Google says that larger-screened devices are helping the mobile ad business

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While Google’s ad business is definitely in a transition phase, largely due to the shift away from personal computers towards mobile handsets, Google’s Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy says that the company is handling this move well. Selling ads to advertisers may be harder with more of those ads ending up on mobile devices with smaller screens than notebooks and desktops, meaning more difficulty for customers to complete purchases, but Google is definitely taking steps toward slowing the rapid decline in ad prices.

According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, while Google is making several moves to make advertising more valuable, the market’s more recent move to larger-screened devices has helped significantly… Read more

YouTube Kids app contains “disturbing and/or potentially harmful” content, alleges FTC complaint

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Google’s family-friendly YouTube Kids app has been hit with a second complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, this time accusing it of containing inappropriate content, including sexually-explicit language and “jokes about pedophilia.” This follows a complaint last month that the app was “deceptive to children” in the way it mixed ads into the programming.

The WSJ reports that the complaint was sent by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy.

Examples of what the non-profit groups found include: explicit sexual language in cartoons; jokes about pedophilia and drug use; activities such as juggling knives, tasting battery acid, and making a noose; and adult discussions about family violence, pornography, and child suicide.

The group created a video (below) illustrating the inappropriate content found …  Read more

Google’s Android One initiative reaches Turkey in latest market expansion

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Sundar Pichai announcing Android One at Google I/O last year

Ten months after Sundar Pichai announced Android One at Google’s I/O developer conference last year, the program to bring quality and affordable smartphones to developing markets is expanding outside of Asia for the first time. Android One’s latest expansion into Turkey marks the seventh market for the program as it moves into Europe.

General Mobile will offer the first Android One smartphones, the company shared today, albeit at a higher price than Google has targeted for other Android One hardware… Read more

Video ad viewability is 54% across the web, but as high as 91% on YouTube (Infographic)

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Advertisers want to know that when they pay for a video ad on YouTube or elsewhere across the web, that the advertisement can actually be seen by viewers. A lot can effect an ad being seen, such as the viewer never scrolling to the part of the page where the ad is placed, or users simply scrolling past the ad too quickly to really catch a glimpse. Taking a look into these things, Google recently published the results of a study identifying the “5 factors of viewability,” or, in other words, the things that impact the chance of a video ad being seen.

Unsurprisingly, YouTube and Google’s video ad strategy seems to be strong compared to the rest of the web…

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Watch the Macintosh II’s System 6 running on Android Wear (Video)

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We’ve seen just about anything running on Android Wear at this point—from Minecraft: Pocket Edition, to Flappy Bird, to Windows 95. Today, Corbin Davenport is back with another video, this time showing off another ancient operating system running on the miniature Samsung Gear Live wrist computer. This time, he’s running the Macintosh II’s System 6 (and the emulator he’s using—Mini VMAC II—supports up to version 7.5.5)… Read more

WSJ: Google was going to build Periscope/Meerkat years ago, but didn’t have the resources

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Google-owned YouTube had a chance to beat Twitter’s Periscope and its biggest competitor, Meerkat, to market by somewhere in the ballpark of 8 years, but decided against the move due to the fact that a large portion of the company’s resources were engaged in fending off a Viacom lawsuit and creating the Content ID copyright detection system.

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YouTube losing support on older devices as Google begins sunsetting Data API v2

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Google announced today that it is beginning the retirement process of YouTube’s Data API v2, and that means that some older devices, including older Apple and Google TV set-top boxes, will no longer be able to access the video streaming site. The change is also going to affect users of older gaming consoles and iOS devices as the deprecated built-in YouTube apps will be unable to access the service… Read more

YouTube reportedly testing new video player design with mobile inspirations

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Google is working on a redesigned desktop video player that takes its influence from the site’s mobile applications, a new report suggests. The player, seen above and below, features transparent playback controls overlayed directly on the video rather than the opaque black bar we’ve gotten used to over the past few years.

Like the current player, the controls disappear after a few seconds, leaving the full space dedicated to the video. Controls for settings like autoplay on playlists, annotations, and video speed and quality have also gotten a bit of a makeover, as seen below.

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