YouTube costs Google, Lenovo gets hacked, Yo becomes useful, Tinder for pets, Digg TV launches, and the smartphone ad banned for being sexy.
YouTube Makes No Money for Google
I agree with @YouTube cracking down on the money whore sell outs. BTW Like+Fav and buy my shirts
— Whiteboy (@Whiteboy7thst) February 19, 2015
Almost nine years after acquiring YouTube for $1.65 billion, Google is still not seeing any actual profit from its investment. According to the Wall Street Journal, YouTube’s financials are “roughly break-even,” despite posting revenues of $4 billion in 2014.
YouTube is one of the most popular websites in the world, with 1 billion monthly users. Revenue is also on the up, from $3 billion in 2013. However, with most views being generated through direct links or video embeds, YouTube is still struggling to make more money than it’s spending.
The report suggests Google is pressuring YouTube to both broaden its audience and increase ad sales. So, expect to have to sit through more pre-rolls before getting to see the video you clicked on. And for YouTube celebrities to be pushed harder than ever to build loyal audiences.
Lenovo Website Hacked by Lizard Squad
How Lenovo can win 1) Calculate crapware margin 2) Eliminate crapware, raise prices to cover lost margin 3) Trumpet “100% CRAPWARE FREE PCs”
— Lee Hutchinson (@Lee_Ars) February 23, 2015
Lenovo has suffered the ignominy of having its website hacked, with hacker collective Lizard Squad claiming responsibility. The hacking of the Lenovo.com domain is likely to be related to the recent Superfish debacle, which saw the Chinese manufacturer criticized for installing adware on some of its laptops.
For the duration of the hack, the Lenovo website displayed a slideshow of pictures of young people, with a High School Musical song playing in the background. The source code revealed a supposed admission of guilt by Lizard Squad, stating “the new and improved rebranded Lenovo website featuring Ryan King and Rory Andrew Godfrey.”
It doesn’t appear as though the hackers gained access to Lenovo’s internal network, but defacing the homepage of the company’s website is still a serious embarrassment.
Yo Finally Proves Its Usefulness
Yo, which we once described as “undoubtedly the dumbest app of all time,” is getting a whole lot less dumb. Launched on April Fools’ Day 2014, Yo allowed friends to send a simple Yo back and forth to each other. It was utterly pointless, but managed to secure $1.2 million in funding.
The founders have put that money to good use, however, launching the Yo Store. This builds on Yo’s existing usability, with users able to sign up for alerts from more than 150 services, including MTV, BuzzFeed, Engadget, and TechCrunch. All of which make Yo actually worth downloading. Which is quite the turnaround.
Cute Or Not is a Tinder for Pets
Got my mom to upgrade to iOS 8 so she could download Cute or Not so I’d say this launch is a success. http://t.co/r7TMM4FQEe
— Christina DiRusso (@CDiRusso) February 26, 2015
BuzzFeed has released a new mobile app, and this one sounds something like Tinder for pets, just without any actual dating being involved. Cute Or Not has you swiping left or right to judge whether pets are cute or not, with individual animals generating ratings.
If you’re confident of your own pet’s ability to compete in the cuteness stakes you can also upload their photo to get an unbiased assessment. Cute Or Not is currently available for free on iPhone. Because BuzzFeed hates Android users, obviously.
Digg TV Offers Full-Screen Videos
— Digg (@digg) February 25, 2015
Digg has launched its latest effort to draw eyeballs to its site, with Digg TV offering a full-screen, auto-playing, lean-back version of Digg Video. You can use it to watch your own saved videos or explore the range of human-curated channels on offer. This includes channels dedicated to Animation, Documentaries, Gaming, and Technology.
While Digg TV is still very much in beta right now, Digg is clearly committed to improving it in the future. It has plans to add more video sources, integrate with streaming devices such as Chromecast and Apple TV, and add the option of using a smartphone as a remote control.
The Smartphone Ad Banned in the UK
And finally, this television commercial for the Kazam Tornado 348 has been banned in the UK for being sexually suggestive and objectifying women. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) acted after receiving a number of complaints from viewers.
Indeed, an advert which features the product in question for 20 seconds, and close-up shots of a woman getting dressed for the other 40 seconds is rather ill-advised. However, the Diet Coke ads showing women lusting after topless men were never banned, so there is some inconsistency here.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will YouTube ever actually turn a profit? Did Lenovo deserve to get hacked? Should that smartphone ad have been banned?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Mike Poresky via Flickr