How Facebook is Planning on Making VR Less Lonely

By: Kassidy Coleman

If you’ve ever worn a virtual reality headset then you know that although it’s fun, it can be a little lonely. Sure, it’s a ton of fun taking a virtual trip to Mars or traveling back in time to hang out with dinosaurs, but most of us can agree that it would be more enjoyable if we could engage in a community with other people in the virtual world.

Last month, Facebook had stated that they had a dedicated social VR team that was going to be working on finding ways to integrate VR into their social platform. Now Facebook is looking to make virtual reality a little less lonely by allowing you to share your reactions of videos viewed on Gear VR.

Facebook will start rolling out support for five emoji reactions for users to show how they feel about the virtual reality videos they’re watching. This will add a more social aspect to virtual reality. Being able to see the reactions of your friends will make it feel less like a solo trip into space.

At first, we were a little worried that the reactions would take away from the experience or just be distracting. But Facebook did a pretty good job of smoothly integrating the features without making it overbearing. The reactions of others will simply float by on your screen. Nobody will be typing anything, which could have really killed the mood if Facebook had decided to go that route.

Facebook has always let it be known that virtual reality is a huge part of their future plans which means we can definitely expect to see them integrating their social media platform even more into Oculus in the future.

However, Facebook is not the only company working to incorporate social interactions into virtual reality. The Gear VR app now allows users to create profiles, create rooms to watch video streams with friends, and there’s even multiplayer games to play.

Lately virtual reality has been everywhere in the news, but because it’s still so new, nobody knows just how successful the industry is going to be. The consulting firm, Analysis Group has estimated that worldwide revenue from virtual reality could total anywhere from $2.8 billion and $126 billion.

While there’s still a long way to go before VR can really be considered a critical part of social media, it will be an interesting journey to watch!

What do you think about Facebook incorporating reactions on Gear VR? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

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Why Tumblr is Launching Live Video Streaming

By: Kassidy Coleman

tumblr

Whether or not you’ve noticed, right now live-streaming video is something everybody and everyone is trying to get into. Periscope, Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube – there are so many options if you really want live-streaming video. Now Tumblr, the blogging site owned by Yahoo, is trying to hop on the bandwagon.

The rumors of the new live-streaming option originated from a page that popped up on Tumblr called LiveVideo. Cryptic messages have been posted on the page suggesting potential (mostly outrageous) events that could be seen through the live stream such as the surface of Mars and basketball lessons from a Harlem Globetrotter. The page has been confirmed to be directly from Tumblr, which means we will definitely be getting LiveVideo.

There are a few reasons why Tumblr would decide to add this feature now. Most likely they are launching it because the blogging platform wants to expand and catch up with its competitors. Another probable reason is that Tumblr is really trying to generate the revenue Yahoo had predicted when they bought the blogging platform. According to Mashable, Tumblr wasn’t able to reach the $100 million in annual sales that Yahoo expected. The company also may be wanting to reinvent blogging and make it a little more personal. You can already interact with other users on the site with reblogs, likes, and comments, but the live-streaming may really bridge the gap between follower and blogger.

Lately, Facebook’s live-streaming option has been getting more attention. So we are all wondering how Tumblr’s live video option will hold up against the popular Facebook Live Video. Many web-celebrities use Facebook Live Video to be able to engage with their fans in real time. Business 2 Community highly recommends that companies find a way to incorporate Facebook Live Video into their marketing plan. By steaming live video on Facebook, you are more likely to reach more followers organically.

We really won’t know how Tumblr’s LiveVideo will do against its competitors until after it officially launches which will be June 21 at 5 PM EST.

Do you think Tumblr’s LiveVideo is a good idea? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

Make sure you follow us on Tumblr, our Intern BB-8 may be making an appearance on Tumblr LiveVideo!

Real-time Playlist Collaboration

AppWatch

Sharing music with friends is always fun, but sometimes when there is no control it gets a little hectic. Not sure what we mean by that? Well, picture this. You are on a road trip with friends and you go to plug your phone in to play some music but somebody has already beat you to it and basically hijacks the speakers. Before you lose your cool, check out a great solution called Flo Music.

Flo Music is the must have music app for listening to music with friends. You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need another music app?” Well, this app is a little different than your generic music app. It connects smartphones with WiFi networks or WiFi hotspots and allows the connected devices to create a real-time collaborative playlist. This playlist is called a “Flo.” And what really sets this music app apart from the competitors is any device connected can add music to the playlist. This turns group listening sessions into a democracy, not a dictatorship. However, there is still some control because otherwise it would turn into an anarchy. The host or creator of the playlist is the only one who has true control of skipping, pausing, and approving who joins a Flo. And if there are no speakers present the phones can be linked up in “Sync Mode” to create a giant loudspeaker. That means no more having to put your phone in a cup to amplify the sound if your speaker ends up running out of battery. The app works with SoundCloud, Spotify Premium and downloaded iTunes– and will be adding even more streaming services for you in the near future.

Think you are ready for sharing music with friends? Flo Music is a free app and is compatible with iOS devices, Android coming soon. Head to your app store to download it today.

Buncee – Create Interactive Pictures and Videos

Communication is constantly changing. In today’s visual world social media platforms, websites, and computer programs are all great ways to send a message. These messages consist of pictures, videos, notes, music, and more! What is most important about these, though, is the way you convey your ideas.

Buncee

I recently stumbled across Buncee when trying to make an e-card for Father’s Day. Buncee is an interactive and customizable digital platform that livens up communication. It can be used for businesses when creating digital advertisements, or for personal use to create an e-greeting, invitation, or a scrapbook. It’s also helpful for teachers that want to make an appealing lesson plan and students who have a presentation. When constructing or posting items you always have a specific audience in mind. It is crucial to be able to resonate with your audience and Buncee will make this possible!

For more information, click here!

You can also go to buncee.com or search for Buncee in your app store today.

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