• YouTube Still Smarting From String Of PR Messes
    Bloomberg considers YouTube’s efforts to regain its footing a year of unfortunately events. “Through the long string of YouTube fiascoes, one thing has been constant: The company has struggled to explain its decisions,” it writes. “Behind the scenes, YouTube executives acknowledged that their infrastructure-challenged megacity needed a massive police presence.”  
  • Pinterest Diversifying Search Results
    Pinterest is trying to diversify its search results. Wired describes the effort as “a way to narrow down beauty searches by skin tone.” In practice, “When you type in a beauty-related term, like ‘orange lipstick,’ a set of skin tone options appears below it.” Then, “Click on one and the search results show only those skin tones.”    
  • Chinese Smartphone Market Slows (Again)
    The Chinese smartphone market had another bad year, Engadget reports, citing the latest data from Canalys. “Canalys has estimated that smartphone shipments in the country plummeted 21 percent year-over year in the first quarter of 2018 -- the steepest drop since 2013,” it writes. “Almost everyone saw their shipments go down, with Oppo and Vivo (both owned by BBK) taking the worst hit with a 10 percent drop.”
  • Facebook Messenger Kids Adding 'Sleep Mode'
    Facebook is adding a “sleep mode” feature to its Messenger Kids app, Venture Beat reports. With it, “parents [can] set specific times when their children aren’t allowed to use the app,” it writes. “It’s been nearly five months since Facebook launched the child-focused Messenger Kids.”
  • Can Hulu Rival Netflix?
    The Hollywood Report consider the success of Hulu, and then envisions its future. “Largely because of Handmaid's [Tale] -- and also Hulu's fledgling Live TV service -- the company has been on the biggest growth spurt in its 10-year history, closing in on 20 million subscribers,” THR writes, citing sources. “If its numbers continue to climb, it’s not hard to imagine a not-so-dystopian future in which Hulu narrows the gap with Netflix's 55 million U.S. subscribers.”
  • Facebook Failing To Police Fake Mark Zuckerbergs
    The New York Times details how over 200 Facebook and Instagram accounts were impersonating Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg in what appeared to be an effort to scam users. “At a time when the real Mr. Zuckerberg has vowed to clean up Facebook, the Silicon Valley company has failed to eliminate imposter accounts masquerading as him and his chief operating officer … to swindle Facebook users out of thousands of dollars,” it writes.
  • Alexa Is Getting Smarter
    Amazon is trying to make Alexa a lot smarter, Slash Gear reports. “Alexa is about to get better at handling more complicated, multi-step conversations, as well as acting more like a useful personal assistant,” it reports. “The new functionality was revealed by Amazon’s director of applied science, Ruhi Sarikaya, who leads the Alexa Brain initiative trying to make AIs more natural to engage with.”
  • Snapchat To Test Non-Skippable Ads
    Snap is reportedly readying six-second video ads that Snapchat users can’t skip. “The company is reportedly planning to run the ads, aptly called ‘Commercials,’ in select shows produced by publishing partners like MTV-owner Viacom, such as Cribs and Girl Code,” Engadget reports. “In other words, they’re the kind of shows you'd usually expect to be interrupted by commercials if they’re shown on TV.”  
  • 'YouTube Remix' Set To Replace Google Play Music
    When Google launches its YouTube Remix platform later this year, it will replace Google Play Music, sources tell Droid Life. “Not only that, but users will be forced off of Play Music by the end of 2018 and onto Remix,” it reports. “The end of Google Play Music probably makes quite a bit of sense if Google has put this much time and effort into YouTube Remix.”
  • Snap Returning User Stories To Discover Page
    Snap is repositioning user-generated Stories on the Discover page, Re/code reports. “They will exist alongside stuff from brands, celebrities and publishers -- similar to how they did before [last year’s major] redesign was rolled out,” it writes. “It’s a small change, and a Snap spokesperson says it's just a test.”
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