Attention all enterprising marketers! Google this week is kicking off a new Google Maps pilot program that encourages third-party organizations to borrow its Street View Trekker and contribute imagery back to the service. “In other words, groups outside of Google will soon be able to use the company’s camera equipment to collect 360-degree photos and help capture the world around them,” The Next Web reports. The program’s first taker is the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Time Warner Cable is bringing its TV app to the Xbox. Per a new deal with Microsoft, The TWC TV app is expected to launch as early as next month, and, as The Los Angeles Times reports, “gives the cable company's subscribers access to live TV through the popular gaming console. TWC will bring video-on-demand to the device through the app later this year.”
A week after its debut, it’s clear that Instagram’s video service is having a serious impact on Twitter’s rival video service Vine. “Vine sharing went into a nosedive on June 20, the day of Instagram’s announcement,” Marketing Land reports, citing data from Topsy’s free analytics tool. “Vine sharing on Twitter has continued to drop over the week since Instagram video rolled out.”
Expanding its hardware strategy, Google is reportedly building a videogame console and wristwatch powered by its Android operating system. “With the game machine and digital watch, Google is hoping to combat similar devices that Apple Inc. may release in the future, according to the people,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Google is also preparing to release a second version of an Android-powered media-streaming device, called Nexus Q.”
A startup by the name of TouchCast is out to reshape Web video with -- you guessed it -- touch. “The company imagines that it can completely reinvent the way you watch Web video, by turning it into an hands-on, interactive experience,” AllThingsD reports. “TouchCast lets people create and watch videos … that viewers can expand, manipulate, and turn on and off with their fingers.”
The Federal Trade Commission is considering an industrywide initiative -- tentatively titled “Reclaim Your Name” -- to give consumers access to their own records held by so-called data brokers. Referring to the F.T.C.’s Julie Brill, The New York Times’ Bits blog writes: “She envisions an online portal where data brokers would describe their data collection practices and their consumer access policies.”
LinkedIn plans to now show users what other users have viewed -- and not just their overall profiles, but also their updates on the site -- as well as what users have been visiting themselves. “Together, the two build on a long-standing feature on LinkedIn’s homepage, ‘Who’s viewed your profile,’ and they also underscore how LinkedIn continues to add services to encourage more activity on its platform,” TechCrunch reports.
To the chagrin of TV networks everywhere, content co-opter Aereo is ready for a big expansion. “The company said it will open in at least 19 more cities by the end of the year,” The Verge reports. If you’re not familiar, “Aereo captures over-the-air TV broadcast signals, converts them into computer data, and then streams the video over the internet to subscribers -- all without paying broadcasters a dime.”
India has surpassed Japan to become the third-largest global smartphone market in the world, according to new report from Strategy Analytics. “Smartphone makers including Apple, Samsung and local Indian mobile maker Micromax … are driving higher volumes in the country thanks to improved distribution networks,” TechCrunch notes, citing the analyst’s findings.
To the delight of Web streamers everywhere, YouTube is on a mission to kill video lag time. “According to John Harding, YouTube's core engineering team leader, if a user can click a video and it starts to play within 200 milliseconds, the user will perceive it as being essentially instant,” Gizmodo reports. “That's the goal.”