on desktop.

On average, LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content.

Make Connections with Company Page Video

Today, we’re also making video sharing available for all companies and publishers.

With Company Page video, organizations can now share first-hand looks into their cultureproductsnews, and events to attract talent, and drive engagement and conversation with professional audiences right from their Company Page on LinkedIn. Company Page video is 5x more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members, based on results in our beta program.

Facebook ends Explore Feed Test

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We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone. Some of these changes—like Reactions, Live Video, and GIFs— work well and go on to become globally available. Others don’t and we drop them. Today, we’re ending one of those tests: the Explore Feed.

The Explore Feed was a trial response to consistent feedback we received from people over the past year who said they want to see more from friends and family in News Feed. The idea was to create a version of Facebook with two different News Feeds: one as a dedicated place with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated place for posts from Pages.

To understand if people might like two separate feeds, we started a test in October 2017 in six countries.

You gave us our answer: People don’t want two separate feeds. In surveys, people told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didn’t actually help them connect more with friends and family.

We think our recent changes to News Feed that prioritize meaningful social interactions better address the feedback we heard from people who said they want to see more from friends and family. Those changes mean less public content in News Feed like posts from businesses, brands, and media.

We also received feedback that we made it harder for people in the test countries to access important information, and that we didn’t communicate the test clearly. We’re acting on this feedback by updating the way we evaluate where to test new products, and how we communicate about them.

Separately, we’re also discontinuing the Explore Feed bookmark globally this week. Explore gave people a new feed of content to discover Pages and public figures they hadn’t previously followed. We concluded that Explore isn’t an effective way for people to discover new content on Facebook.

We’re always looking to help people connect with the people and information that matter most to them. Both of these tests provided us with valuable feedback that we will use to improve News Feed for everyone.

SOURCE: Facebook Blog

Updates to YouTube Live streaming

Together, we've experienced the biggest music, sports, science, culture and gaming events unfold live on YouTube. Now we’re introducing more ways to watch live videos and interact with your community in real time.

Catching up on the latest

Live chat plays a key role in creating connections between creators and their community. Today we are starting to roll out chat replay to YouTube, so you can follow the conversation even after a live stream is over. Live chat replays will show up alongside the video, exactly as it appeared live.
 

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Making live streams more accessible

We launched automatic captions back in 2009, and since then, we’ve auto-captioned a staggering 1 billion videos. We’re now bringing English automatic captions to live streams.

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When professionally provided captions aren’t available, our new live automatic captions provide creators a quick and inexpensive way to make live streams accessible to more people. With our live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology, you’ll get captions with error rates and latency approaching industry standards. We'll roll this out in the coming weeks, and will continue to improve accuracy and latency of automatic captions.

More fun features for live streamers

Creators can now add a location tag to their mobile live streams and video uploads and share all their favorite hot spots with viewers. You can explore other videos with the same location tag by simply clicking on it. You can also use the location filter on the search results page to find other videos from a specific spot.

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Last year, we introduced a way for Super Chats to trigger real life events. Now creators can set this up for their channels using IFTTT (If This, Then That). Over 600 internet-connected services and devices (like lights, pet feeders and confetti cannons!) can be connected to Super Chat. Super Chat is already available on desktop and Android devices, with support for iOS devices rolling out starting today.

With live streams, you’ve found more intimate and spontaneous ways to share your thoughts, lives, and creativity. Take these features for a spin and show us your world!

SOURCE: YouTube Blog

 

Managing Your Identity on Facebook with Face Recognition Technology

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We're announcing new, optional tools to help people better manage their identity on Facebook using face recognition. Powered by the same technology we’ve used to suggest friends you may want to tag in photos or videos, these new features help you find photos that you’re not tagged in and help you detect when others might be attempting to use your image as their profile picture. We’re also introducing a way for people who are visually impaired to know more about who is in the photos they encounter on Facebook.

People gave us feedback that they would find it easier to manage face recognition through a simple setting, so we’re pairing these tools with a single “on/off” control. If your tag suggestions setting is currently set to “none,” then your default face recognition setting will be set to “off” and will remain that way until you decide to change it.

Know When You Appear in Photos on Facebook

Now, if you’re in a photo and are part of the audience for that post, we’ll notify you, even if you haven’t been tagged. You’re in control of your image on Facebook and can make choices such as whether to tag yourself, leave yourself untagged, or reach out to the person who posted the photo if you have concerns about it. We always respect the privacy setting people select when posting a photo on Facebook (whether that’s friends, public or a custom audience), so you won’t receive a notification if you’re not in the audience.

Profile Photo Safety

We want people to feel confident when they post pictures of themselves on Facebook so we’ll soon begin using face recognition technology to let people know when someone else uploads a photo of them as their profile picture. We’re doing this to prevent people from impersonating others on Facebook.

New Tools for People with Visual Impairments

We’re always working to make it easier for all people, regardless of ability, to access Facebook, make connections and have more opportunities. Two years ago, we launched an automatic alt-text tool, which describes photos to people with vision loss. Now, with face recognition, people who use screen readers will know who appears in photos in their News Feed even if people aren’t tagged.

How it Works and the Choices You Have

Since 2010, face recognition technology has helped bring people closer together on Facebook. Our technology analyzes the pixels in photos you’re already tagged in and generates a string of numbers we call a template. When photos and videos are uploaded to our systems, we compare those images to the template.

You control whether Facebook can recognize you in photos and videos. Soon, you will begin to see a simple on/off switch instead of settings for individual features that use face recognition technology. We designed this as an on/off switch because people gave us feedback that they prefer a simpler control than having to decide for every single feature using face recognition technology. To learn more about all of these features, visit the Help Center or your account settings

We are introducing these new features in most places, except in Canada and the EU where we don’t currently offer face recognition technology.

SOURCE: Facebook Blog

Now You Can Follow Hashtags on Instagram

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Instagram is introducing the ability to follow hashtags, giving you new ways to discover photos, videos and people on Instagram. Now it’s even easier to stay connected with the interests, hobbies, passions and communities you care about.

Everyday, millions of people share photos and videos and tag them with relevant hashtags. #onthetable#slime and #floralnails are just a few examples of hashtags that represent the many interests and passions of our community. To make these posts even more discoverable, we’re introducing hashtags you can follow.

Following a hashtag is just like following a friend. To get started, search for a topic you’re interested in or tap on a hashtag from any post. You’ll see relevant hashtags displayed in your search results along with related accounts. When you find a hashtag you like, open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button. You’ll begin seeing top posts from that hashtag in your feed and some of the latest stories in your stories bar. You can always unfollow a hashtag at any time.

To give you more ways to find hashtags you might like, you can check out the hashtags other people follow in their profiles. Similar to people you follow, hashtags you follow respect your privacy settings. If you set your account to private, the hashtags you follow will only be visible to your followers.

Following hashtags is just the beginning of how we’re giving you the tools to discover and be inspired by our community.

SOURCE: Instagram Blog

Additional Changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to Better Protect Creators

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2017 marked a tough year for many of you, with several issues affecting our community and the revenue earned from advertising through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Despite those issues more creators than ever are earning a living on YouTube, with the number of channels making over six figures up over 40% year-over-year. In 2018, a major focus for everyone at YouTube is protecting our creator ecosystem and ensuring your revenue is more stable.

As Susan mentioned in December, we’re making changes to address the issues that affected our community in 2017 so we can prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube. A big part of that effort will be strengthening our requirements for monetization so spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors can’t hurt our ecosystem or take advantage of you, while continuing to reward those who make our platform great.

Back in April of 2017, we set a YPP eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. While that threshold provided more information to determine whether a channel followed our community guidelines and policies, it’s been clear over the last few months that we need a higher standard.

Starting today we’re changing the eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you. They will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors). These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone.

On February 20th, 2018, we’ll also implement this threshold across existing channels on the platform, to allow for a 30 day grace period. On that date, channels with fewer than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours will no longer be able to earn money on YouTube. When they reach 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies. New channels will need to apply, and their application will be evaluated when they hit these milestones.

Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies. After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community.

Of course, size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for monetization, so we’ll continue to use signals like community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure we’re protecting our creator community from bad actors. As we continue to protect our platform from abuse, we want to remind all of you to follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Monetization Basics & Policies, Terms of Service, and Google AdSense program policies, as violating any of these may lead to removal from the YouTube Partner Program.

While this change will tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels, we also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube. We'll be working to schedule conversations with our creators in the months ahead so we can hear your thoughts and ideas and what more we can do to tackle that challenge.

One of YouTube’s core values is to provide anyone the opportunity to earn money from a thriving channel, and while our policies will evolve over time, our commitment to that value remains. Those of you who want more details around this change, or haven’t yet reached this new 4,000 hour/1,000 subscriber threshold can continue to benefit from our Creator Academy, our Help Center, and all the resources on the Creator Site to grow your channels.

Even though 2017 was a challenging year, thanks to creators like you, it was full of the moments that make YouTube such a special place. Creators large and small, established and emerging, transformed their talent and originality into videos that captivated over a billion people around the world. They made us laugh, taught us about our world and warmed our hearts. We’re confident the steps we’re taking today will help protect and grow our inspiring community well into the future.

SOURCE: YouTubers Blog 

How Facebook now handles fake news

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Facebook is about connecting you to the people that matter most. And discussing the news can be one way to start a meaningful conversation with friends or family. It’s why helping to ensure that you get accurate information on Facebook is so important to us.

Today, we’re announcing two changes which we believe will help in our fight against false news. First, we will no longer use Disputed Flags to identify false news. Instead we’ll use Related Articles to help give people more context about the story. Here’s why.

Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs – the opposite effect to what we intended. Related Articles, by contrast, are simply designed to give more context, which our research has shown is a more effective way to help people get to the facts. Indeed, we’ve found that when we show Related Articles next to a false news story, it leads to fewer shares than when the Disputed Flag is shown.

Second, we are starting a new initiative to better understand how people decide whether information is accurate or not based on the news sources they depend upon. This will not directly impact News Feed in the near term. However, it may help us better measure our success in improving the quality of information on Facebook over time.

False news undermines the unique value that Facebook offers: the ability for you to connect with family and friends in meaningful ways. It’s why we’re investing in better technology and more people to help prevent the spread of misinformation. Overall, we’re making progress. Demoting false news (as identified by fact-checkers) is one of our best weapons because demoted articles typically lose 80 percent of their traffic. This destroys the economic incentives spammers and troll farms have to generate these articles in the first place.

But there’s much more to do. By showing Related Articles rather than Disputed Flags we can help give people better context. And understanding how people decide what’s false and what’s not will be crucial to our success over time. Please keep giving us your feedback because we’ll be redoubling our efforts in 2018.

Building a Pinterest for Everyone

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Our mission at Pinterest is to help people discover and do what they love. Hundreds of millions of people come to us to get ideas and inspiration for their lives. And our goal every day is to deliver for our Pinners.

To do that, we want to bring in the best talent we can and create a work environment where people can do their best work. That is why one of our top priorities is building a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace.

Diversity and inclusion mean a lot to us personally. They are also good for our business. Bringing in people with different backgrounds, ideas and perspectives helps us fulfill our mission and strengthens our company. A few years after we started Pinterest, we were growing quickly and we realized that we had to make a concrete effort to build a diverse and inclusive culture. So we got to work.   

That started with how we hire. In 2015, we became one of the first tech companies to set annual pubic hiring goals, after being one of the first to publicly share numbers in the prior years. Though we still have work to do, we have made a lot of progress.

Over the past two years, the number of people from underrepresented ethnic groups working at Pinterest grew from 3% to 9% of the company. Women in tech roles (engineers, product management and design) increased from 21% to 29%.

In 2017, specifically, we hit two of our three hiring goals. Here are the details:

• We wanted to increase hiring rates for full-time women engineers to 25%. We exceeded it and reached 26%.

• We wanted to increase hiring rates for engineers from underrepresented backgrounds to 8%. We fell short at 5%.

• We wanted to increase hiring rates for people from underrepresented backgrounds in non-engineering roles to 12%. We exceeded this goal by reaching 15%.

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How did we do this? Of course there's room for improvement, but we're encouraged by the results. One highlight this year was our apprenticeship program which opens doors for self-taught coders. There are a lot of talented people who don’t come from computer science backgrounds but still have a lot to offer. So we started this initiative to help talented candidates get their foot in the door, and have hired a number of apprentices to become full-time engineers.

Another highlight was how we have expanded the talent pool when looking for candidates. We now interview at least one person from an underrepresented background and one female for every open leadership position. This is modeled after an NFL initiative called the “Rooney Rule.” This year we expanded this effort to include senior management roles so that we are getting the best candidates for positions at all levels of the company.

These are just some examples of the work we’re doing. We have come a long way. But we still have work to do. In 2018, we will try to achieve the same aggressive goals that we had this year and bring in more people who will strengthen our business and product.

We also know that it’s not enough to focus on hiring. We are also focusing on inclusion.

Pinterest has made inclusion a priority. People do their best work when they know they are valued and respected at the office. And every day, we strive to make our work environment a place where people can innovate instead of worrying about other things.

So how did we make Pinterest more inclusive? Well, we did a few things.

• We looked at what our really great managers were doing to build inclusive teams and created a playbook based on those principles so that leaders at all levels could put those practices into action.

• We added a checkpoint during performance reviews so managers could pause and identify any common biases they may have been making.

• We made unconscious bias training a priority for employees and managers so they can be aware of any hidden preferences they may hold.

This work is making a difference. We are proud that industry studies say that Pinterest is one of the best companies for diversity and for women to work. And we are going to continue doing everything we can to create a culture where everyone feels like they belong and can focus on doing their jobs.

We are also working with Partners to scale these efforts. Diversity isn’t just good for Pinterest—it’s good for the whole industry. We all benefit when more people get the chance to contribute and innovate. So in addition to our internal efforts, we have also looked for ways to support other organizations doing really important work.

One of them is called /dev/color. Started by a former Pinterest engineer, this non-profit helps Black engineers build their careers and grow as industry leaders. We all know that historically it’s been way too hard for Black developers to get opportunities in the tech industry. /dev/color’s goal is to address those barriers so that talented individuals can get jobs and start businesses.

Another example is Paradigm, which develops strategies to help companies do better when it comes to diversity and inclusion. They use a lot of amazing data and research to help organizations examine and improve the way they hire and operate. Their work has helped strengthen a lot of companies of all sizes.  

Both of these organizations actually have space at our headquarters. And we are really glad to be a part of their work to open doors for others.

We know this will be a long journey and that we have a lot of work to do. But we are confident that it will make our business and our industry better. And we look forward to sharing our progress in our update next year.

SOURCE: Pinterest Blog