Zoom catches up with new accessibility features for sign language interpretation

Keep the spotlight on an interpreter or certain speaker. Image: zoom By Sasha Lekach2020-09-23 13:00:00 UTC For Zoom users who are part of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, some long-awaited features are here. On Wednesday, Zoom added three major accessibility options, each mainly focused on making it easier for sign language interpreters to stay visible…

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Keep the spotlight on an interpreter or certain speaker.

Image: zoom

By Sasha Lekach

For Zoom users who are part of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, some long-awaited features are here.

On Wednesday, Zoom added three major accessibility options, each mainly focused on making it easier for sign language interpreters to stay visible on the screen.

Jen Hill, a Zoom marketing manager, demonstrated on a Zoom call how users can now pin and spotlight multiple video screens at a time, to keep someone who is signing alongside the speaker or on the main screen and always in view. In Zoom’s grid view, users can rearrange video windows to keep the interpreter where they want to see them. These changes are intended so that everyone is “able to live and work in a digital platform,” especially during these pandemic days. 

Following standards set through the A11Y digital accessibility group, which promotes inclusion for people with disabilities on tech tools and services, Zoom added spotlighting and pinning for multiple screens during video calls. Previously, you could only pin one video screen while on a Zoom call. For meetings (those are usually in speaker mode, which keeps whomever is speaking highlighted), users can keep more than one speaker’s video centered, so there can be several videos pinned to the main screen. Only you as the user would see the multiple videos, so you can choose to keep an interpreter video pinned next to the main speaker, while other call participants might choose to just have the speaker centered on their screens. 

Zoom hosts can give multi-pinning access to up to nine different people on a call. Hill explained that it’s a resource-heavy ability intended for people who need it to see what someone is saying while on a Zoom call.

Multi-spotlight is pretty much the same thing as pinning, except the host can decide to keep up to nine videos in place for everyone to see, no matter who is speaking during the video meeting. This can help keep the sign language interpreter’s video up alongside the speaker’s. The photo at the top of the page shows what a screen with four different videos spotlighted looks like.

Then, there’s a feature in gallery view that all users — it’s not limited to only nine per a call — will be able to use starting Wednesday: You can rearrange the placement of videos. You could move the interpreter’s video box closer to the content on the screen, or order different screens as you like. This is supposed to help users keep a certain speaker or interpreter in a certain position on the screen, like closer to a presentation with graphs and charts.

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Rearrange window placement for what works best.

Image: zoom

uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1507271%252F14d46460 6582 4705 a102 5a68633c8f4e.jpg%252Ffull fit in  950x534.jpg?signature=Qwgu5CM63Xd02EL4FNJr1spDo8U=&source=https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws - Zoom catches up with new accessibility features for sign language interpretation

Transcribing comes with many options.

Image: zoom

Hill summed up the additions to Zoom as ways you “can maximize control for your own particular needs.”

Looking at other video conferencing services, there are a mix of accessibility tools available. Cisco’s WebEx is by far the most comprehensive, with all of Zoom’s new features already baked into its product. Skype and Google Meet mostly provide transcription and real-time closed captioning as ways to allow users who are deaf use the services. Google Meet users have asked for something like Zoom’s new pinning option as recently as this month

Apple’s FaceTime just got an accessibility upgrade with the release of iOS 14 last week. In group calls, FaceTime now auto-detects if someone is using American Sign Language, or ASL, and keeps that video front and center.

Zoom already offered keyboard shortcuts, screen readers, and closed captioning. As Zoom’s first chief diversity officer Damien Hooper-Campbell said in a Zoom — naturally — call, “It’s a continuous tinkering.” He and the team are “constantly learning” about how to best launch Zoom accessibility features and updates.

WATCH: Here’s how to change your Zoom background

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Qualcomm-powered Chinese XR startup Nreal raises $40 million

Nreal, one of the most-watched mixed reality startups in China, just secured $40 million from a group of high-profile investors in a Series B round that could potentially bring more adoption to its portable augmented headsets. Kuaishou, the archrival to TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin, led the round, marking yet another video platform to establish links…

nreal lifestyle 9 e1546961104589 - Qualcomm-powered Chinese XR startup Nreal raises $40 million

Nreal, one of the most-watched mixed reality startups in China, just secured $40 million from a group of high-profile investors in a Series B round that could potentially bring more adoption to its portable augmented headsets.

Kuaishou, the archrival to TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin, led the round, marking yet another video platform to establish links with Nreal, following existing investor iQiyi, China’s own Netflix. Like other major video streaming sites around the world, Kuaishou and iQiyi have dabbled in making augmented reality content, and securing a hardware partner will no doubt be instrumental to their early experiments.

Other backers in the round with plentiful industry resources include GP Capital, which counts state-owned financial holding group Shanghai International Group and major Chinese movie studio Hengdian Group as investors; CCEIF Fund, set up by state-owned telecom equipment maker China Electronics Corporation and state-backed investment bank China International Capital Corporation; GL Ventures, the early-stage fund set up by prominent private equity firm Hillhouse Capital; and Sequoia Capital China.

In early 2019, Nreal brought onboard Xiaomi founder’s venture fund Shunwei Capital for its $15 million Series A funding. As I wrote at the time, AR, VR, MR, XR — whichever marketing coinage you prefer — will certainly be a key piece in Xiaomi’s Internet of Things empire. It’s not hard to see the phone titan sourcing smart glasses from Nreal down the road.

The other key partner of Nreal, a three-year-old company, is Qualcomm . The chipmaker has played an active part in China’s 5G rollout, powering major Chinese phone makers’ next-gen handsets. It supplies Nreal with its Snapdragon processors, allowing the startup’s lightweight mixed reality glasses to easily plug into an Android phone.

“Its closer partnership with Qualcomm will allow it to access Qualcomm’s network of customers, including telecoms companies,” Seewan Toong, an industry consultant on AR and VR, told TechCrunch.

Indeed, the mixed reality developer has already signed a deal with Japanese telco KDDI and in Korea, it’s working with LG’s cellular carrier LG Uplus Corp.

The latest round brings Nreal’s total raise to more than $70 million and will accelerate mass adoption of its mixed reality technology in the 5G era, the company said.

It remains to be seen how Nreal will live up to its promise, secure users at scale and move beyond being a mere poster child for tech giants’ mixed reality ambitions. So far its deals with big telcos are in a way reminiscent of that of Magic Leap, which has been in a legal spat with Nreal, though the Chinese company appears to burn through less cash so far. The troubled American company is currently pivoting to relying on enterprise customers after failing to crack the consumer market.

“Nreal is patient and not in a rush to show they can start selling high volume. It’s trying to prove that there’s a user scenario for its technology,” said Toong.

The Out-Of-Touch Adults’ Guide To Kid Culture: Week 2

Illustration: yudha satia (Shutterstock)People stop me on the street all the time and ask, “Steve, my kid wants one of those damn Mimtendos or whatever. What is all this video game crap?”Not to worry, imaginary passerby, I have your back. Below is a thumbnail guide to what’s current with all the major gaming systems and…

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Illustration: yudha satia (Shutterstock)

People stop me on the street all the time and ask, “Steve, my kid wants one of those damn Mimtendos or whatever. What is all this video game crap?”

Not to worry, imaginary passerby, I have your back. Below is a thumbnail guide to what’s current with all the major gaming systems and what will be out by Christmas, so if your kid asks for a PlayStation, you won’t put a PlayStation 3 under the tree.

A buyer’s guide to gaming consoles for clueless Christmas shoppers

Microsoft: The current Microsoft system is the Xbox One, but this week, Microsoft announced the release date for two next generation Xbox models: Both the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S should hit stores on November 10. The Series X is the more-powerful, more-expensive Xbox. It will retail for $499. The Series S is physically smaller, less powerful, and will cost you $299. All games for Series X will play on the Series S (and vice-versa) but at a lower resolution with lower quality textures than the more expensive machine. The series S does not have a disc drive, so all games for it must be downloaded online.

G/O Media may get a commission

PlayStation: Sony’s current system is the PlayStation 4, but a new console with a couple of variations are coming this year. The PlayStation 5 still doesn’t have a firm drop date or price, but the company says it will hit retail in “late 2020.” (Bet it’s in time for Christmas.) Along with the PlayStation 5, Sony is also releasing the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. Like the Xbox Series S it lacks a hard-drive/blu-ray player, and will presumably be less expensive than the “real” PS5.

Nintendo: There is no major new Nintendo hardware release this year. The company’s current console, the Nintendo Switch, is still chugging along three years after its launch. The Switch retails for $299. The other Nintendo option is the Nintendo Switch Lite. It runs almost every game for the Switch, but has a slightly smaller screen and is a strictly handheld system, so you can’t slap it on a dock to play on your TV. It will set you back $199.

Viral Video of The Week: Ultimate Basketball Robot

Shane, the engineer and inventor behind the YouTube channel Stuff Made Here, dropped an amazing video this week detailing his quest to build a robotic basketball hoop that will ensure that every shot is a basket.

“Making the ultimate basketball robot” is what makes the internet great: A totally ridiculous project that is labored over extensively and ultimately ends in something the world has never seen before. Check it out here.

This Week in Music and Marketing: Fast Food Rappers

This has been a big month for crossover promotions between rappers and gigantic international fast food corporations.

If your kid was pointing his or her phone at the TV during the 2020 Video Music Awards, it might have been because of team-up between Burger King and rapper Lil Yachty. The eccentric Atlanta rapper, Yachty, and Burger King’s eccentric corporate mascot, The Burger King, appeared during the broadcast in commercials asking viewers to scan a QR code with their smartphones to activate an augmented reality experience featuring the duo on the red carpet and at other parts of the show. Rock n’ Roll, am I right?

In more comprehensible cross-promotion news, rapper/songwriter Travis Scott teamed up with McDonalds to debut the “Travis Scott Meal.“ Supposedly Scott’s favorite McMeal, the $6 combo includes a quarter pounder with cheese and bacon, French fries with barbecue sauce, and a Sprite. Scott stars as a happy meal-size version of himself in a charming commercial you can watch here. The meal deal runs through October 4.

This Week In TV: ‘Woke’ and ‘Julie and the Phantoms’

A couple of interesting new shows are coming to streaming this week, and they couldn’t be more different in tone and intent.

If your teen is starting to explore issues of racial justice in America, maybe they’d like Hulu’s Woke. The series tells the story of African American cartoonist Keef, who is teetering on the edge of mainstream success with a lighthearted comic strip until an unfortunate run-in with racist police upends his world. The show’s magical-realist style sees inanimate objects talking to Keef—including a trashcan barber and talking bottles of malt liquor—voiced by stars like Cedric the Entertainer and Eddie Griffin.

On the other side of the spectrum: Julie and the Phantoms is a kid-friendly series that premiered on Netflix on September 10. It tells the story of Julie, a young musician who teams up with a group of ghosts to form a band. It’s the kind of frothy, musical concoction that might hit kids right in the sweet spot. Of course, they might think it’s totally ass, too. You never really know.

The Week in Video Games: ‘Call of Duty: Cold War’ Multiplayer Trailer

There weren’t any super notable game releases this week, but there was a ton of excitement over a certain game trailer. If your kid is into gaming, there’s no doubt they’ve watched the new trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War at least a dozen times. The trailer contains a metric crap-ton of multiplayer footage, including urban combat, lots of neon, a ship invasion, and a soundtrack featuring “new romantic” kings Duran Duran mashed with Biggie. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is going to be massive when it comes out on November 13. Check out the trailer here, to see what your gamer kid will be playing for

Grow your brand with new Google Marketing Platform tools

E02575268-Google-GMP-DV360-Increase-Awareness-Blog-Graphic-Aug20-v03_Google-Keyword-Blog-Header.png Glenn Thrope Senior Product Manager, Display & Video 360 Published Sep 16, 2020 In the past months, we’ve seen a breakthrough in searches for terms such as “online graduation,” “staycation” and “virtual classroom.” As people form new consumption habits, a strong brand is more valuable than ever. It allows you to stand out in…

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Glenn Thrope GMP TV and video Product Stage.max 200x200 - Grow your brand with new Google Marketing Platform tools

Glenn Thrope

Senior Product Manager, Display & Video 360

Published Sep 16, 2020

In the past months, we’ve seen a breakthrough in searches for terms such as “online graduation,” “staycation” and “virtual classroom.” As people form new consumption habits, a strong brand is more valuable than ever. It allows you to stand out in the marketplace at a time when customers are on the lookout for the products and services that will be part of their new routines.

Today, we’re introducing a series of tools in Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager to help you grow your brand and navigate the connected TV and digital video boom—including improved reach forecasting and measurement capabilities, more TV and video ad placements, and a solution to reach new engaged audiences on connected TV.

Real time reach forecasting that takes your deals into account

With most TV production shut down for parts of the spring and summer months, and the upfronts heavily disrupted, you may be approaching show premieres seasons with less visibility into your media plans than in years’ past. While forecasting ad spend has been more difficult than ever, planning tools that are tightly connected to your media buying platform can help you assess your media plans on the go and quickly optimize your ad strategy.

We’re further improving Display & Video 360’s forecasting tool by adding support for programmatic deals. In a few weeks, you’ll be able to include deals in your deduplicated reach estimate, which already includes open auction and YouTube. This is particularly helpful for media planners working with brands that want to connect with TV viewers because most connected TV ads are secured via deals. With this added functionality, planners will be able to more easily answer questions such as, “How much incremental reach could I get by combining a network CTV deal with YouTube reservation and open auction video ads?”

Product UI image Awareness Blog.max 1000x1000 - Grow your brand with new Google Marketing Platform tools

Forecasting the combined reach of a connected TV deal, a YouTube lineup and in-stream video ads in Display & Video 360.

New streaming opportunities to reach your audiences where they are

Brands that can connect with their audiences as their interests and needs evolve have a head start on driving brand awareness for the long term. Buying media with a platform that gives you access to a large and varied portfolio of streaming content helps you reach these audiences in a more flexible way.

Today, Display & Video 360 provides access to the top 50 most watched ad supported connected TV apps in the US, according to Comscore. And to give you even more options to find your audience, we’re making more popular YouTube inventory available in Display & Video 360. For example, we integrated YouTube TV into the list of YouTube content you can reserve and manage – accessible via the streaming TV lineup. We’ve also just opened up access to Masthead ads, the prominent space in YouTube’s Home feed. This beta feature includes the YouTube Masthead on TV screens.

Lastly, we’re exploring other innovative canvases for brands to increase awareness. For instance, media and entertainment marketers in the US are currently testing a new cinematic teaser format that fits the look and feel of Android TV’s home screen.

Find new engaged connected TV audiences

Life in the new normal includes more connected TV watch time than before. To help marketers make the most of this extra reach opportunity, we’ve recently extended our similar audience functionality to connected TV devices in Display & Video 360. This feature allows you to find new connected TV viewers who share similarities with the audiences you already know.

For example, if you’re an auto brand who has seen success in reaching “Truck & SUV Enthusiasts” with Google affinity audiences, you will now be able to easily reach additional connected TV viewers who have similar attributes to this group. Or if you know that people who use your mobile app are more likely to schedule a test drive, you can show your ads to connected TV viewers who have similarities with your app users.

Similar audiences can be used to extend your reach across connected TV inventory sources in Display & Video 360.

Durable reach measurement in Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager

Marketers are on the hook to connect marketing spend with tangible results. This includes being able to provide a clear picture of any ad campaign’s reach and frequency performance. To give marketers an accurate and durable view of how they reach people across Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager, we’re increasing our investment in Unique Reach solutions.

First, we’ve launched Unique Reach Audience reporting. This report further extends unique reach measurement to include demographic insights. So while you could already answer the question ‘How many unique users did my ad reach?’, you can now also answer the question ‘How many unique users within a particular demographic did my ad reach?’

Second, using the IAB’s Identifier for Advertising (IFA) standard, we’ve added Unique Reach support for connected TV devices. This capability gives brands a more precise understanding of the impact of ads on connected TVs and better articulates their contribution to the overall reach and frequency performance of digital advertising.

Building for the future, we’re continuing to replace cookie-based reach with Unique Reach across our products. Next up, frequency distribution and viewable reach measurement will soon be based off of Unique Reach. This will help you report on these metrics even when cookies aren’t available.

Amazon Live Is A Thing: Here’s How Your Brand Can Benefit

As ecommerce shows no signs of slowing down, brands and influencers have a new way to boost awareness and sales. Here’s why you should try Amazon Live today, along with some guidance how to start your own Amazon Live stream to boost your brand awareness and sales.

As ecommerce shows no signs of slowing down, brands and influencers have a new way to boost awareness and sales.

Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing by Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson and Mike Allton is available now via Entrepreneur Press. Order from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books.

The phrase “innovate or die” is one way to describe the life of any ecommerce brand right now. We are seeing many get creative by deploying user-generated content for digital ads. Influencer marketing is a staple in marketing budgets, and live streaming is a big part of content strategies. This is why Amazon Live and its new influencer program presents an intriguing opportunity for brands and influencer entrepreneurs to “innovate.”

You already know the usual suspects for live-streaming platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch. But is Amazon Live worth exploring? Here’s why you should try it today, along with some guidance how to start your own Amazon Live stream.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

What is Amazon Live?

Imagine the infomercials on QVC, except instead of being on TV, you’re showcasing your products on Amazon.com, the world’s largest retailer. For a more literal explanation, Amazon Live is a live-streaming feature for Amazon sellers and influencers to promote products and drive sales through live video. The tool became available in 2019, and all broadcasts appear on Amazon.com/live. Compared to Facebook and Instagram, broadcasts usually stay on the brand or an influencer’s profile. With Amazon, there’s a dedicated landing page where shoppers can discover and watch streams that are “live now” or have previously streamed.

It’s quite the sales tool, as you can give live demonstrations, chat with customers in real-time, unlock extra benefits the more you stream and grow your following on Amazon.

How do you start an Amazon Live stream?

The nice thing about Amazon Live is it’s free and simple to get started. However, it’s not available to all users. You need to be part of the Amazon influencer program with an active storefront, be a U.S. Professional Amazon Seller who uses seller central or a U.S. Vendor with an approved Amazon Store.

If you meet the requirements, here is all you need to get started:

  • Download the Amazon Live Creator app.
  • An iPhone or iPad (the app is currently only available for iOS users).
  • A strong and stable Wi-Fi connection.
  • You can go live directly from the app or connect to an external mic or camera using broadcast software like Restream or Ecamm or a video encoder.
  • I also recommend having a tripod for stabilization if you’re streaming via an iPhone or iPad.

When you’re ready to go live, you will be asked to pick a brand of the product you want to showcase (the brand needs to be registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry). Then you add products to your product carousel to display during your stream, name the stream and either go live now or schedule for later.

What are the benefits?

For ecommerce brands….

Two marketing trends continue to rise and deliver positive ROI. Live streaming is growing fast, with 47 percent of live-streaming viewers worldwide streaming more live video than the previous year — and all signs point to this number continuing to grow.

Influencer marketing budgets are a real thing, and the numbers show it works. Almost 90 percent of marketers say the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than traditional marketing channels.

With Amazon starting its influencer program, it’s a great opportunity for brands to work with influencers — especially live streamers with an established audience to help increase brand awareness and boost leads and sales.

For Influencers….

This is where things get interesting. There’s a sense of exclusivity added with Amazon Live and extra incentives for influencers. Here’s why.

  1. Only influencers accepted into the Amazon Influencer Program will have access to broadcast on Amazon. For all other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, you don’t have to worry about that, and you’re competing much more for attention.
  2. Amazon Live rewards influencers when they stream more and earn more. You start as a Rising Star and can earn an A-list status where your products show up on the Amazon.com homepage. Check out more about Amazon levels here.
  3. When you go live, your followers are notified and your stream automatically appears on your influencer page. As an influencer, your business thrives on traffic and sales, and when people buy from your Amazon live stream, you earn commission on top of what brands pay you. (You can see if you’re eligible to be an Amazon influencer here.)

See how some top influencers, like fitness and transformation expert Corrie Calliet and fashion-and-style influencer Shea Whitney, use the platform.

Related: Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

So, is Amazon Live ultimately worth trying?

The stats and signs are all pointing to yes. Even though Amazon Live isn’t as well-adopted by users like Instagram and YouTube, there’s no hiding the influence Amazon has on the ecommerce world. Amazon was responsible for 45 percent of U.S. ecommerce spending in 2019, and that number is expected to grow to 47 percent this year.

With the right planning and promotion, you can easily showcase how products can be used, leverage special offers and build a strong following that leads to more sales.

From what I hear from other influencers and business owners, Amazon Live is a best-kept secret, and it feels like only a matter of time before more brands and influencers jump on the opportunity. So, in my professional opinion, I think it’s worth being one of the early adopters. I mean, it’s freaking going live on Amazon.com.

Want to Build a Brand on YouTube? This 10-Course Bundle Shows You How

Source: Stack CommerceAccording to industry experts, the average person will watch 100 minutes of online video every day by next year. Whether you are an aspiring content creator or a business owner, this opportunity is too big to miss. The Video Editing & Marketing Certification Bundle helps you get into video marketing, with 10 premium courses for just $45.…

sale 25750 primary image 1s07 - Want to Build a Brand on YouTube? This 10-Course Bundle Shows You How

Source: Stack Commerce

According to industry experts, the average person will watch 100 minutes of online video every day by next year. Whether you are an aspiring content creator or a business owner, this opportunity is too big to miss. The Video Editing & Marketing Certification Bundle helps you get into video marketing, with 10 premium courses for just $45.

From webinars and vlogs to animated product explainers, there are countless ways to harness video for brand building. Offering 27 hours of tutorials, this bundle helps you get ahead of the curve.

Through 10 engaging courses, you learn everything there is to know about video editing and marketing. Along the way, you discover how to produce amazing content with a range of popular tools, including iMovie, DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Spark, VideoScribe, and Shotcut.

The training also looks at video marketing and Facebook ads, with advice on how to set up your own agency.

These courses are worth $2,000, but you can get the bundle now for $45.

sale 25750 primary image 1s07 - Want to Build a Brand on YouTube? This 10-Course Bundle Shows You How
The Video Editing & Marketing Certification Bundle – $45

See Deal

Prices subject to change 

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

TikTok launches marketing program for advertisers – Reuters

FILE PHOTO: TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo(Reuters) – TikTok launched a marketing program on Thursday to attract more advertisers with tools to measure the success of ad campaigns that run on its popular short video app. The…

?m=02&d=20200903&t=2&i=1532091595&r=LYNXMPEG821EB&w=20 - TikTok launches marketing program for advertisers - Reuters

FILE PHOTO: TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) – TikTok launched a marketing program on Thursday to attract more advertisers with tools to measure the success of ad campaigns that run on its popular short video app.

The program will allow brands and marketers to run ad campaigns on its app, that at present has about 20 certified partners including digital marketing platform MakeMeReach and data analytics company Kantar, TikTok said in a blog. (bit.ly/2EWdP0B)

TikTok’s advertising business is still nascent, but the company owned by China’s ByteDance has become a popular place for brands that aim to reach the app’s young audience, who flock to it for lip-syncing, dancing and comedy sketch videos.

ByteDance has been ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump to divest TikTok’s operations in the country amid security concerns over the personal data it handles.

Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp are among the suitors for the assets. However, China’s new rules around tech exports mean the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations could need Beijing’s approval.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

TikTok launches marketing program for advertisers – Reuters India

FILE PHOTO: TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo(Reuters) – TikTok launched a marketing program on Thursday to attract more advertisers with tools to measure the success of ad campaigns that run on its popular short video app.The program…

FILE PHOTO: TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) – TikTok launched a marketing program on Thursday to attract more advertisers with tools to measure the success of ad campaigns that run on its popular short video app.

The program will allow brands and marketers to run ad campaigns on its app, that at present has about 20 certified partners including digital marketing platform MakeMeReach and data analytics company Kantar, TikTok said in a blog.

TikTok’s advertising business is still nascent, but the company owned by China’s ByteDance has become a popular place for brands that aim to reach the app’s young audience, who flock to it for lip-syncing, dancing and comedy sketch videos.

ByteDance has been ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump to divest TikTok’s operations in the country amid security concerns over the personal data it handles.

Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp are among the suitors for the assets. However, China’s new rules around tech exports mean the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations could need Beijing’s approval.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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Twitter says two new teams will address its accessibility issues

Twitter is launching two new teams: the Accessibility Center of Excellence (ACE) and the Experience Accessibility Team (EAT, that can’t be intentional). While those names sound a bit like they came out of a corporate jargon generator, the teams will do important work. ACE will make aspects of Twitter — from office spaces to marketing…

Twitter is launching two new teams: the Accessibility Center of Excellence (ACE) and the Experience Accessibility Team (EAT, that can’t be intentional). While those names sound a bit like they came out of a corporate jargon generator, the teams will do important work. ACE will make aspects of Twitter — from office spaces to marketing and legal and policy standards — more accessible. EAT will work to make new and existing products and features more accessible. Already, Twitter is working to add automated captions to audio and video by early 2021.

It’s great that Twitter listened to feedback and is launching these teams, but it makes you wonder why the company didn’t have such teams in place already. Accessibility concerns are nothing new, and other companies already have teams like this. 

The Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law 30 years ago. Federal law requires accessibility from the start. You don’t, as a matter of civil rights law, get to roll out an inaccessible feature and then, only later, make it accessible. https://t.co/f58t9pthAy

— Matthew Cortland, Esq (@mattbc) June 17, 2020

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Now streaming on Netflix globally: Select original shows and movies to non-subscribers

Over the past year, Netflix has attempted to expand its appeal in part by making a title or two free to non-paying users in select markets. Now the American giant is extending this test to users across the globe — with a larger free catalog. The on-demand video streaming service is currently offering select Netflix…

netflix free - Now streaming on Netflix globally: Select original shows and movies to non-subscribers

Over the past year, Netflix has attempted to expand its appeal in part by making a title or two free to non-paying users in select markets. Now the American giant is extending this test to users across the globe — with a larger free catalog.

The on-demand video streaming service is currently offering select Netflix Original movies and TV shows, including “Stranger Things,” “Murder Mystery,” “Elite,” “Bird Box,” “When They See Us,” “The Two Popes,” “Our Planet” and “Grace and Frankie” to non-paying subscribers across all the nearly 200 nations and territories where it is operational.

Only first episodes of the shows are available for free viewing, though, after which Netflix prompts users to become subscribers. Movies are available in full-length, however. There is also a 30-second ad that rolls before you play the title, but it can be skipped.

“We’re looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” a Netflix spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement.

Users do not need to create an account to view these free shows or movies, Netflix says. The free viewing, first spotted by blog OnlyTech, is accessible only through web browsers. On a support page, Netflix says Android users can access this offer through their mobile browser as well — but iOS users can’t.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has tested making a title free to non-paying users. The streaming giant, which had over 151 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter this year, has previously made “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” available to users in the U.S.

It also made “Bard of Blood,” a show it produced in India, free to users in the country. It also made talk show “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” available to users for free on YouTube. The company had initially planned to make only the first two episodes free on YouTube.

But this is the first time Netflix is making so many shows and movies (10, to be exact) available to non-paying users across the globe. The company has not shared how long it plans to run this experiment.

Speaking of India, the streaming giant has run several experiments in the country, one of the largest entertainment markets in Asia. It has explored making the service available for a few cents for the first month for new users, and is currently testing several affordable plans.

This giant glowing orb is the world’s first floating Apple Store

Apple’s worldwide retail network may be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the company from indulging in its penchant for pricey-looking, unique, and outlandish exterior design. The iPhone maker’s newest retail location, located in Singapore on the city-state’s waterfront and known officially as Apple Marina Bay Sands, can claim a world’s first…

Apple’s worldwide retail network may be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the company from indulging in its penchant for pricey-looking, unique, and outlandish exterior design. The iPhone maker’s newest retail location, located in Singapore on the city-state’s waterfront and known officially as Apple Marina Bay Sands, can claim a world’s first title: it’s the only Apple retail shop on the planet that floats on water.

The location, part of the luxury hotel and resort of the same name, is Singapore’s third Apple Store following Orchard Road, which opened as Singapore’s first in 2017, and Apple Jewel Changi Airport, located in the world-famous retail sector of Singapore’s transportation hub that also features the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. (Singapore seems cool, huh?)

During the daytime, the new Marina Bay Sands store appears to look like an odd spacecraft of some sort or perhaps some form of futuristic theater.

1228178939.jpg - This giant glowing orb is the world’s first floating Apple Store

Photo by Roslan Ragman / AFP via Getty Images

1197218548.jpg - This giant glowing orb is the world’s first floating Apple Store

Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah / Getty Images

But at nighttime, when Singapore’s iconic skyline is lit in all its glory in the background, the store really comes alive and you can tell the company clearly designed it as an evening fixture best viewed in the dark. (Although, I get real Rehoboam vibes, that sinister-seeming artificial intelligence from Westworld’s third season.)

We don’t have a lot of details on the location, like how exactly the interior is structured. We do know that the store is Apple’s 512th retail shop globally, and that it’s opening sometime soon. MacRumors got its hands on a neat little teaser video Apple made to promote the store’s opening, showing a custom graphic meant to emulate the look of the thin light lines that spread across the orb at night.

9to5Mac has published what appear to be marketing images and blurbs promoting the new store, in which the store is referred to as “the lantern on the bay.”

“During the day, the store’s glass panels reflect the towering skyline of the Downtown Core and motion of the rippling water. At night, the sphere glows with a gentle warmth, evoking the design of traditional lanterns carried during Singapore’s Mid-Autumn Festival,” one of the slides reads. “The pavilion dome narrows to an oculus, allowing unobstructed light to flood in. A birds-eye view of the store resembles a glass iris peering into the sky.”

According to the marketing material, the store will “include the same measures found at Singapore’s other Apple Stores” regarding ongoing COVID-19 health and safety efforts, which include limited occupancy, mask wearing, and other sanitization requirements.

Figma CEO Dylan Field discusses fundraising, hiring and marketing in stealth mode

‘We didn’t use a proper NDA or anything’ You’d be hard pressed to hang out with a designer and not hear the name Figma. The company behind the largely browser-based design tool has made a huge splash in the past few years, building a massive war chest with more than $130 million from investors like…

‘We didn’t use a proper NDA or anything’

dylan field figma - Figma CEO Dylan Field discusses fundraising, hiring and marketing in stealth mode

You’d be hard pressed to hang out with a designer and not hear the name Figma.

The company behind the largely browser-based design tool has made a huge splash in the past few years, building a massive war chest with more than $130 million from investors like A16Z, Sequoia, Greylock, Kleiner Perkins and Index.

The company was founded in 2012 and spent several years in stealth, raising both its seed and Series A without having any public product or user metrics.

At Early Stage, we spoke with co-founder and CEO Dylan Field about the process of hiring and fundraising while in stealth and how life at the company changed following its launch in 2016. Field, who was 20 when he founded the company, also touched on the lessons he’s learned from his team about leadership. Chief among them: the importance of empowering the people you hire.

You can check out the full conversation in the video embedded below, as well as a lightly edited transcript.

Raising a Series A a year behind schedule while still in stealth

I actually had approached John Lilly from Greylock in our seed round. For those who don’t know, John Lilly was the CEO of Mozilla and an amazing guy. He’s on a lot of really cool boards and has a bunch of interesting experience for Figma, with very deep roots in design. I had approached him for the seed round, and he basically said to us, “You know, I don’t think you guys know what you’re doing, but I’m very intrigued, so let’s keep in touch.” This is the famous line that you hear from every investor ever. It’s like “Yeah, let’s keep in touch, let me know if I can be helpful.” Sometimes, they actually mean it. In John’s case, he actually would follow up every few months or I would follow up with him. We’d grab coffee, and he helped me develop the strategy to a point that got us to what we are today. And that was a collaboration. I could really learn a lot from him on that one.

When we started off the idea was: Let’s have this global community around design, and you’ll be able to use the tool to post to the community and someday we’ll think about how people can pay us. Talking with John got me to the point where I realized we need to start with a business tool. We’ll build the community later. Now, we’re starting to work toward that.

At some point, John told me, “Hey, if you ever think about raising again, let me know.” A few weeks later, I told him maybe we would raise because I just wanted to work with him. We talked to a few other investors. I think it’s pretty important that there’s always a competitive dynamic in the round. But really, it was just him that we were really considering for that round. He really did us a solid. He really believed in us. At the time, it wasn’t like there were metrics to look at. He had conviction in the space, a conviction in the attack, and he had conviction in me and Evan, which I feel very, very honored by. He’s a dear mentor to this day, and he’s on our board. And it’s been a really deep relationship.

How to recruit while in stealth mode

IN BRIEF: Zoom hit with D.C. suit in over alleged false encryption claims – Reuters

Zoom Video Communications Inc is facing a new lawsuit claiming it misled users about the data security protections for communications on its video platform. The lawsuit, filed Monday by nonprofit organization Consumer Watchdog, alleges Zoom falsely said its platform employed “end-to-end” encryption, using the phrase “as a marketing device to lull consumers and businesses into…

Zoom Video Communications Inc is facing a new lawsuit claiming it misled users about the data security protections for communications on its video platform.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by nonprofit organization Consumer Watchdog, alleges Zoom falsely said its platform employed “end-to-end” encryption, using the phrase “as a marketing device to lull consumers and businesses into a false sense of security,” in violation of the District of Columbia’s consumer protection law, according to the complaint.

To read the full story on Westlaw Today, click here: bit.ly/3iAIWNV

Design your own video game with this guide for absolute beginners

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Learning Unreal Engine for Game Design and Animation is on sale. Image: pexels By StackCommerceMashable Shopping2020-08-15 04:00:00 UTC TL;DR: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Learning Unreal…

uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1402896%252F61bf2aee 1240 449a b366 fdc0bec37f1d.png%252Foriginal.png?signature=NeDQPmn hhR4DGUEgkZlp3rXd28=&source=https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws - Design your own video game with this guide for absolute beginners

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

lead img aug 15 game design animation course sale - Design your own video game with this guide for absolute beginners
The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Learning Unreal Engine for Game Design and Animation is on sale.

Image: pexels

By StackCommerceMashable Shopping

TL;DR: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Learning Unreal Engine for Game Design and Animation is on sale for £30.57 as of August 15, saving you 96% on list price.


Way back in 1998, a game engine called the Unreal Engine was developed and showcased in the first-person shooter game Unreal. More than two decades later, it’s now used in a variety of other game genres, like platformers (think Super Mario Bros.), fighting games (think Mortal Kombat), MMORPGs (think World of Warcraft), and other RPGs (like The Legend of Zelda). It’s even become a leading resource in the creation of animations, television shows, and illustrations.

For all you curious gamers out there, you can learn to use this multi-purpose engine for yourself. All you need is a little bit of grit and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Learning Unreal Engine for Game Design and Animation.

With eight courses spread out into 55 hours of content, this bundle of courses will walk you through the very basics of Unreal Engine, like importing assets, basic material setup, and rendering. Even if you’re brand new to the game creation world, you’ll be in good hands. As you work your way through all the content, you’ll tackle more complex topics like facial animation, designing levels, and creating character skill systems. But don’t worry, many of the courses are project-based, so you’ll be able to learn by doing.

You won’t be learning from just anyone, either. Your instructors, Michael Ricks and Greg Wondra are pretty damn impressive. Ricks is an animator, VFX artist, and independent filmmaker with a 4.6 out of 5 star instructor rating on Udemy. He himself his blown away by Unreal Engine’s power and calls it “not only fun but extremely satisfying on a creative level,” meaning he’s actually excited to show you how it works. Wondra is a video game design instructor who has designed and worked with companies like 2K Sports, KingsIsle Entertainment, and Nickelodeon to bring games to life. Plus, he’s earned 4.7 out of 5 stars on Udemy, which is pretty close to a perfect score.

You can sign up for this Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Learning Unreal Engine for Game Design and Animation for just £30.57 while it’s on sale – 96% off the regular price.

uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1450161%252F69cd7f81 6349 4e71 a2e2 303673cc5a8f.jpeg%252Ffull fit in  950x534.jpeg?signature=fiBbU7GRd4n2TzXCSfc6btjA2Ls=&source=https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws - Design your own video game with this guide for absolute beginners

TikTok launching new app on Amazon Fire TV

TikTok is launching its first TV app, called “More on TikTok,” on Amazon Fire TV devices today (via Business Insider). The app will have curated video playlists and compilations from the mobile TikTok app, Amazon spokesperson Delaney Simmons confirmed in an email to The Verge. It will also include interviews with creators, along with other…

TikTok is launching its first TV app, called “More on TikTok,” on Amazon Fire TV devices today (via Business Insider). The app will have curated video playlists and compilations from the mobile TikTok app, Amazon spokesperson Delaney Simmons confirmed in an email to The Verge. It will also include interviews with creators, along with other content that runs over the one-minute limit of TikTok’s mobile app.

“We’ve been thinking through what the adoption of streaming devices like Fire TV means for connecting with our users and how we can offer them more dynamic experiences, and we feel bringing our content to the TV to some extent is a natural next step,” Nick Tran, head of global marketing for TikTok, said in an email to The Verge.

According to Business Insider, TikTok is experimenting to determine how well its mobile video format works on TV screens. More on TikTok is a view-only channel, so no login or account information is required, and users won’t be able to upload videos or exchange coins. It will be free to use and won’t have ads at launch.

In addition, the TV app will have two new content categories: “In the Studio,” which will have interviews with stars on TikTok, and “This is TikTok,” which will spotlight creators.

Amazon says it saw a sharp increase in usage for mobile-first Fire TV apps like Facebook Watch, Peloton, MasterClass, and Audible during the first six months of the year, due mainly to people staying home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The More on TikTok app is now available via all Fire TV devices in the US. Users can just say “Alexa, open More on TikTok” to activate.

Microsoft said Sunday it was in talks to buy part of TikTok from parent company ByteDance, which is based in China, after President Trump had threatened to ban TikTok in the US. On Wednesday, rival Instagram launched its TikTok competitor, called Reels, in 50 countries.

Start a career in computer networking with this $30 training

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. This bundle takes you through the ins and outs of managing a network. Image: pexels By StackCommerceMashable Shopping2020-08-04 17:00:08 UTC TL;DR: Jump into the programming world with the Complete Computer Networking…

uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1402896%252F61bf2aee 1240 449a b366 fdc0bec37f1d.png%252Foriginal.png?signature=NeDQPmn hhR4DGUEgkZlp3rXd28=&source=https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws - Start a career in computer networking with this $30 training

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

lead img aug 4 computer networking bundle sale - Start a career in computer networking with this $30 training
This bundle takes you through the ins and outs of managing a network.

Image: pexels

By StackCommerceMashable Shopping

TL;DR: Jump into the programming world with the Complete Computer Networking E-Book and Video Course bundle for $32.98, a 95% savings as of Aug. 4. 


There’s many a career path that allows you to learn as you go. You don’t need to be a former VP of Marketing to land an entry-level marketing job. And you don’t need to have sold out concert venues to start a singing career. But being a network administrator is exempt from that perk. If you’re looking to manage a company’s computer infrastructure, you’re going to need some in-depth knowledge about the ins and outs of managing a network. 

If you want to land your dream role as a network architect, the Complete Computer Networking E-Book and Video Course Bundle is a great tool to help you get started. The collection is your own personal computer networking treasure trove, complete with five e-books and five video courses, covering over 14 hours of content on the most important topics for you to grasp, like DevOps, programming, AWS, CCNA, and more. 

The e-books start you off with a baseline of training across the foundational skills of the profession. If you’re looking to run a Linux network, the Hands-On Linux for Architects e-book will set you up. Perhaps you’re familiar with coding in the C language? The Hands-On Network Programming with C teaches you how to utilize network sockets, implement internet protocols, design IoT devices, and more. 

The AWS Certified Advanced Networking: Specialty Exam Guide will show you how to develop the technical skills and expertise needed to automate AWS networking tasks and advanced skill sets to build effective AWS networking solutions of your own.

There’s even a CCNA Cyber Ops SECOPS: Certification Guide 210-255 e-book to develop your cybersecurity knowledge on your way to CCNA Cyber Ops certification. No stone is unturned with this bundle when it comes to computer networking.

The package features five additional video courses, each packing at least 90 minutes of content covering more vital networking knowledge. This includes configurations and implementations with Kubernetes (Hands-On Kubernetes Networking; The Ultimate Kubernetes Bootcamp by School of DevOps), navigating traffic with Wireshark (Analyzing Network Traffic with Wireshark 2.6), and a foundation in the concepts of continuous integration and continuous delivery with Jenkins (Effective Jenkins: Getting Started with Continuous Integration).

This career-kickstarter usually would set you back almost $800, but you can save hundreds and get the complete package for only $29.99.

uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1435327%252Fbc534b1b 9af1 47aa 8c61 b036cd74e1dc.jpeg%252Ffull fit in  950x534.jpeg?signature=9237HyPuBPzD orGUwFUqTmMVaU=&source=https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws - Start a career in computer networking with this $30 training

This Massive Professional Sound Effects Library Is Now 25 Percent Off

Everyone from video marketers to Hollywood producers uses Soundsnap. Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing. July 28, 2020 2 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting…

Everyone from video marketers to Hollywood producers uses Soundsnap.

Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.


2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

According to a Hubspot study, 54 percent of people want to see more video content from their favorite brands. That likely explains why 87 percent of marketers now say they use video as a tool. But while you probably don’t have any difficulty understanding where video comes from, have you ever stopped to think about the audio on marketing videos? Licensing fees make it hard to just go out and use a Tom Petty song for your video ads.

Instead, marketers use stock audio and sounds, like you’ll find from Soundsnap. Soundsnap is a professional online sound library trusted by the likes of Disney, HBO, CBS, Pixar, and many more, the company says. They’re twice the size of other platforms, offering unlimited downloads of more than 282,000 sounds. (With more being added every week!) These sound effects are all royalty-free, so you can use them as much as you’d like and in just about any capacity. Whether you’re creating video ads for your brand, creating an app, or even directing an independent film or community theater production, Soundsnap will come in handy. Their searchable library is easy to use and only contains the highest-quality sound effects from sound designers and recordists with Hollywood pedigrees. Their current designers have worked on films like Black Swan, Baby Driver, The Dark Knight, and more.

Add some sound to your marketing and your life. A one-year subscription to Soundsnap Stock Audio & Sounds is normally $199 but you can save 25 percent off now when you sign up for just $149.99.

Daily Crunch: Microsoft-TikTok acquisition inches closer to reality

A possible Microsoft -TikTok acquisition is causing plenty of drama, we review Google’s new budget Pixel and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon returns to Earth. Here’s your Daily Crunch for August 3, 2020. Microsoft-TikTok acquisition inches closer to reality This weekend, Microsoft confirmed reports that it’s in talks to acquire TikTok, the popular mobile video app currently…

GettyImages 1183804986 - Daily Crunch: Microsoft-TikTok acquisition inches closer to reality

A possible Microsoft TikTok acquisition is causing plenty of drama, we review Google’s new budget Pixel and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon returns to Earth. Here’s your Daily Crunch for August 3, 2020.

Microsoft-TikTok acquisition inches closer to reality

This weekend, Microsoft confirmed reports that it’s in talks to acquire TikTok, the popular mobile video app currently owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It sounds like the outcome of those talks may ultimately have less to do with Microsoft and more with President Donald Trump.

“Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States,” the company said in a statement. “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”

And indeed, Trump said today that he’s not opposed to an acquisition, but that “a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States.” Meanwhile, Chinese internet users are calling ByteDance’s CEO a traitor.

The tech giants

Google’s budget Pixel 4a addresses its premium predecessor’s biggest problem — Brian Heater reviews the new $349 handset.

Facebook launches commerce and connectivity-focused accelerator programs — Facebook’s Commerce Accelerator will select 60 startups from the EMEA and LATAM regions, while Connectivity will feature 30 startups from LATAM and North America.

Adobe’s plans for an online content attribution standard could have big implications for misinformation — The project was first announced last November, and now the team has a whitepaper going into the nuts and bolts about how its system would work.

Startups, funding and venture capital

YC-backed Artifact looks to make podcasts more personal — Using professionally contracted interviewers, Artifact conducts short interviews with a person’s closest friends or family and turns them into a personal podcast.

Founded by a lifelong house-flipper, Inspectify is a marketplace for home inspections and repairs — Through the platform, buyers can instantly book inspections and receive repair estimates.

Mobile banking startup Varo is becoming a real bank — The company announced that it has been granted a national bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and secured regulatory approvals from the FDIC and Federal Reserve to open Varo Bank, N.A.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

The essential revenue software stack — Tim Porter and Elise La Cava of Madrona Ventures outline the set of services used by sales, marketing and growth teams across their portfolio to identify and manage their prospects and revenue.

Is the 2020 SPAC boom an echo of the 2017 ICO craze? — Alex Wilhelm looks at two new pieces of SPAC news.

After Shopify’s huge quarter, BigCommerce raises its IPO price range — BigCommerce now intends to price its IPO between $21 and $23 per share.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

SpaceX and NASA successfully return Crew Dragon spacecraft to Earth with astronauts on board — SpaceX’s Crew Dragon appears to have performed exactly as intended throughout the mission, handling the launch, ISS docking, undocking, de-orbit and splashdown in a fully automated process that kept the astronauts safe and secure throughout.

Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Say I Do’ offers a wedding-focused twist on the ‘Queer Eye’ formula — I’m not someone who cares about weddings, but this show made me cry. Multiple times!

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Dk  nQ - Daily Crunch: Microsoft-TikTok acquisition inches closer to reality