Author: Anthony Ha

Evie teams up with Verizon to launch a new search experience next to your Android home screen

Evie is bringing its app search technology to a new location on your phone. The startup has partnered with Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) to launch a new product called AppFlash. Like Evie’s existing app launcher, AppFlash helps users find content and services across different apps — and Evie is working with Verizon to make this the default experience on customers’ Android devices, popping up whenever they swipe to the left of their home screen. Using AppFlash, you can search or browse through listings of restaurants, movies, music and apps. Then, once you find what you’re looking for, you can jump...

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Twitter introduces pre-roll ads to Periscope videos

Twitter is announcing a new ad unit — pre-roll ads on Periscope videos. In a blog post, Periscope Group Project Manager Mike Folgner says the ads will appear in a way that’s “organic to how people already consume that content on the platform.” Basically, publishers will have the option to run a short video ad that plays before you watch their Periscope videos (both live broadcasts and replays) on Twitter. The company has already been rolling out ways for advertisers to create custom campaigns around live Periscope video, but a standard pre-roll ad should be the most straightforward option. That means it’ll probably...

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GoDaddy doubles down on ‘The Internet’ in a marketing collaboration with Onion Labs

[embedded content] Good news for fans of GoDaddy’s Easter Egg-filled Super Bowl ad: The company has launched an entire campaign the ad’s star, “The Internet.” For those of you who haven’t seen it, the ad promoted GoDaddy’s new website building product GoCentral — so naturally, it depicted The Internet as a bearded, tattooed man. In a new series of videos created by The Onion’s in-house ad agency Onion Labs, The Internet goes on a talk show to promote about his (fake) memoir My Life As The Internet. As the trailer puts it, “You won’t see an interview with an abstract concept personified...

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Post Intelligence says it can make your tweets better

Social media can be hard. I’m not speaking hypothetically here. There have definitely been days where I’ve thought, Shoot, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted on Instagram or Twitter — and then completely failed to post anyway because I had nothing to say. Maybe I would’ve done better if I’d used Post Intelligence. I’ve seen plenty of other social media dashboards and assistants, but Post Intelligence’s assistant, which it calls PI, offers the most direct advice that I’ve seen. After you connect your Twitter account or Facebook page, it creates a stream of links that you could consider...

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Zenreach raises $30M to help businesses boost their marketing with free WiFi

Zenreach is announcing that it has raised $30 million in Series C funding. The round comes from venture capital firms like Maverick Ventures, Maverick Ventures, Founders Fund (Founders Fund’s Peter Thiel joined the board last year), 8 VC, Bain Capital Ventures, First Round Capital and SV Angel — plus two celebrity investors, NBA star Kevin Durant and actor/VC Ashton Kutcher. Founder and CEO Jack Abraham (pictured above with Durant and Kutcher) previously sold his local shopping startup Milo to eBay for $75 million. He said that Zenreach, like Milo, is “bringing the online and offline world together.” Specifically, businesses that...

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Facebook introduces a new ad format — product-focused ‘collections’

Facebook is introducing a new ad format that should help retailers showcase their products. The last big addition to Facebook’s ad lineup came last year, with the launch of Canvas, a fast-loading, rich media ad. Like Canvas, collections are created specifically for mobile, and seem designed to win users over in the Facebook app — before directing them to the advertiser’s mobile website. Facebook Monetization Director Maz Sharafi told me the goal with collections was “to really build a great new shopping experience for people and to help marketers really drive discovery and sales in mobile.” Collections are also...

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Vice announces its first slate of short, scripted videos

Vice Media is moving into scripted video programming, thanks to a partnership with digital media studio Blackpills. Until now, Vice’s videos (whether online and on its daily news show for HBO), have been news- or documentary-focused. These new shows, on the other hand, include programs like Playground, created by Fifth Element and The Professional director Luc Besson. It’s about a teenage girl who joins a school for assassins, so it’s squarely in Besson’s wheelhouse, but not exactly the kind of thing you would have expected to see on Vice. Upcoming shows include work from Broken English director Zoe Cassavetes...

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Mode Media Japan lives on, with founder Samir Arora as chairman

Mode Media is coming back from the dead — at least in Asia. The company operated properties like Glam, Tend and Brash, as well as a broader digital advertising business, but it shut down abruptly last fall. Yet there were signs of life in January, with the announcement that Mode’s Japanese subsidiary (a joint venture with ad agencies Dentsu and ADK, as well as publishers Shogagukan, Shueisha, and Nikkei BP, plus Mizuho Capital) had been acquired by a newly formed investment group called Montaro. Now Mode Media Japan is announcing that it’s put a leadership team in place, including Executive Chairman Samir Arora (Mode’s founder...

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