You’ve heard a lot about Facebook this year, but you may not have heard about Watch.Watch is the social network’s hub for video, and, unlike the rest of company, it’s been mostly unscathed by Facebook’s privacy, security, disinformation and leadership scandals. Unfortunately for Watch: Neither its successes nor failures have been glaring enough to attract notice.House of Cards was the first show to put Netflix’s original-content efforts on the map. David Giesbrecht/Netflix Since launching last year with a reported $1 billion programming budget, Watch has yet to score with a critical smash or popular hit. It hasn’t got a signature show, like House of Cards, that puts its original content on the map, or a must-see program, like Stranger Things, that drives people to it in droves. Ask Facebook and it’ll say Watch is faring great. Watch’s niche programming is a feature, not a bug, according to Fidji Simo, Facebook’s head of video. “What we’re really going after is the amount of conversation and engagement, and that can be realized both in niche communities or in broad hits,” Simo said in an interview last week. “But we’re not really going for massive viewership.”Facebook is part of a scrum of tech and media companies wrestling one another to lock down your attention for TV online. But while most are taking aim at Netflix with online video subscription services, Facebook is stalking YouTube’s turf of free video you watch with ads. And with 2.27 billion people using Facebook every month, the world’s biggest social network may be the one competitor with the scale to actually take on YouTube. It just needs to figure out how. 2:58 1 “We are seeing some trends in younger audiences, and they are really engaged with these types of shows and create a lot of conversation,” she said. Looking forward to next year, Simo said much of Watch’s efforts will be focused on developing ways to make video more social, interactive and immersive, like testing a dark background when you’re watching a show. And Watch wants to keep widening its advertising base, so creators have more ways to make money from their videos. Of course, pushing for advertising led Facebook into the middle of minefields. Even Watch will need to watch its step. CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018.Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports. Now playing: Watch this: TV and Movies Digital Media Share your voice Zuckerberg defends actions after New York Times investigation Facebook Tags Comment “I’m not sure Watch is the future of Facebook video,” said Michael Greeson, president and director of research at the Diffusion Group, whose research shows half of adult Facebook users have never heard of the service. Instead, he says, it may be “the next step in the company’s learning curve.” Squishy stats More than 400 million people visit Watch each month and stay for at least a minute of video, an indication they’re intentional viewers. On a daily basis, the number is 75 million people, and among those, the average watch time is 20 minutes.That implies Watch has roughly 25 million hours of viewership each day. Red Table Talk, a talk program with Jada Pinkett Smith, is Facebook Watch’s most followed show. Stan Evans To put that in perspective, people watch more than a billion hours of video on YouTube daily. And Google’s massive video site has more than 1.8 billion logged-in users every month. But, as is always the problem with online video, none of these comparisons are perfect. YouTube’s billion-plus daily viewing hours, for instance, take place across its entire site. Facebook Watch’s stats don’t include videos people watch on other parts of the site, such as their News Feed. And these squishy, imperfect comparisons make it hard to gauge whether Facebook’s most successful shows are doing well. By pure number of followers, Jada Pinkett Smith’s talk program, Red Table Talk, is Facebook’s biggest show, with 4.3 million followers. What do you even compare that to? Maybe Tyler Oakley. Oakley, sometimes referred to as the Ellen DeGeneres of YouTube, has fewer followers on Facebook itself than Red Table Talk does. But he has 3 million more subscribers on his main platform, YouTube. (For the record, DeGeneres’ own Facebook following is nearly 30 million. So we can say Red Table Talk isn’t a hit on the scale of the Ellen Show. Illuminating.)Sorry for Your Loss, which stars Elizabeth Olsen as a young widow, has been Facebook Watch’s most critically praised original. Facebook That Facebook is measuring its success in social conversation and engagement makes things cloudier still. Watch’s most loyal audience, measured by the number of people who completed at least three episodes, is for Sorry for Your Loss, a bereavement drama starring Elizabeth Olsen. Sorry for Your Loss is also Facebook’s most critically acclaimed program and Watch’s best shot so far at potentially scoring award nominations. But the show’s third episode has just 182,000 views. Compare that to the final episode of Netflix’s House of Cards — that is, the eighth episode in the sixth season of a series that’s well past its heyday. By Nielsen’s ratings, House of Cards’ finale still pulled in an estimated 901,000 viewers. And that’s just in the first week. The first three episodes of Sorry for Your Loss have been available free for three months globally. Growing painsOf course, Watch is still a baby.”Facebook Watch is a grand experiment, and it’s still early in the game,” said Peter Csathy, chairman of CreaTV Media, a media- and tech-focused business advisory and investment firm. “It’s been watching and learning and growing and changing, and that’s all part of the plan.”Facebook Watch’s strategy also doesn’t lend itself to making shows that break outside their niches. Watch’s goal since the beginning, Simo said, is to create video that’s intrinsically social, so Facebook shows line up with built-in communities on the social network. Hence, beauty pageant fanatics match up well with Queen America, a newer Facebook Watch show that stars Catherine Zeta-Jones.Catherine Zeta-Jones stars as a beauty pageant coach in Queen America. Boris Martin Facebook’s other game plan has been to throw things at the wall to see what sticks. In more flattering Silicon Valley parlance: Fail fast. “We specifically designed our content strategies to be able to learn a lot,” Simo said. “That’s a big part of the reason why we’re funding content, to be able to learn as fast as possible.” Those two strategies combined can yield shows with real traction in specific groups, even if their appeal is invisible to wider audiences. It’s the same paradox that meant many traditional media companies have dismissed YouTube stars as minor leaguers. Facebook’s unrelenting scandals this year haven’t helped Watch. Watch is getting lost in the haze as Facebook puts out its other fires. Instead of Facebook’s brand drawing people into Watch’s shows, it’s increasingly a barrier, according to Csathy.The social network has been especially hard hit among young people, those most coveted by advertisers and a video-centric demographic that Watch has been aiming to lure in. A study by Pew found that 44 percent of people aged 18 to 29 years old have deleted their Facebook apps. Instead, Watch could lean hard into demographics that are already there, said Scott Fisher, the founder of Select, a company that manages top digital creators and influencers like Oakley.”Facebook is almost like the daytime TV” of online video, Fisher said. “Facebook should have the next This Is Us for their originals. That’s the right vibe. If they end up trying to do House of Cards, I don’t know if that makes sense.”But Simo flatly rejects speculation Facebook Watch is recalibrating around older viewers, pointing to teen-targeted shows, such as SKAM Austin and Five Points, that Facebook is renewing.
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Apple Now playing: Watch this: Sprint $999 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR 0 null Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors $999 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it See It Viva Tung/CNET In this week’s Apple Core roundup, we recap the new features we’re expecting to see on Apple’s next batch of iPhones in September, and discuss how Apple is betting big on 5G with its billion-dollar acquisition of Intel’s modem business. We also break down the latest rumors about the next MacBook Pro, Apple Watch and Apple’s mixed-reality headset. Boost Mobile Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) See It reading • iPhone 11, 11R and 11 Max: What we expect from Apple in September Best Buy CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $999 $999 Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier Share your voice Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? • Three new iPhones coming in September It seems as if there’s a fresh batch of rumors about the next iPhones every week, and the fact that they’re all starting to sound repetitive means their debut is likely getting close.A report from 9to5 Mac this week paints a picture of all the changes (or lack thereof) we can expect in the iPhones. Citing people who’ve apparently already seen the new phones, the report backs up most of what we already heard about the iPhones, but adds a few more tidbits to the mix. The three new iPhones, for example, will look pretty similar to the 2018 models, and are rumored to have the same screen size as the previous iPhones: 5.8, 6.1 and 6.5 inches. They’ll also have the same resolution and same screen technology: OLED on the XS and XS Max sequels and an LCD screen on the followup to the XR. They’ll still have Face ID with the True Depth front camera and the notch will be the same size. The only difference pointed out by 9to5mac is that Apple might get rid of 3D Touch and the front-facing camera on the 2019 iPhones will have slow-motion video recording. There was no mention on whether or not they’ll have in-screen fingerprint scanners, as previous rumors suggested. On the back will be a new large square camera bump on all three versions of the 2019 iPhone. In addition to the traditional wide-angle and telephoto from previous years, the XS and XS Max sequels will have a new ultrawide angle sensor. The XR will likely only have a wide and ultrawide camera, and will continue to use software to create the portrait mode effect.The report says the new phones will also get a new feature called “Smart Frame,” too. This feature uses the new lens to capture additional content around your photo (for stills and videos). That information is stored for a limited time so you can go back and expand the margins of the frame if you left someone or something out of the shot. The report also backs up rumors about a larger battery, a new and more powerful A13 processor and two-way charging, similar to the Galaxy S10 phones. Other rumors not mentioned by 9to5’s new report suggests that the iPhone 11R will be available in lilac and green, two new colors that would replace last year’s coral and blue options. The phones will also sport a new circular mute switch on the side, similar to iPads and that they’ll keep the traditional Lightning port (not USB-C).Apple buys Intel’s modem business Apple could soon be making 5G chips for future iPhones in-house, especially since the 2020 iPhones are already rumored to be the first 5G iPhones with Qualcomm’s 5G chips.That’s because Apple announced it signed an agreement to purchase most of Intel’s smartphone modem business, valued at roughly $1 billion. This comes after a two-year legal battle over patent licensing that the company had with Qualcomm. The companies reached a multiyear chip supply agreement with that would allow Apple to use Qualcomm modems in their phones. Buying the business from Intel would mean they get more patents and the personnel support of Intel’s modem team, which gives Apple a leg up to end its reliance on companies like Qualcomm for similar technology. New MacBook Pro coming this yearApple’s recent updates to its MacBook lineup haven’t ruled out a possibility of getting yet another one before the end of the year. According to Chinese site The Economic Daily News, Apple is gearing up to launch a high-end 16-inch laptop with a 3,072×1,920-pixel LCD display (up from the 2,880×1,800 pixels in the current 15-inch MacBook Pro) as early as October.Other potential updates include a better processor and a new keyboard that would use a new scissor switch mechanism in place of Apple’s troubled butterfly switch keyboard, which has caused many mishaps for the company. But the upgrades won’t come cheap — the cost of the new MacBook pro would rise to $3,000, according to the report. The report also mentions an update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Retina screen MacBook Air.The Apple Watch may get a new screen in 2020The Apple Watch may get a different screen next year. Another report by The Economic Daily News says Apple will switch from a traditional OLED display to a microLED display on next year’s Apple Watch. Aside from being brighter, microLED technology makes the screen more energy efficient and potentially improve battery life. Improved battery life would mean Apple could finally add a native sleep tracking app to the Apple watch. Apple’s latest patent hints at new hardware Just when we thought Apple might be putting on the brakes for its AR/VR glasses project, we have new reason to believe it’s still a go. Martin Hajek/iDropNews Apple filed for a patent for a mixed-reality system, which includes a head-mounted display capable of showing augmented and virtual reality, and a controller. The headset would include multiple sensors to track the user’s facial expressions as well as the environment around them, while the controller would have at least one (if not two) built-in processors of its own. Apple has reportedly been working on launching AR or mixed-reality glasses with an 8K display by 2020, but a recent report in DigiTimes suggested that the company halted the project because the glasses themselves were nowhere near completion, and weren’t at the price point Apple needed to make them attractive to consumers. The patent proves Apple is still very much interested in the space, but it may take a bit longer for the actual product to become a reality. Phones Apple iPhone XS See All See It Three new iPhone 11 models coming in September, rumor… 8:10 Tags See it Rumors Intel Apple
Pictured: Mallika SherawatReutersMallika Sherawat recently opened up about not featuring in many movies after becoming much popular for her sizzling avatar in Murder. The actress said that she was thrown out of many movies for not being the concerned actor, director of producer’s girlfriend.In an interview with Spotboye, the diva while speaking about #MeToo movement in India, said that though no one in the industry ever asked her for sexual favours, she thinks the movement is a right step towards ensuring comfortable working atmosphere for women in the industry.”I have never been asked for a sexual favour. I am such a bold personality, who will dare to ask me? But on a serious note, I think that it is a very positive step in a very positive direction because at least now there is an open window for discussion. And I think a safe working environment is the right of every man and woman. But along with #MeToo also comes a huge responsibility and everybody has to be very responsible,” she told the entertainment portal.Talking on the same line, Mallika said that she had lost many films since the concerned actors, directors and producers wanted their respective girlfriends to be the films’ heroines.”See, lot of times I have lost roles because I wasn’t dating the hero. There have been instances when I was thrown out of films because the actor, director or producer preferred their girlfriend to be the heroine,” she added.Mallika will soon be seen alongside Tusshar Kapoor in a horror-comedy web series produced by Ekta Kapoor.