Snapchat Discovery allows brands to serve video content and ads

Snapchat has earned the favor of the coveted teen demographic, but can it turn engagement into money? The Wall Street Journal reports that the startup is in talks to launch Snapchat Discovery, a service that would partner with media companies and brands to serve video content and ads. Sources told the paper that Snapchat is aiming to launch the feature in November. The new product would use the same interaction of holding your finger on the screen to play content, except instead of user-generated photos and videos, it could be an article or a TV show. The Journal even mentioned movies, but continuously tapping my screen for two hours sounds like a huge pain.

Snapchat Inc., the mobile app that creates vanishing messages, could soon be a service for disappearing videos, news articles and advertisements. The startup has held talks with advertisers and media companies in recent weeks about a service called Snapchat Discovery that would show content and ads to Snapchat users, according to people briefed on the discussions. Snapchat Discovery is set to debut in November, one of the people said. At least a dozen media companies, including newspapers, magazines and television networks, have discussed providing content for Snapchat Discovery, the person said. MailOnline, a news website of British newspaper The Daily Mail, is one of the potential news providers, said one person. A MailOnline spokesman declined to comment. The product would let users read daily editions of publications as well as watch video clips of TV shows or movies by holding down a finger on the screen, like they do with photos and other messages on the app before disappearing. A Snapchat spokeswoman declined to comment. The offering could provide the three-year-old startup with its first revenue and demonstrate its potential value to investors. Snapchat last year raised funding at a valuation of more than $2 billion and spurned an acquisition offer of about $3 billion byFacebook Inc. Since then, it has sought to raise money from investors at increasingly high valuations.

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New Lego Minecraft sets turn minifig Steve into a farmer and a miner

Those old Lego Minecraft sets are cute, but the construction toy company’s finally gearing up to release new ones that look much more like standard Lego sets — and yes, they come with mini figures. Lego fans on the Eurobricks forum have recently…

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Selfie cameras that look like perfume bottles are going to be a thing

It’s no secret that girls in China are obsessed with taking selfies, but there’s also a local trend of slapping a Chanel perfume bottle case onto their phones. No, we don’t understand, either. Nevertheless, Sony is seizing this opportunity by…

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Project Tango tablet teardown reveals its custom 3D mapping gear

If you’ve been wondering just what parts let Google’s Project Tango tablet work its 3D mapping magic, iFixit is more than happy to show you. The DIY repair outlet has torn down the experimental Android slate to reveal a truly unique sensor array….

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ASUS teases smartwatch for September 3rd event

If we’re honest, it’s reasonable to assume that ASUS will announce a smartwatch on September 3rd. After all, if the rumors saying that the company’s working on an Android Wear device aren’t enough, then the pretty obvious teaser image should be….

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The first Roku-powered smartTVs have been announced

For the last several years, Roku has sold a series of devices that you connect to your TV to stream a wide range of content from thousands of different apps. Roku is getting embedded directly into TVs that will go on sale in the coming months from consumer electronics manufacturers Hisense and TCL. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Roku announced partnerships with Hisense and TCL, both of which committed to building Roku-powered connected TVs. Those partnerships are now bearing fruit, with both CE makers announcing their lines of Roku TV products today.

For the last several years, Roku has made delightful little boxes that allow people to watch video streamed from the Internet on their televisions. Now the company is cutting out the middleman, working with Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL to sell Internet TVs powered by its software. Roku first said it was building televisions at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and is showing them off publicly for the first time this week. They will be on sale this fall. The general look and feel will be familiar to anyone who’s used one of Roku’s boxes. Almost all of the 1,700 channels available through a standard Roku are also available on the TVs, with the exception of WatchESPN and Watch Disney. (Roku couldn’t reach a distribution deal with Disney for the new devices.) Smartphone apps allow people to pull up Netflix or YouTube videos on their phones and play them through the new TVs, so long as the devices are on the same wireless network.

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What’s on your HDTV: ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Bojack Horseman’, ‘Diablo III’

Shark Week is no longer upon us, and real NFL action is almost here. But first, we’ve got a few more things to get around, including the premiere of a new season of Doctor Who, with Peter Capaldi taking over the title role of The Doctor. Netflix also…

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