This is how Facebook will animate you in VR, Snapchat’s IPO is coming in the first half of 2017

Global digital news of the day - Facebook showed off its latest ideas for social interaction in virtual reality today, demoing more complex avatars at Oculus Connect, Snapchat wants an IPO to take its ad business to the next level and to better fight rivals, and more

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What Brands Should Know About Facebook’s New Virtual Reality Web Browser: Marketers are already jumping into Carmel, the new virtual reality web browser that Facebook showed off at its Oculus Connect conference on Thursday. Ford has developed VR and 360-degree video stories that take viewers inside world-famous races. That fits the style of storytelling that many brands have latched onto to enter VR.

‘Blade Runner 2049,’ Disney Characters Coming to Oculus Virtual Reality Headsets: The newly announced “Blade Runner 2049” will extend beyond the movie screen when it is being released in October of 2017: sci-fi fans will also step into the world of a movie with virtual reality experiences that will be exclusively distributed on virtual reality headsets from Facebook-owned Oculus, the company announced at its Oculus Connect developer conference Thursday.

On average day, nearly 40 percent of searchers use only smartphones: Google released new “cross device” research that provides more evidence of what we already know: a substantial number of consumers browse the web and search on multiple devices throughout the day. However it also confirms that mobile is the dominant platform and that a meaningful percentage of users go mobile only. The findings are based on “behavioral measurement of a convenience sample of 11,964 opt-in Google users between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016.” The data were then “calibrated to reflect a U.S. demographic of 18 to 49-year-old cross-device users.”

Air New Zealand Better Way to Fly with Dave: Air New Zealand has launched Better Way to Fly, an advertising campaign featuring Dave the Goose, designed to convince Australians that Air New Zealand is a better way to fly to North and South America. The 3D animated character is seen boarding an Air New Zealand long haul flight at Sydney Airport, explaining that he’s given up on 17-day migrations across the Pacific.

Apple introduces ads within App Store as it looks to shake up its revenue model: Earlier this year the company started serving the ads to people testing versions of iOS 10 and now they will be rolled out to all users. The paid ads are part of Apple’s strategy to shake up its revenue model for apps and will appear above the search banner but only when they are related to a user’s search query. This means when someone searches “to do list” in the App Store, they may see an ad for a task management app first.

The Diamond Industry’s First Campaign in 5 Years Encourages Millennials to Make a ‘Real’ Commitment: The diamond business saw the writing on the wall: Retails sales of diamond jewelry are on the decline as young people delay marriage, work to save money and take a somewhat skeptical view of the premium jewelry industry. For that reason, trade organization the Diamond Producers Association chose ad agency Mother New York last year to effectively reintroduce its products to a generation still shaken by the Great Recession. The shop’s first campaign for its newest client debuts this week, and it positions real diamonds as the truest symbols of a deep emotional commitment between two young people … even if that bond isn’t made official in the eyes of the law.

Poo-Pourri’s New Viral Video Gives You Tips on How to Poop at a Party: Poo-Pourri has created an online film division called Number 2 Productions, which will be led by Suzy Batiz, founder, executive producer and CEO. The new division’s main goal is to follow in the footsteps of companies like Red Bull and Dollar Shave Club—companies that have turned their brands into digital-content-creating machines.

AdSense tweaks the look for text ads again: Google is testing a new look for text and link ads for AdSense publishers. In a post, Google said, “The new look introduces a minimalist design that brings the focus back on the text content.”The ad ad text is left justified, the entire background is white and the button is offset to the right corner. Publishers will start seeing the new look showing on some impressions.

The FT does not believe video is the panacea for publishers, instead pinning its hopes on speed and personalisation: The Financial Times has stripped its site of third-party software and rebuilt it from the bottom up, focusing on personalisation in the hope this will boost user engagement. This is what the FT believes will get ease it through a tough publishing market, instead of pinning all hopes on video.

Hootsuite launches global social media skills platform: Social media management platform Hootsuite plans to upskill the world in social media as businesses shift from placing the job in the hands of interns and into a more strategic role.

Why Bloomberg, ESPN and others aren’t doing Facebook Instant Articles: A year after Facebook Instant Articles launched, 100 or so publishers were taking advantage of the feature, which loads mobile articles lightning fast. But there are some notable holdouts. Some are still evaluating the benefits of the feature. Others are saying the faster speed of publishing directly in Facebook’s ecosystem isn’t worth the financial tradeoff. Not all publishers are caving to the mighty Facebook.

Inside the Instagram with Obsessee’s Kristie Dash: Kristie Dash once used a tweet to land an internship. Back in 2011, she emailed Eva Chen, then at Teen Vogue, with a riff on one of Chen’s recent tweets so that her email would stand out. Today, the beauty editor still uses social media obsessively, with Instagram being one of her go-to platforms.

Verizon reportedly wants $1 billion discount on Yahoo: Verizon may not have bailed out of its deal to purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion, but amid a growing case of bad news at the search engine company, the telecommunications giant is reportedly pushing to reduce the acquisition price by $1 billion.

Snapchat wants an IPO to take its ad business to the next level and to better fight rivals, source says: Snapchat’s IPO is coming in the first half of 2017, in an offering that could value the hot social networking app at $25 billion.

Salesforce LiveMessage will let service reps talk with customers on Messenger, Line, SMS, WeChat: Built off of the HeyWire technology that Salesforce acquired last month, the app will provide service representatives more opportunities to engage customers where they are, not where the company wants them to be.

Facebook wants to bring its free internet service to the US, claims report: Facebook is planning to launch its subsidized internet service in the US, according to a report from The Washington Post. The service, known as Free Basics, would provide limited internet access to rural and low-income areas through deals with wireless carriers. The service would prioritize Facebook’s services over others. A version of this same service was recently banned by regulators in India because it was deemed as giving an unfair advantage to Facebook. It has faced similar challenges in Egypt.

Oculus announces new $49 in-ear headphones for the Rift: Oculus has announced a new way to listen to audio while immersed in the Rift virtual reality headset: a set of in-ear headphones that can be used in place of the on-ear headphones that currently come with the device. The new earbuds cost $49 and will ship in December.

Prisma adds art filtered video, GIFs coming next: Art filter photo app Prisma is adding a big new feature to its iOS app in an update landing today: support for videos. The app, which lets people turn their selfies into cartoonies by using deep learning algorithms to process photos in various graphic styles, quickly surged to millions of downloads in a viral splash after launching this summer. And just as quickly spawning a rash of fast following clones.

Oculus shows off Facebook Messenger video calls in virtual reality: Onstage at the Oculus Connect 3 conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered a Facebook Messenger video call from his wife while in the new social VR environment. It appears that Facebook is finally confident enough with its VR arm that it’s willing to promote cross-network compatibility.

Instagram Stories has 100 million daily active users after just 2 months: Instagram Stories is benefitting from the large active user base Instagram itself enjoys, and now has 100 million daily active viewers. That’s two-thirds of the daily active user population for Snapchat, which reported 150 million global active users across its entire platform in late September. Even with a built-in audience to build from, and prime real estate positioning at the very top of Instagram’s user interface, the rapid pace of its adoption is impressive.

This is how Facebook will animate you in VR: Facebook showed off its latest ideas for social interaction in virtual reality today, demoing more complex avatars at Oculus Connect, the annual developer conference for the VR company. The avatars could smile, laugh, or express anger and shock. They had arms attached to their hands and personalized clothing. All this was new and more robust virtual representation than anything we’ve seen from the company so far.