Facebook Testing Subscription Groups That Charge Money For Exclusive Content

Facebook is looking to test Facebook group subscriptions that charge $4.99 to $29.99 per month for access to exclusive content. Only a few hand-picked groups in the parenting, cooking, and organizing industries are getting to try out this new feature.

Facebook said “We hear from group admins that they’re looking for ways to help them earn money to deepen engagement with their members and continue to support their communities. Many admins do this today by creating an additional subscribers-only group that sits alongside their existing group and rely on additional tools to track and collect payments.”

They go on to say “Subscription groups were created to make it easier for admins to provide these experiences with built-in tools, and to save them time so they can focus on offering members-only content. For members, they’re now able to sign-up and manage their subscription through the Facebook app for iOS and Android.”

As someone who is a digital marketing consultant for small businesses during the day, this feature, if done right, can be a huge game changer for small businesses that use Facebook on a daily basis. Really now it’s all about content creation and is it worth your customer’s time and money. But will see where Facebook will take this feature.

Apple’s AirPower Wireless Charger Not Coming Anytime Soon

If you are like me and many other people who use Apple product, you were beyond excited to read about how Apple was coming out with a wireless charging station called AirPower. Basically, there will be no more countless cords to plug into the wall. The idea is to have the AirPower charge three devices simultaneously: an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods.

Bloomberg is reporting that “One challenge is making sure the charger doesn’t overheat. Another is the complexity of the circuitry, according to people familiar with the device’s development”. Currently, Apple is looking to launch the AirPower sometime in September of this year.

But with the issues that Apple has had the past few years of products being delayed, I won’t believe it until I see it.

Instagram Now Letting You Post 1-Hour Videos

Instagram is now ready to compete with Youtube, once rumored, in a big event in San Francisco, Instagram announced that will not let people create video posts that are 1 hour long and to house these new hour-long videos Instagram is launching IGTV. Which is where your videoes and the people you follow will live. Plus you will be able to discover other videos from Instagram influencers and celebrities.

“It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve,” said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom onstage at the event.

IGTV official website says that “People are watching less TV and more digital video.1 By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we’ve learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals”.

For more information, check out www.business.instagram.com/a/IGTV.

Amazon Alex Coming To Hotels

Yep, you read that right Amazon Alex is looking to break into the hotel industry with Alexa for Hospitality. Amazon says that the basic idea is “Alexa for Hospitality is an experience that brings the simplicity and convenience of Alexa to hotels, vacation rentals, and other hospitality properties using in-room Alexa enabled devices, like an Echo”.

But what can Alexa for Hospitality do?

Amazon says “When you stay in a property with Alexa, you can play music from iHeartRadio and TuneIn, check the weather, set alarms, and ask for general information. Additionally, properties can create custom experiences with Alexa to make your stay more convenient and enjoyable. For example, you may be able to request items like towels or toiletries, get local recommendations, contact the front desk, control smart home features such as lights or room temperature, entertainment, and more, all by simply asking Alexa”.

But with all the recent privacy issues in the media, Amazon has built a bunch of privacy features that should help ease people’s worries about if it’s listening to them or not. For example;

Wake word: To use Alexa, simply say the wake word, “Alexa.” When Alexa detects the wake word, the light ring atop the device will light up blue to indicate that she is streaming audio to the cloud, where Alexa recognizes and responds to your request. Alexa will not stream audio to the cloud unless she is activated by the wake word.

Microphone on/off button: Using Alexa is optional. If you do not want to use Alexa, you can push the microphone on/off button built on top of the device. When the microphone on/off button is pressed, the microphones are electrically disconnected, cannot detect the wake word, and cannot stream any audio to the cloud. The light ring will turn red when the microphones are disconnected.

Privacy: Hotels can’t listen to what you said to Alexa or what she said back.

Security: Amazon encrypts all data in transit between the Amazon Echo and Amazon’s servers, and all customer data is securely kept on Amazon AWS servers.

It’s steps like this that give proof that Voice is not only coming but it’s here and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Warner Bros. Entertainment To Start Offering Movies Directly On Facebook

It was announced today that Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, a market leader in video-on-demand, will begin testing an offering of selected movies for purchase or rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Facebook movie pages. Consumers will be able to use Facebook Credits to easily buy or rent a title, all while staying connected to Facebook.

Starting today, millions of fans who “Liked” Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film “The Dark Knight” can rent the title through its official Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/darkknight). Consumers simply click on the “rent” icon to apply their Facebook Credits, and within seconds they will begin enjoying the film. The cost per rental is 30 Facebook Credits or $3. This offering is presently available only to consumers in the United States. Additional titles will be made available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months.

Fans will have full control over the film while watching it through their Facebook account for up to 48 hours from purchase. They can choose to watch it in full screen, pause the movie, and resume playing it when they log back into Facebook. Consumers will also have full Facebook functionality including the ability to post comments on the movie, interact with friends and update their status.

So is this another step to Facebook taking over the world? Will you want to start watching your favorite movies through Facebook now?