WWDC 2019 is just around the corner, and like past years, you can watch the entire show online.
WWDC is Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and it will be held this year from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, Calif. This is a multi-day event that’ll consist of a live-streamed keynote on day one. CEO Tim Cook will likely take the stage, followed by several Apple executives, to introduce what the company has been working on lately.
Immediately following the keynote, the conference will host several developer sessions that developers can attend to meet with over 1,000 Apple engineers. Some of these sessions will be live-streamed, too. Here’s what you need to know.
Also: WWDC 2019: What I want Apple to add to iOS 13
What time is the WWDC 2019 keynote?
Apple recently confirmed the date and time of its opening keynote at WWDC 2019. The company will officially kick things off June 3 at 10am PST at the McEnery Convention Center. It’ll likely be a two-hour show. Here are the different times around the globe:
- San Francisco: 10am (June 3)
- New York: 1pm (June 3)
- Toronto: 10am (June 3)
- Berlin: 4pm (June 3)
- Rome: 4pm (June 3)
- London: 6pm (June 3)
- Paris: 7pm (June 3)
- Delhi: 7:30pm (June 3)
- Moscow: 8pm (June 3)
- Mumbai: 10:30pm (June 3)
- Tokyo: 11pm (June 3)
- Shenzhen: 1am (June 4)
- Beijing: 1am (June 4)
How to watch the WWDC 2019 keynote online
Apple does not allow its live-streamed event to be embedded elsewhere online. However, you can use Apple’s own site and apps to watch the show go down in real time. Here’s how:
Mac or PC
You can watch the WWDC keynote on Apple’s Events page. MacOS users will be able to watch the livestream via the Safari, Chrome, or Firefox desktop browsers. For Windows 10 users, Apple recommends the Microsoft Edge browser. Other platforms may also access the keynote’s live stream using the most recent versions of the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
iPhone or iPad
Using the same Apple events page, the WWDC keynote stream can be accessed on an iPhone and iPad running iOS 10 or later. The official WWDC app for iOS devices also includes the keynote’s live stream as well as live-streamed developer sessions.
Apple further offers an Apple Events app. The app doesn’t provide the full WWDC experience provided by the developer-focused WWDC app mentioned above, but it does offer access to every one of the company’s keynote speeches in recent years.
Apple TV users can watch the keynote in real time (if they own a second-generation or later model running the latest software or tvOS). From the menu screen, scroll until you see a tab for the WWDC Keynote. From there, you can access the stream.
What to expect from the WWDC 2019 keynote
Apple tends to focus on software at WWDC, though it has in the past years introduced new hardware. It recently updated a bunch of its existing products without much fanfare, however, so we’re thinking the one big product it could unveil is a totally revamped Mac Pro. Other than that, expect updates across Apple’s operating systems.
We may even see more on its augmented reality efforts, and find out more about its upcoming Apple Arcade and TV+ services.
The headline feature for iOS 13 will be Dark Mode. Apple first introduced Dark Mode on MacOS Mojave, and now it’s coming to iOS 13, according to several leaks. Another big feature likely coming is a new Sleep Mode that mutes incoming notifications and darkens the Lock screen. For the iPad, Apple might debut a feature for displaying multiple windows in a single iPad app via a tab view.
The iPad might also get a multitasking feature for using two windows of the same app side by side, plus support for stackable, moveable cards within apps. The Files app could also be updated, and Apple might announce new gestures for undo/redo and selecting multiple items in table/collection views. A revamped Find My iPhone app that merges with Find My Friends, complete with a new tracking feature, which works even without a Wi-Fi connection using proximity to other devices, might also debut.
Other than that, maybe 3D Touch will be killed, and maybe Siri will open up to more third-party apps like Spotify. Apple might also change the volume pop-up notification so it doesn’t block the center of the screen. Finally, Apple’s Arcade subscription service is supposed to launch this fall, but we still don’t know how much it’ll cost. Perhaps Apple will bring it up?
Apple teased last year it’s making it easier to get iOS apps on the Mac, with a project codenamed Marzipan. Since Apple has yet to use this word in front of consumers, we doubt it will at WWDC. But the concept will be on display: Developers will have a simple way to take apps that they’ve developed for the iPad and possibly iPhone and port them to the Mac.
Apple will likely show how these apps will seem native to the Mac, thanks to optimized mouse, keyboard, and menu support, and more. But, for the most part, we think the major story out of this section of the keynote will be the new Mac apps it made by breaking up iTunes. There should be new Music, Podcasts, TV, and Books apps, according to reports.
Apple is also expected to bring Siri shortcuts to the Mac, as well as Screen Time and Family Sharing on the Mac. We’ve also seen evidence that Apple will announce official support for using your iPad as a second monitor for your Mac.
There hasn’t been a lot of news about WatchOS 6. We suspect Apple will double down on its health focus. For instance, it’s been said that Apple will announce a new Dose feature to help you remember to take your pills, and a new Cycles feature that will help track menstrual cycles. New Voice Memo and Calculator apps and new watchfaces might also be on deck.
Elsewhere, there could be new App Store for WatchOS! Currently, Apple Watch apps need to be downloaded through the iPhone’s Watch app and then transferred over to the Watch.
Apple held a TV event earlier in the year to announce its TV Plus subscription service, and it recently released a new TV app. But that doesn’t mean it won’t have any TvOS 13 news. At the very least, we want to know how much TV Plus costs and when it’s launching.
It’s been six years since Apple launched the “trash can” Mac Pro, and it has been promising us a new one since 2017. Reports suggest it’s finally coming this year, and WWDC will likely be the place it appears first. The thing is, we don’t know anything about what it looks like, how it works, or what it features. But it could have a “a modular system” — how vague.
From what we can tell, the computer itself might use a stacking system based on proprietary connectors so that people can buy a “brain” module and then add the components they need or prefer, such as GPUs or extra storage.
6K Pro display
Apple could announce a 31.6-inch 6K Pro display, and it might not be unveiled under its old “Cinema Display” brand. A noted analyst said the display will feature mini-LED backlight technology, and that it would be used with Apple’s new modular Mac Pro, but that’s about all we know so far. We don’t yet know how much it will cost. It’ll likely be very high-end.
There’s a rumor Apple will launch its own Tile-like location trackers, which will work with a feature in its new Find My iPhone app that’s supposed to be merged with Find My Friends. Currently known as “B389” by the people working on it, they’ll be able to track both Apple and non-Apple devices, even if not connected to the internet, via Wi-Fi, or cellular.
You’ll also be able to attach them to items you want to track. So, when paired with iCloud, you’ll get a notification if they go out of range. You can then share their location with friends. Apple also wants to use a crowdsourcing to help users find their lost items.
5 tips for brands that want to succeed in the new era of influencer marketing – TechCrunch
If I told you a decade ago that a spin bike would be a social community, you’d have had a good laugh. But that’s precisely what Peloton is: A spin bike with a social community where the instructors are the influencers.
Peloton is just one example of how social is being integrated into every aspect of the customer experience in an increasingly digital world. Whether it’s considering a new restaurant to check out, a movie to see or a product to buy, most people look at reviews before making a final decision. They want social proof as an indicator of quality and relevance.
Influencers are a natural byproduct of this desire for social validation, and as social permeates the customer journey, creators have become an essential source of validation and trust.
Influencers are a natural byproduct of this desire for social validation, and as social permeates the customer journey, creators have become an essential source of validation and trust. Indeed, social validation is what social platforms are built on, so it’s a significant component of how we derive relevance online — and the deeper integration of social is changing the dynamic between brands and digital creators.
The shifting economy of creator monetization
Brand sponsorships are the holy grail for creators hoping to monetize their online influence. According to an eMarketer report, brand partnerships are still the No. 1 source of revenue for most digital creators.
However, digital creators have a lot more monetization options to choose from, thanks to Patreon, affiliate platforms, paid content platforms and platform revenue sharing, making it easier to earn a living without relying so heavily on brand sponsorships.
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As a result, creators are diversifying their revenue streams, which, for some creators, allows them to be more selective about the brands they work with. What’s more, creators aren’t reliant on just one channel or one form of revenue.
YouTube creators probably have the most diversified revenue, often combining brand sponsorships, subscription models, affiliate deals, tipping/donations, their line of branded products and revenue share. However, it’s important to note that not all monetization options apply to every creator. But with so many options to choose from, making a living as a digital creator is more accessible than ever.
Here are a few of the ways online creators can monetize their content:
Ad revenue sharing: Advertising is the most traditional form of revenue for online creators. With this model, ads are injected into and around the creator’s content, and they make a certain percentage of revenue based on impressions. However, the revenue split can vary based on the platform, and some platforms have a specific threshold creators must hit before they can participate in ad revenue sharing.
Affiliate marketing: Similar to advertising or a brand sponsorship, affiliate marketing is an agreement for a share of revenue based on products sold. This kind of arrangement generally works best when the creator has a blog, website or YouTube account. Affiliate links allow the influencer to proactively choose the products they want to talk about and earn from, rather than having to wait for a brand deal to come their way.
Instagram’s TikTok rival, Reels, rolls out ads worldwide – TechCrunch
Instagram Reels are getting ads. The company announced today it’s launching ads in its short-form video platform and TikTok rival, Reels, to businesses and advertisers worldwide. The ads will be up to 30 seconds in length, like Reels themselves, and vertical in format, similar to ads found in Instagram Stories. Also like Reels, the new ads will loop, and people will be able to like, comment, and save them, the same as other Reels videos.
The company had previously tested Reels ads in select markets earlier this year, including India, Brazil, Germany, and Australia, then expanded those tests to Canada, France, the U.K. and the U.S. more recently. Early adopters of the new format have included brands like BMW, Nestlé (Nespresso), Louis Vuitton, Netflix, Uber, and others.
Instagram tells us the ads will appear in most places users view Reels content, including on the Reels tab, Reels in Stories, Reels in Explore, and Reels in your Instagram Feed, and will appear in between individual Reels posted by users. However, in order to be served a Reels ad, the user first needs to be in the immersive, full-screen Reels viewer.
The company couldn’t say how often a user might see a Reels ad, noting that the number of ads a viewer may encounter will vary based on how they use Instagram. But the company is monitoring user sentiment around ads themselves, and the overall commercially of Reels, it says.
Like Instagram’s other advertising products, Reels ads will launch with an auction-based model. But so far, Instagram is declining to share any sort of performance metrics around how those ads are doing, based on tests. Nor is it yet offering advertisers any creator tools or templates that could help them get started with Reels ads. Instead, Instagram likey assumes advertisers already have creative assets on hand or know how to make them, because of Reels ads’ similarities to other vertical video ads found elsewhere, including on Instagram’s competitors.
While vertical video has already shown the potential for driving consumers to e-commerce shopping sites, Instagram hasn’t yet taken advantage of Reels ads to drive users to its built-in Instagram Shops, though that seems like a natural next step as it attempts to tie the different parts of its app together.
But perhaps ahead of that step, Instagram needs to make Reels a more compelling destination — something other TikTok rivals, which now include both Snap and YouTube — have done by funding creator content directly. Instagram, meanwhile, had made offers to select TikTok stars directly.
The launch of Instagram Reels ads follows news of TikTok’s climbing ad prices. Bloomberg reported this month that TikTok is now asking for more than $1.4 million for a home page takeover ad in the U.S., as of the third quarter, which will jump to $1.8 million by Q4 and more than $2 million on a holiday. Though the company is still building its ads team and advertisers haven’t yet allocated large portions of their video budget to the app, that tends to follow user growth — and TikTok now has over 100 million monthly active users in the U.S.
Both apps, Instagram and TikTok, now have over a billion monthly active users on a global basis, though Reels is only a part of the larger Instagram platform. For comparison, Instagram Stories is used by some 500 million users, which demonstrates Instagram’s ability to drive traffic to different areas of its app. Instagram declined to share how many users Reels has as of today.
Twine raises $3.3M to add networking features to virtual events – TechCrunch
Twine, a video chat startup that launched amid the pandemic as a sort of “Zoom for meeting new people,” shifted its focus to online events and, as a result, has now closed on $3.3 million in seed funding. To date, twine’s events customers have included names like Microsoft, Amazon, Forrester, and others, and the service is on track to do $1 million in bookings in 2021, the company says.
The new round was led by Moment Ventures, and included participation from Coelius Capital, AltaIR Capital, Mentors Fund, Rosecliff Ventures, AltaClub, and Bloom Venture Partners. Clint Chao, founding Partner at Moment, will join twine’s board of directors with the round’s close.
The shift into the online events space makes sense, given twine’s co-founders — Lawrence Coburn, Diana Rau, and Taylor McLoughlin — hail from DoubleDutch, the mobile events technology provider acquired by Cvent in 2019.
Coburn, previously CEO of DoubleDutch, had been under a non-compete with its acquirer until December 2020, which is one reason why he didn’t first attempt a return to the events space.
The team’s original idea was to help people who were missing out on social connections under Covid lockdowns find a way to meet others and chat online. This early version of twine saw some small amount of traction, as 10% of its users were even willing to pay. But many more were nervous about being connected to random online strangers, twine found.
So the company shifted its focus to the familiar events space, with a specific focus on online events which grew in popularity due to the pandemic. While setting up live streams, text chats and Q&A has been possible, what’s been missing from many online events was the casual and unexpected networking that used to happen in-person.
“The hardest thing to bring to virtual events was the networking and the serendipity — like the conversations that used to happen in an elevator, in the bar, the lobby — these kinds of things,” explains Coburn. “So we began testing a group space version of twine — bringing twine to existing communities as opposed to trying to build our own, new community. And that showed a lot more legs,” he says.
By January 2021, the new events-focused version of twine was up-and-running, offering a set of professional networking tools for event owners. Unlike one-to-many or few-to-many video broadcasts, twine connects a small number of people for more intimate conversations.
“We did a lot of research with our customers and users, and beyond five [people in a chat], it turns into a webinar,” notes Coburn, of the limitations on twine’s video chat. In twine, a small handful of people are dropped into a video chat experience– and now, they’re not random online strangers. They’re fellow event attendees. That generally keeps user behavior professional and the conversations productive.
Event owners can use the product for free on twine’s website for small events with up to 30 users, but to scale up any further requires a license. Twine charges on a per attendee basis, where customers buy packs of attendees on a software-as-a-service model.
The company’s customers can then embed twine directly in their own website or add a link that pops open the twine website in a separate browser tab.
Coburn says twine has found a sweet spot with big corporate event programs. The company has around 25 customers, but some of those have already used twine for 10 or 15 events after first testing out the product for something smaller.
“We’re working with five or six of the biggest companies in the world right now,” noted Coburn.
Because the matches are digital, twine can offer other tools like digital “business card” exchanges and analytics and reports for the event hosts and attendees alike.
Despite the cautious return to normal in the U.S., which may see in-person events return in the year ahead, twine believes there’s still a future in online events. Due to the pandemic’s lasting impacts, organizations are likely to adopt a hybrid approach to their events going forward.
“I don’t think there’s ever been an industry that has gone through a 15 months like the events industry just went through,” Coburn says. “These companies went to zero, their revenue went to zero and some of them were coming from hundreds of millions of dollars. So what happened was a digital transformation like the world has never seen,” he adds.
Now, there are tens of thousands of event planners who have gotten really good at tech and online events. And they saw the potential in online, which would sometimes deliver 4x or 5x the attendance of virtual, Coburn points out.
“This is why you see LinkedIn drop $50 million on Hopin,” he says, referring to the recent fundraise for the virtual conference technology business. (The deal was reportedly for less than $50 million). “This is why you see the rounds of funding that are going into Hoppin and Bizzabo and Hubilo and all the others. This is the taxi market, pre-Uber.”
Of course, virtual events may end up less concerned with social features when they can offer an in-person experience. And those who want to host online events may be looking for a broader solution than Zoom + twine, for example.
But twine has ideas about what it wants to do next, including asynchronous matchmaking, which could end up being more valuable as it could lead to better matches since it wouldn’t be limited to only who’s online now.
With the funding, twine is hiring in sales and customer success, working on accessibility improvements, and expanding its platform. To date, twine has raised $4.7 million.
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