From the new “secret” Facebook Talent Show feature to Snapchat’s voice recognition lenses- here are this week’s top stories in tech:
Facebook Develops New Talent Show Feature
If you’re looking to break into the music industry, Facebook may be building out a feature just for you. Last week, Researcher Jane Manchun uncovered a code within the Facebook app introducing a new feature, Talent Show. Facebook Talent Show allows users to compete by recording their performances of popular songs and sending them in as an audition. Talent Show features a simple interface where users are first prompted to select the song they would like to perform and then they are taken to a screen to begin recording. It appears that Facebook Talent Show will initially be rolled out to Pages, however, the network-wide timeline is still under wraps.
Assuming Manchun’s code analysis is on point, the Talent Show feature will offer Facebook another way to take advantage of its recently acquired music licensing rights. With deals in place with Universal, Warner, and Sony, Facebook has been rapidly building its music library. Manchun confirmed the new Facebook Talent Show feature will tap into this massive library by sourcing music from Rights Manager, giving labels a new avenue to monitor and control copyright usage on Facebook.
YouTube Adapts Desktop App For Vertical Videos
Say goodbye to the annoying black bars that surround vertical videos because YouTube has upgraded its desktop player to better suit the vertical format. In an announcement made last week, YouTube revealed that its video player will now automatically adjust a video’s aspect ratio to provide the best viewing experience for a user’s computer screen/browser size. Historically, YouTube would pair vertical videos alongside black bars, making the video really small. The new update will remove these bars in favor of white space to enhance the video size without losing quality. If possible, this new feature will eventually expand the video to fill the full 16:9 ratio, if the quality remains consistent. This feature was initially launched for mobile devices and has seen success. YouTube will continue to enhance this feature for its desktop application to ensure the best user experience for both its creators and viewers.
Snapchat Unveils Voice Recognition Lenses
Snapchat has amped up their AR technology with the release of new lenses that respond to voice commands. The new voice recognition lenses will automatically animate when users speak simple English words like “hi”, “love”, “yes”, “no”, and “wow”. For example, when a user says “hi” the new lens will launch a custom animation surrounding the user with a flock of chatty birds. As new voice recognition lenses appear within the lenses carousel, they will prompt users on how to trigger the animation. While Snapchat has rolled out lenses with audio in the past, this new feature marks just how advanced Snapchat’s AR technology has become. Not only will the technology recognize the specific words spoken, but it will use its understanding to prompt the animation.
iHeartRadio Launches Spotify-Like Weekly Mixtape Playlists
iHeartRadio has added a new playlist to its arsenal to provide more personalization on its platform- introducing Weekly Mixtape. Similar to Spotify’s Discover Weekly, iHeartRadio’s Weekly Mixtape will be refreshed every Monday to include 30 to 75 songs based on specific tracks, artists, and stations you have previously given a thumbs up. While the main goal behind Spotify’s Weekly Discover playlist is suggesting new music, iHeartRadio’s Weekly Mixtape is focused on providing users a selection of music they already enjoy. Weekly Mixtape will be available for both paid and free users to enjoy. One can find their custom playlist by selecting the ‘For You’ tab on the iHeartRadio website or the ‘Your Library’ section of the iOS and Android applications.
For more of technology’s top news, make sure you check back next week!