Apple News Prioritizes Human Over Machine, and That’s What Makes the App Unique

When it comes to deciding on what content users see on a daily basis, Apple News is one of a kind — as Facebook, Twitter and Google are increasingly under fire for using non-transparent algorithms to select content, Apple News comes to the limelight with a fully human-powered team.

In a rare insider look into Apple News’ headquarters by The New York Times, the three-year-old news app’s approach was revealed to the public, as the team shows details on how it picks the top five stories that users see when they open the app, and who are the minds behind these decisions.

The team lead, Lauren Kern, former executive editor of New York Magazine, heads a group of about 30 former journalists from Sydney, London, New York, and Silicon Valley. They read through hundreds of pitches daily and decide on which stories to be featured on the top spots of the app. Kern told the Times that, what sets them different is that they strive to bring in content from both sides of the political debate, and prioritize accuracy over speed.

It’s reported that the app is now used by 90 million people.

Since people started to favor getting news of the day through social media like Facebook, these tech giants are increasingly under scrutiny for their position as middlemen between publishers and news consumers.

As a social media platform that aims to profit, Facebook’s and Google’s algorithms were designed to gain as many clicks as possible, which means that the quality and accuracy of the content is normally not the priority — this throughout the years has led to the spread of fake information and divisive content, which can easily go viral.

In response, Facebook, for example, has taken some steps in attempting to comfort the worried public — also with human help. In September this year, Facebook announced that it has built a “war room” — a team hired specifically to prepare for the U.S. midterm election. Facebook’s head of civic engagement Samidh Chakrabarti told NBC News that its staff focuses on combating foreign interference, blocking and removing fake accounts, slowing the spread of misinformation and bring transparency to political ads on the platform.

In a disturbed world where there’s either technology or human approach, Apple News decides that they can co-exist. Kern told the Times that this is her way of saving journalism. “There is this deep understanding that a thriving free press is critical for an informed public, and an informed public is critical for a functioning democracy, and that Apple News can play a part in that,” Kern said.

However, would publishers be keen on the idea of partnering with Apple News for its civic approach? Hard to say. According to the Times, some are concerned that because Apple News takes 30 percent of subscription revenues, much higher than Facebook and Google, and also because Apple News users typically read within its own app, Apple will take away more revenues and data from customers. In response, Apple says that what it’s most interested in helping publishers sell more subscriptions.

So now it’s up to publishers and customers to decide on whether Apple News’ effort is appreciated. For publishers, will this more authentic, less machine disturbed, human-led new content app help them generate more revenues? And for customers, will content hand-picked by 30 seasoned journalists be less biased than the algorithms they’ve long felt disappointed at? We will see.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Apple News Prioritizes Human Over Machine, and That’s What Makes the App Unique appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/11/apple-news-prioritizes-human-over-machine-and-thats-what-makes-the-app-unique/

Apple reveals a host of new products ahead of Christmas

Including new iPad pros and a Macbook Air

via Apple reveals a host of new products ahead of Christmas — WalesOnline – Home

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/apple-reveals-a-host-of-new-products-ahead-of-christmas/

iPad Pro 2018 design revealed by leaked icon from iOS 12

iPad Pro 2018 design revealed by leaked icon from iOS 12

iPad Pro 2018 design revealed by leaked icon from iOS 12
— Read on metro.co.uk/2018/10/29/ipad-pro-2018-design-revealed-by-leaked-icon-from-ios-12-8084295/

https://mikearmstrongnews.wordpress.com/2018/10/29/ipad-pro-2018-design-revealed-by-leaked-icon-from-ios-12/

Don’t Forget About Pinterest, Which Is Still Growing Strong

In the rush to spend all of your marketing budget on Instagram Stories, or hole up in your office and figure out how to crack Facebook’s algorithm, you may be overlooking a major social media network that is still adding millions of active monthly users: Pinterest.

In September 2015, Pinterest had 100 million monthly active users. In September 2017, it had 200 million. Last week, it announced that it reached 250 million.

That’s an incredibly steady pace for a platform that many have forgotten about after an initial surge of excitement.

While growth still lags behind Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest is well ahead of other platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, and appears to be pivoting towards the lucrative world of e-commerce while FB/IG do the same.

In fact, Pinterest is exploring a lot of the same niches as Facebook, including forays into augmented reality for its Lens tool.

Pinterest’s growth is no accident

Pinterest has seen lots of action over the last few years, with billions of new pins added by its growing user base.

But the company’s growth is not luck: The company has been hiring away top engineers and planners from Google, and has some innovative new tools for users to try out in the worlds of fashion, decor, and DIY projects.

It’s possible that Pinterest will fall victim to its larger competitors and see its “Lens Your Look” tool copied (in fact, Google also has a tool called “Lens”), much in the way Snapchat did, and see growth slow. But for now the company appears to have a plan in place to use AI and other new technologies to boost the platform’s value.

What can Pinterest do for me?

It’s easy to focus on social media platforms like Instagram for your marketing spend. Instagram is the hottest thing in social, and their Stories are earning rave reviews.

But we’ve recently seen the value in using smaller social media platforms tactically.

Take Apple. The tech giant doesn’t even use Twitter (their @Apple feed is completely empty) but they smartly targeted Twitter in the days and moments leading up (and during) their recent #AppleEvent, pouring money into sponsored tweets and custom builds and even a “hashflag” because they knew that’s where the conversation would start.

If you’re able to target a smaller demographic which is ready to buy, you need to jump on that opportunity. That’s the value in keeping your eye on platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, or, in this case, Pinterest.

So for now, do your due diligence when shopping around for the best platforms to place ads, and keep in mind that it’s not all about the behemoths. The smaller, more niche sites still have plenty of value to offer.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Don’t Forget About Pinterest, Which Is Still Growing Strong appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/dont-forget-about-pinterest-which-is-still-growing-strong/

Don’t Forget About Pinterest, Which Is Still Growing Strong

In the rush to spend all of your marketing budget on Instagram Stories, or hole up in your office and figure out how to crack Facebook’s algorithm, you may be overlooking a major social media network that is still adding millions of active monthly users: Pinterest.

In September 2015, Pinterest had 100 million monthly active users. In September 2017, it had 200 million. Last week, it announced that it reached 250 million.

That’s an incredibly steady pace for a platform that many have forgotten about after an initial surge of excitement.

While growth still lags behind Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest is well ahead of other platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, and appears to be pivoting towards the lucrative world of e-commerce while FB/IG do the same.

In fact, Pinterest is exploring a lot of the same niches as Facebook, including forays into augmented reality for its Lens tool.

Pinterest’s growth is no accident

Pinterest has seen lots of action over the last few years, with billions of new pins added by its growing user base.

But the company’s growth is not luck: The company has been hiring away top engineers and planners from Google, and has some innovative new tools for users to try out in the worlds of fashion, decor, and DIY projects.

It’s possible that Pinterest will fall victim to its larger competitors and see its “Lens Your Look” tool copied (in fact, Google also has a tool called “Lens”), much in the way Snapchat did, and see growth slow. But for now the company appears to have a plan in place to use AI and other new technologies to boost the platform’s value.

What can Pinterest do for me?

It’s easy to focus on social media platforms like Instagram for your marketing spend. Instagram is the hottest thing in social, and their Stories are earning rave reviews.

But we’ve recently seen the value in using smaller social media platforms tactically.

Take Apple. The tech giant doesn’t even use Twitter (their @Apple feed is completely empty) but they smartly targeted Twitter in the days and moments leading up (and during) their recent #AppleEvent, pouring money into sponsored tweets and custom builds and even a “hashflag” because they knew that’s where the conversation would start.

If you’re able to target a smaller demographic which is ready to buy, you need to jump on that opportunity. That’s the value in keeping your eye on platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, or, in this case, Pinterest.

So for now, do your due diligence when shopping around for the best platforms to place ads, and keep in mind that it’s not all about the behemoths. The smaller, more niche sites still have plenty of value to offer.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Don’t Forget About Pinterest, Which Is Still Growing Strong appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/dont-forget-about-pinterest-which-is-still-growing-strong/

How Apple Dominated Twitter Without Tweeting

This past week, Apple has conducted a master class in how to take over Twitter—and they did it without a single organic tweet.

If you visit @Apple on Twitter, you’ll notice that despite over 2.2 million followers, the company has not tweeted even once.

And yet during the #AppleEvent, when the company unveiled their new line of products, including the iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4, not only were people’s timelines packed with updates from journalists and thought leaders dishing and delving into the devices, but the company spent what some call “a significant amount” on ads.

Why would a company that doesn’t deign to tweet from its own account spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid posts?

Well, they’re trillion-dollar Apple—they can do whatever they want. But there’s more to it than that.

Here’s how Apple dominated Twitter for the #AppleEvent

Digiday had a rundown of the prices Apple likely paid for all their advertising on Sept. 12, including:

  • A promoted trend: $200,000/day
  • A custom “like for reminder” build: $250,000 for several days
  • Promoted tweets in 12+ languages (ranging from $0.50 to $8)
  • A “hashflag” (custom Twitter emoji) and a livestream of the event (likely free)

And indeed, no matter where you went on Twitter on Sept. 12, you couldn’t avoid the #AppleEvent hashtag and hashflag. The feed was flooded with tweets about what Apple was unveiling, which was the product of both Apple’s paid efforts and tweets from writers and journalists (more on that in a second).

Apple wasn’t running any ads on Facebook. Why is that? Isn’t Facebook the biggest social media platform, with the most reach? How could Apple avoid it on Apple Event day?

Twitter is where conversations start

Perhaps the biggest draw of Twitter is that it’s built to get conversations started. Journalists, early adopters, and other people who make a living covering and have a passion for Apple products know that Twitter is better for breaking news than Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other major platform.

Apple recognizes this. By meeting users on Twitter—supplying them with a livestream (that’s where this writer watched the event), creating a rare “like for reminder” tweet that helped users remember when the event would take place, and tweeting in languages used all around the world—Apple was actively encouraging and helping those users to have more informed and productive conversations about their products.

For whatever reason, tweeting doesn’t fit Apple’s brand. Tweets from other people do, however. So by pouring money into the platform at the right moment, Apple found a way to boost those tweets, to make them more visible and engaging. Again, that’s without sending a single tweet from their own account.

While Apple has plenty of money, they’re not in the business of wasting it. This was a showcase in how to pick your spots on social media and use each platform—even platforms you don’t engage in yourself—to maximize value.

Images via Apple

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post How Apple Dominated Twitter Without Tweeting appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/how-apple-dominated-twitter-without-tweeting/

Apple Announces iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, Apple Watch 4 at 2018 Event

Today was Apple’s annual keynote event, where they unveil new devices and discuss updates to their existing hardware, like the iPhone XS/iPhone XS Max, the cheaper but still stunning iPhone XR, and the Apple Watch 4.

In Cupertino, California on the Apple Park campus, CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives took the stage around 10 a.m. PST.

Let’s run through all the news that Apple shared with viewers at the Steve Jobs Theater and around the world, which is already blowing up social media.

Apple Watch 4

Apple started by showcasing the new Apple Watch 4, introducing the Apple Watch as the number one watch (not just smartwatch) in the world.

AW4 is a big redesign for the watch, with a screen that now goes nearly edge to edge, creating a display that is 30 percent bigger than previous iterations while slimmer overall.

  • A new dual-core 64-bit processor that performs “two times better” than previous models.
  • A new build-in EKG scanner
  • An updated accelerometer and gyroscope, which can help detect falls and trigger an emergency call if you’re down for more than a minute.
  • You can take an electrocardiogram with your AW4, the first over-the-counter EKG product offered directly to consumers, complete with FDA approval.

There are lots of new faces and bands and finishes that you can select to go with your watch as well, so it’s a highly aesthetic update to go along with its internal improvements.

You can preorder the watch this Friday, and it will ship on Sept. 21, 2018. The GPS version will run $399, the LTE version $499.

Apple immediately dropped a new spot for the AW4, titled “Hokey Pokey.” Check it out.

The new iPhones: iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

The XS and XS Max are similar in many ways to the iPhone X, which makes sense, since the -S series of iPhones are usually mainly spec and aesthetic upgrades.

The XS has a display with a dynamic range, improved Face ID capabilities, better water resistance (whew!) and a reportedly monstrous A12 Bionic processor.

That processor has a six-core CPU, four-core GPU, and an updated Neural Engine for handling AI tasks, handling a crazy 5 trillion operations per second.

The XS Max is going to steal headlines, however, because it’s a huge phone, one of the biggest on the market. With a 6.5-inch screen, it’s bigger than the 8 Plus as well as the Galaxy Note 9 by .1 inches.

Both phones will have improved battery life, with the XS going 30 minutes longer than the X, and the XS Max going a whopping 90 minutes longer.

iPhone XR

This the phone that will essentially replace the iPhone X, which will be discontinued now that three new iPhones are hitting the market. The XR, at $749 (compared to $999 for the XS), boasts a 6.1-inch LCD display and many of the same specs of the XS, minus the 3D Touch.

The XR comes in a variety of colors—six to be exact—and will drop in October.

Other updates

Apple also notified the crowd that their HomePod, retailing at $349, will have some new updates, including the ability to search song lyrics and set multiple timers at once.

Also, software updates: tvOS 12 with Dolby Atmos, watchOS 5, and iOS 12 will arrive on September 17th, and macOS Mojave arrives on September 24th.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post Apple Announces iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, Apple Watch 4 at 2018 Event appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/09/apple-announces-iphone-xs-xs-max-xr-apple-watch-4-at-2018-event/

Apple’s Twitter Account Is Waking Up

At the time of writing on Friday, Apple’s Twitter account is only just crossing the 100,000-users mark. You might think that strange for the world’s most valuable company, but the truth of the matter is that Apple’s aapl Twitter twtr account was until now just a dormant “egg”—the company had never created a profile picture…

http://fortune.com/2016/09/02/apple-twitter-iphone/

Apple Pay Now Accounts for Three-Fourths of U.S. Contactless Payments

Apple reported better than expected earnings this afternoon, and one nugget shared on the call by CEO Tim Cook could be a good sign for the company’s mobile payments service. Cook said that according to retailers, Apple Pay now represents 75% of all contactless payments made in the U.S. Apple Pay was launched in 2014…

http://fortune.com/2016/07/26/apple-pay-contactless/

Apple Shares Jump 7%, But Long Term Questions Remain

With iPhone sales steadying in mid-2016, Apple proved on Tuesday that it’s not about to fall off a cliff. But questions persist about whether new iPhone models in the fall can get growth back on track. CEO Tim Cook said Apple’s just-completed fiscal third quarter offered several encouraging signs, despite a 15% drop in the…

http://fortune.com/2016/07/26/apple-shares-jump-7/