Social Media Sunday: Facebook's New Sports Hub, 3D Touch Features, & Twitter's Wall Street Woes Hit New Low
This week in social media, Facebook launched a sports hub designed to catch online social buzz over live sporting events. The company also figured out a technique to deliver 360-degree VR video with a fraction of the bandwidth, all while Twitter hit a new low on Wall Street.
It's time for Social Media Sunday!
New Sports Hub
Facebook is experimenting with new ways to take on Twitter and Snapchat during live events, and it's starting in the biggest, most popular live arena: sports.
This week, Facebook announced "Sports Stadium," a new section of the platform where fans can follow major sporting events, check up on player stats, and view videos and other content from like-minded Facebook users -- 650 million of which are sports fans, according to the company.
The section will also include live scores, and a play-by-play feature, along with commentary and posts from experts, including posts from the pages of teams, leagues, and media personalities. Facebook is beginning the rollout of Sports Stadium with the most popular mix: NFL games on the iPhone Facebook app. The company said it will begin moving into other sports and platforms in the coming weeks.
One Weird Trick to Make Videos Load Faster
On the technical side this week, Facebook software engineer David Pio showed how the company is preparing for the future of virtual reality videos.
Pio and his team figured out how to compress the size of its futuristic 360-degree videos by as much as 80 percent -- by "cube mapping," or thinking of the videos as cubes or pyramids, rather than spheres. Esoteric as that sounds, the technique reduces the VR video's file size by 25 percent from the start, without losing quality.
3D Touch Comes to Timeline
Facebook is bringing 3D Touch to is iOS app, taking advantage of the variable-pressure "peek" and "pop" interactions on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
Soon iPhone 6s users will be able to preview stories, profiles, web links, Events, photos, and more with a "peek." They can then press down hard, or "pop," if they want to see the full thing. The feature isn't available just yet, but Facebook says it will be available "in the coming months," according to TechCrunch.
Hits Record Low on Wall Street
The rocky start to the New Year hit Twitter pretty hard, as its stock price hit a new record low on Wednesday, according to the New York Times. The same day, they rose again by 4.1 percent, but overall, the company is down 25 percent this year.
The company's new CEO Jack Dorsey has begun to implement a lot of changes to turn Twitter around and open the platform up to new users, but investors are beginning to realize it may take a long time to see results, and are getting restless.
Teaching AI Sarcasm
Twitter, as it may not surprise you to find out, is a social media network often dripping with sarcasm -- so much so, that artificial intelligence researchers is using content from the network to teach computers how to identify sarcasm from text.
The researchers used several factors, including keywords, hashtags, and hyperbole to help their AI decide when sarcasm is at play. According to The Next Web, the researchers said could one day be useful to help track public sentiment online, as well as for improving natural language understanding and communication.
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