Вторник, 26 марта 2019 18:46

Spotify expands personalization to its programmed playlists

Spotify this morning announced a major change to how its playlists will operate, with the news that some of its previously human-curated playlists will now be personalized based on listeners’ tastes. Before, Spotify offered personalized playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mixes, among others, to offer users a way to enjoy the music they like and be introduced to new songs and artists that fit their interests. However, these were clearly separated from the curated playlists programmed by Spotify’s editorial team. 

Now, Spotify says that will change. 

“Some playlists will now be personalized for each listener based on their particular taste. This means that for those specific playlists, no two will be the same,” the company shared in a blog post. 

Spotify says it decided to make this change after finding that users listened longer to the personalized playlists, during a trial of the new system. It also notes that the new system will increase the number of artists featured on playlists by 30 percent and the number of songs listened to by 35 percent – metrics that artists will surely like. 

In addition, after a listener discovers a song on a personalized playlist, the number of those who then go seek out the track on their own for repeat listens was up by 80 percent, and the average number of time a listener saves a track was up by 66 percent, the company added. 

Spotify was seen testing this change last year, where playlists like “Beast Mode,” “Chill Hits,” “Dance Party,” and “Metal Ballads” had become personalized among others focused on genre, decade, mood or activity – like “Happy Hits” or “Song to Sing in the Car,” for example. The company’s most popular playlists like “Today’s Top Hits” and “Rap Caviar” were not affected. 

By adding personalization to playlists, Spotify is making a big bet on its algorithms doing a better job at programming. That’s not always the case. 

While personalization technology can be great when it works, it can still be thrown off by sessions where you allow someone else to stream music with your account – like a child, your roommates, party attendees or others. (Technically, multiple users with regular access should be on a family plan with their own logins – but not everyone goes this route.) Personalization tech is also not always sophisticated enough to understand to understand the different levels of interest in, say, the music you use to fall asleep to, versus the songs you play because you actually like them. 

In other words, if you had any issues with Spotify getting your musical taste wrong before, those will now expand to other areas of its service that were previously algorithm-free. 

On the other hand, when the personalization succeeds, it could increase user engagement, loyalty and retention – areas that will help Spotify better compete with Apple Music, Pandora and others.

Because not all users will see the same playlists, Spotify is giving artists access to unique links to those playlists where their music is featured. This allows them to share a specific version of the playlist via Spotify for Artists and Spotify Analytics. Anyone who then clicks that link when posted on the web or social media will be taken to a version where the artist’s track is the first song. 

Spotify says artists will be alerted about their additions to playlists through email notifications. 

What the artist dashboards aren’t showing, though, are how many users are being presented with the customized version of the playlist with the artists’ music included. 

Instead, the dashboard shows how many total followers the playlist has. That means these personalized playlists aren’t just about getting the right music in front of the right listeners – they’re also very much a marketing tool for the artists and their teams to leverage. 

Spotify says these playlist changes are in effect as of now.

13 марта 2019 года в районе 19:00 по московскому времени пользователи по всему миру начали сообщать о сбое в работе приложения Instagram.


Сбой также наблюдается в социальной сети Facebook. В компании сообщили, что заметили проблемы, из-за которых некоторые запросы к API могут выполняться некорректно или не обрабатываться совсем. Facebook не указывает, сколько времени понадобится на восстановление работы.
За последние месяцы было уже несколько таких сбоев

Facebook объявила об обновлениях в рекламных метриках. Соцсеть заменит единый коэффициент релевантности тремя новыми метриками, обновит методы расчета потенциального охвата и удалит ряд метрик, которые используются реже. 

Единый коэффициент релевантности, который показывал, насколько актуальна была реклама для охваченной аудитории, заменится новыми, точечными метриками релевантности рекламных объявлений. Этот уровень детализации обеспечит более эффективную отчетность по рекламным кампаниям для рекламодателей.


Диагностика актуальности рекламы будет происходить по трем метрикам: 

Оценка качества: помогает сравнить отношение к вашей рекламе с объявлениями, нацеленными на ту же аудиторию. 
Оценка коэффициента вовлеченности: помогает сравнить ожидаемый коэффициент вовлеченности вашей рекламы с объявлениями, нацеленными на ту же аудиторию. 
Оценка коэффициента конверсий: помогает сравнить ожидаемый коэффициент конверсий вашей рекламы с объявлениями с тем же желаемым результатом оптимизации и нацеленными на ту же аудиторию. 

Facebook удалит 7 метрик объявлений и заменит их более эффективными. Например, появится показатель сохраненных сообщений, чтобы компании могли видеть, сколько людей сохранили их рекламные объявления. 

Кроме того, соцсеть анонсировала изменения в потенциальном охвате. Ранее он рассчитывался на основе общего числа активных пользователей в месяц в Facebook. Теперь в потенциальный охват включаются только те люди, которым показывали рекламу в течение последних 30 дней. Например, некоторые люди могли использовать Facebook, но не видеть рекламу. Этот инструмент доступен до того, как кампания была запущена, и его не следует путать с охватом кампании (измеряется после показа кампании в Facebook), который представляет собой число людей, которых объявление достигло по факту.

Twitter’s  new prototype testing program isn’t the only way it’s working to fix conversations on its site. The company confirmed it’s currently running another public-facing test focused on making Twitter “more conversational” — but this time with Retweets instead of Replies. The test involves using a thin line to connect a quote-style retweet to the person commenting on the tweet, instead of placing the quoted tweet in a box as before.

Here are some visual aids.

Today, when you comment on a tweet you’re reposting, the original tweet is boxed in like this:

The new test sees Twitter eliminating the box entirely, and connecting the comment to the tweet using the same sort of line that is used today with Replies.

For example, here is a before and after of the change. (Click through to the tweet to view the images larger). You can see the original look on the left, and the update using the line on the right:

We asked Twitter if this was a permanent change or just a test, and a spokesperson confirmed it was the latter.

The test was available on Android on Tuesday of this week, but began rolling out to iOS users yesterday.

Despite the launch of the new testing program, the company said it would continue to A/B test various conversational features and other changes within its public app.

“The fact that we’re doing this [Twitter prototype testing program] doesn’t mean that we don’t do regular testing – like we do with all our development processes in our regular app all the time,” Sara Haider, Twitter’s director of product management, noted in an interview at CES in January.

The prototype program, meanwhile, serves as more of an experimental testing grounds where Twitter users are able to directly influence the development process with their feedback and opinions.

Twitter had learned over the years that some of the best ideas come from the community itself. Many of its products — including @ Replies, the hashtag (#), tweetstorms (now “threads”) and Retweets (originally “RT”) — were developed in response to how people were already using Twitter. Now, Twitter hopes to tap into the hive mind to build whatever else is coming next.

But not all of Twitter’s changes are community-driven. (After all, I’m not sure anyone was really all that concerned about how Retweets were displayed.)

That means you’ll still see Twitter testing smaller changes like this one in the public app.

Whether or not the lines will eventually come to replace the box for Retweets still remains to be seen, however. While it does make the comment seem more like someone is continuing a conversation, the update arguably makes it easier to confuse a Retweet with a Reply, too.

“We’re working on updates to Retweet with Comment as part of our efforts to make Twitter more conversational,” a spokesperson for Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch. They also hinted we’d see more tests of this nature in the future, as well.

Четверг, 21 февраля 2019 23:55

Pinterest files confidentially to go public

Visual search engine Pinterest  has joined a long list of high-flying technology companies planning to go public in 2019. The business has confidentially submitted paperwork to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering slated for later this year, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Pinterest declined to comment.

Founded in 2008 by Ben Silbermann, earlier reports indicated the company was planning to debut on the stock market in April. In late January, Pinterest took its first official step toward a 2019 IPO, hiring Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase as lead underwriters for its offering.

The company garnered a $12.3 billion valuation in 2017 with a $150 million financing.

Touting 250 million monthly active users, Pinterest has raised nearly $1.5 billion in venture capital funding from key stakeholders Bessemer Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, Fidelity and SV Angel. The business brought in some $700 million in ad revenue in 2018, per reports, a 50 percent increase year-over-year.

Pinterest employs 1,600 people across 13 cities, including Chicago, London, Paris, São Paulo, Berlin and Tokyo. The company says half its users live outside the U.S.

Pinterest will likely follow Lyft,  Uber and Slack to the public markets, which have all filed confidential paperwork for IPOs or, in Slack’s case, a reported direct listing, expected in the coming months.

Компания Samsung представила первый гибкий смартфон Galaxy Fold. Презентация прошла на мероприятии Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2019, на которой были представлены смартфоны серии Galaxy S10.

Galaxy Fold в сложенном состоянии представляет собой смартфон в привычном нам формате, оснащенный 4,6-дюймовым дисплеем с разрешением 1960×840 пикселей, пишет The Verge.

Внутри установлен дисплей Infinity Flex размером 7,3 дюйма и разрешением 2152×1536 пикселей, который позволяет превратить его в небольшой планшет, просто раскрыв аппарат словно книгу. Оба экрана имеют одинаковую плотность – 420 точек на дюйм.

В сложенном состоянии толщина устройства составляет 17 мм, в открытом виде – 6,9 мм.

Galaxy Fold оборудован процессором Snapdragon 855 и 12 ГБ оперативной памяти. В качестве накопителя используется 512 ГБ флеш-памяти стандарта UFS 3.0, которая вдвое быстрее, чем UFS 2.1. Работает смартфон от двух батарей суммарной емкостью 4380 мАч.

Galaxy Fold оснащен шестью камерами с трех сторон – спереди и сзади в сложенном виде, а также с внутренней стороны в открытом состоянии.

Устройство использует систему непрерывной работы приложений при переходе между режимами планшета и смартфона. Такие приложения, как WhatsApp, Microsoft Office, YouTube и другие основные программы оптимизированы для дисплея и этих режимов.

Galaxy Fold поддерживает режим многозадачности, при котором можно запустить до трех приложений одновременно.

Galaxy Fold поступит в продажу 26 апреля. Смартфон будет доступен в версиях LTE и 5G. Его стоимость стартует от $1980.

Every smartphone maker has at least one series that represent the company’s spirit. For ZTE, it’s the AXON line. Though this brand has had some difficulties in 2018, it managed to release the ZTE Axon 9 Pro in November last year. Gone those days when the Qualcomm flagship chips were appearing only on selected models. The mentioned model was packed with last year’s top-end chip, namely the Snapdragon 845. Its successor that is said to be called the ZTE AXON 10 Pro is expected to hit the market soon. And from the previous leak, we know it will be packed with the next-gen high-end Qualcomm mobile processor, the Snapdragon 855. Today, 91mobiles reported the phone has passed the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union) certification, which simply means it is almost ready and will land in this market in the nearest future.


Previously, we have seen the ZTE AXON 10 Pro spotted in the GeekBench database under the model number of A2020 Pro. As for now, this device has been certified in Russia by the Eurasian Economic Union, which clearly states that the ZTE A2020 Pro will arrive in the market as the ZTE AXON 10 Pro. Unfortunately, the listing hasn’t revealed anything about the key features of the device.


However, we assume it will be among the first smartphones to be packed with the Snapdragon 855 chip. In the single-core and multi-core tests, the ZTE AXON 10 Pro scored 3824 points and 10762 points, respectively. Thus, it exceeds the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, which showed 3413 and 10256 points in similar tests.


But we still don’t know whether the ZTE AXON 10 Pro will be uncovered at the MWC 2019 a few days or not. But we know for sure the manufacturer will introduce its first 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. Is the ZTE AXON 10 Pro that device?

Среда, 13 февраля 2019 01:30

Samsung Galaxy A20 with Android GO spotted on Geekbench

With the first pair of the new Galaxy M series now on sale, the Galaxy A-series is apparently now the next for overhauling. The brand is reportedly working on a number of the Galaxy A-series smartphones, and while a good number of them will arrive as mid-range offerings, it appears that a couple of entry-level offerings might be in the mix.


A yet-to-be-announced Samsung device with the model number SM-A260F has surfaced on the Geekbench database, and if reports are to be believed, the device in question could launch as the Android Go version of the Galaxy A20 that was seen on the same Geekbench about a month ago.


As per the listing, the device will be powered by Samsung’s  Exynos 7870 processor previously seen in the A6 and some other dated Samsung Galaxy J series smartphones. The chipset will be aided by 1GB of RAM, and interestingly, the listing mentioned  ‘go’ in the SoC section which suggests the device will eventually launch as an Android Go device, though still based on Android 8.


Not much else is known about the device at the moment, but as with the Galaxy J2 core Android Go phone and other Android Go edition smartphones, we expect the Galaxy A20 to pack some entry hardware devoid of a fingerprint scanner, dual rear cameras and so on.

Samsung Galaxy A20 with Android GO spotted on Geekbench
Samsung Galaxy A20 with Android GO spotted on Geekbench
Среда, 13 февраля 2019 01:28

Nokia 9 PureView clears FCC, confirms penta-camera design

All appears set for the official unveiling of the Nokia 9. The device alongside the Nokia 1 plus was earlier today found on Google play store among the list of supported devices, and now, it has cleared one more pre-release hurdles in preparation for its unveiling in Barcelona in the coming week.


The device has been certified by the US FCC, but as it is the case with FCC, not so much was revealed, but there are a few things we can take home. First, the device will actually be marketed as the Nokia 9 PureView and will be available in both Single-SIM (TA1082) and two Dual-SIM (TA-1087, TA-1094) variants. The listing further reveals that the TA-1094 and the TA-1087 models will be exclusive to China and Taiwan respectively.  Taiwan probably will be the only market that will get the device as an Android One smartphone.


Aside from confirming the device will launch with a plethora of rear cameras, the FCC documents also reveals that one of the variants with the TA-1087 model number will sport GSM bands 850 and 1900, WCDMA bands II, IV, and V, as well as FDD-LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, and 66. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/g/n/ac and Bluetooth connectivity.


The Nokia 9 PureView, when announced, will be HMD’s most advanced smartphones, although prevaling leaks suggest the device won’t have all it requires to stand against the like of the Galaxy S10, and a few other flagships from rival companies.


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