Twitter was working on a unique messaging-style app as recently as September 2016, but it decided to cancel the project, reports BuzzFeed News. The app was going to be targeted at emerging markets and it was based on collections of tweets and "instant messages."
Twitch's focus remains on game streaming, but there's now a category on the platform dedicated to general purpose livestreams. It's called "IRL," which stands for "in real life." The category is meant for those who simply want to stream themselves talking.
Google's practice of scanning Gmail email content has been challenged in a lawsuit filed with the Northern California District Court. Rather than fight the lawsuit in defense of Gmail, Google has put forth a voluntary proposed settlement that would slightly tweak the scanning.
Another breach at Yahoo has been confirmed by the company and it affects over a billion people. An "unauthorized third party" entered Yahoo's system in August 2013 and gained access to names, emails, and hashed passwords. This is distinct from the one reported in September.
Facebook's focus on video has grown in recent years, but all of the efforts have so far dealt with content from third-parties. The social network now says it's considering buying and offering original videos in the areas of scripted, unscripted, and sports-related programming.
Support for massive group video chats has been added to Line, a popular messaging app. Video chats can include up to 200 participants, though only four people will be shown on screen at a time. When a chat's participant list increases, avatars will be on the side of the display.
American fans of British television will soon have a streaming service just for UK content. BBC Worldwide and ITV are partnering to roll out BritBox, a service that brings British television content to the US. Current shows will be available 24 hours after their premiere.
Amazon's video streaming service, Prime Video, has officially gone global. It's now available in 242 countries, a major expansion that was announced during a media event in India. Regions that have yet to receive the entire Prime service can get Prime Video for $3 per month.
Imgur's simplistic messaging options have been swapped out for a more complete messaging service. The update to the app also includes a new follow function. Messaging now works with rich media like GIFs and emojis. You can send the content in a few ways.
A letter from a variety of music industry organizations was sent to president-elect Donald Trump requesting he consider the issue of piracy prior to his "tech summit" meeting on December 14. The letter is from BMI, the RIAA, and others members of the music industry.
Law enforcement shouldn't be requesting backdoors in the encryption used by private companies, says the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). A new report from the agency details its opposition to the use of backdoors or requests for them.
Slack, the go-to chat tool for many businesses, now includes support for videoconferencing. The feature allows users to enter a video call one-on-one or in groups. Slack's inclusion of video calling will help it better compete against services like Skype for Work and Hangouts.
Eight National Security Letters (NSLs) received by Google from FBI offices in the United States have been published online. Google is sharing the letters to increase its transparency with consumers. The FBI asked for access to content from ~20 users with the letters.
Google and Etecsa, a state-run telecom company in Cuba, have signed a deal that'll result in Google's services being delivered faster. Cuba is gaining access to the Google Global Cache so that content can be served from servers closer to their location.
Neil Young's Pono startup is developing an adaptive music streaming service. It'll offer a higher maximum quality than other services at 192 kHz, 24-bit and it'll also automatically adjust the quality based on your available bandwidth. It can drop to lower qualities.
Google's mobile payment system Android Pay is now live in Japan. Those with an applicable Android handset can use the service at over 470,000 locations that already accept Rakuten Edy, a local prepaid eMoney service. Apple Pay reached the country in October.
Shortly after the release of HBO Now for Google's Daydream VR platform, Netflix has come out with its own Daydream app. You can use the app to view movies and TV shows in a virtual log cabin. The content isn't actually in VR, but it's placed in a virtual reality space.
Twitch has introduced a chat moderation tool that's powered by machine learning and language processing. Known as AutoMod, it'll help streamers cultivate a "positive and inclusive chat experience." It's an opt-in feature and users can adjust how aggressive the moderation is.
360-degree live videos are headed to Facebook and they'll initially be offered by select partners like National Geographic. A 360-degree livestream from the Mars Desert Research Station Facility in Utah will occur through Facebook Live on December 13.