YouTube to Ditch 30-Second Unskippable Ad Format in 2018

YouTube to Ditch 30-Second Unskippable Ad Format in 2018

YouTube to Ditch 30-Second Unskippable Ad Format in 2018
Google has announced that it is planning to ditch the 30-second unskippable advertisement format on YouTube, which show up right before a video starts, from next year onwards. The company is reportedly looking at other formats to present ads that can work well for both advertisers and the viewers.The search giant has decided to kill the 30-second unskippable ads in order to provide a better advertising experience to the online users, Google said in a statement to Campaign. “As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” Google spokesperson was quoted as saying in the Campaign report.

It is important to note that this statement doesn’t mean that the company will move away from the unskippable ads format altogether.

Advertisements that are shorter than 30 seconds, including 20-second spots can be made unskippable, Campaign points out in its report. Users can expect

more six-second “bumper” ads, introduced last year in April, from the company going forward considering that it is moving away from the longer advertisement format.

It seems like YouTube has realised that the unskippable advertisements with long duration can often cause frustration among users and result in bad experience online. As it is a consumer-centric approach, it is definitely a welcome move. However, advertisers are unlikely to be pleased by the company’s latest strategy. Considering that Facebook has recently focused heavily on videos and platforms like Snapchat are becoming hugely popular, YouTube might need to be on its toes to remain the preferred video-platform among users going ahead.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Specifications, Image Leaked

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Specifications, Image Leaked

Xiaomi recently unveiled the Redmi Note 4X smartphone in China, and now a new Redmi smartphone has been leaked on the Tenaa site. The smartphone with model number MAE136 has passed through the Chinese certification site. Chinese media claims that the device listed could be the Redmi 5 smartphone.

Xiaomi Today reports that the Tenaa listing provide a glimpse at the Redmi 5 smartphone design and key specifications. The device is seen sporting a metal build with rounded edges, and a fingerprint sensor at the back. The camera is placed on the top edge with the flash sitting beside it, while the Xiaomi Redmi 4 had the camera placed top centre. Capacitive navigation buttons sit below the display in the front, while volume and power buttons sit on the right edge

as for the specifications, the Redmi 5 is tipped to feature a 5-inch display, and pack a 4000mAh battery. It is expected to support dual-SIM functionality, and the dimensions allegedly measure at 141.3×69.6×8.9mm. Apart from this, nothing else has been revealed about the device as of yet.

A few speculate that this could just be the Redmi 4X smartphone, as Xiaomi is known for releasing many variants of a device before unleashing the successor. The Redmi 4X will sit comfortably next to the recently released Redmi Note 4X in the Xiaomi portfolio. However, this is all just speculation and the upgraded design seen in the Tenaa listin means this could well be the Redmi 5 smartphone.

While other tech giants like NokiaSamsung, and Motorola are gearing up for the MWC 2017, Xiaomi has decided to skip it entirely. This could be because of the delay in launch of the Xiaomi Mi 6 smartphone. Samsung Galaxy S8, which is also tipped to sport the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset, is set to be the first device to launch with the SoC. This means that other manufacturers have to either compromise with an older SoC or delay the launch of their devices.

Reliance Jio May Soon Give Users Mobile Numbers Starting With ‘6’

Reliance Jio May Soon Give Users Mobile Numbers Starting With '6'

Reliance Jio
The latest entrant in the telecom industry, Reliance Jio has reportedly received permission to assign new users mobile numbers starting with the numeral ‘6’. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has given its nod towards operators issuing 6-series MSC (mobile switching code) codes for phone numbers, with Reliance Jio being the only one given this permission so far. However, Reliance Jio will give users mobile numbers starting with ‘6’ in some circles at present, not all.Telecom Talk reports that the DoT has issued 6-series MSC codes in Assam, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. Reliance Jio reportedly got 60010-60019 MSC codes in Rajasthan, 60020-60029 MSC codes in Assam and 60030-60039 in Tamil Nadu. In Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, it received 7-series MSC codes, and in Kolkata and Maharashtra, it received 8-series MSC codes.

Jio 3 Reliance-Jio-Mobile-Numbers

This means that Reliance Jio will effectively be able to offer new mobile numbers starting with ‘6’ moving forward in the above mentioned states. The report states that this is done to meet the demand of more one million new subscribers. “In consideration to the request of service providers, the undersigned is directed to convey approval of competent authority Sr DDG (AS) for allotment of MSC Codes,” the department said.

In the Indian telecom industry, operators have so far been allotted mobile numbers in 9, 8, and 7 series. Reliance Jio’s entry, along with its free data and voice offers, gave birth to a large number of subscribers increasing demand by many folds. Mobile numbers that start with 9, 8, and 7 series are reportedly set to be exhausted soon. According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recent data, Indian subscriber base grew by 21.02 million to cross 1.12 billion in November 2016. Most of the credit for this goes to Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio reached 72.4 million subscribers as of December 31 since its commencement of operations on September 5. To recall, Reliance Jio had crossed the 50-million subscriber milestone in just 83 days since launch back – adding an average of 600,000 subscribers a day.

RBI, finally announces limit on cash withdrawal limit removed completely

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday has announced to remove the limit on cash withdrawal from savings bank accounts. This step of RBI has brought a major relief to the citizens of India. Notably, cash withdrawal limit will be removed in two stages. In the first stage, the weekly withdrawal limit will be increased to Rs 50,000 from the current Rs 24,000 from 20 February and then completely removed from 13 March.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel in press conference further disclosed that as of 27th Jan, 9.92 lakh crore rupees of total currency including new notes of 500 & 2000 is in circulation. Talking about the fake notes, Patel said that both the new notes of Rs.2000 and Rs.500 are difficult to copy, the ones being found are only photocopies. Patel further said that RBI has set up a committee on cyber security to suggest steps for checking online frauds.

RBI Governor said that it will establish a separate Enforcement Department to ensure compliance with the people’s safety in order to curb corruption. RBI governor talking on the GDP said that the expected growth is 6.9 percent for 2016-17 fiscal year ending in the month of March and expected growth for 2017-18 fiscal year will be around 7.4 percent.

Importantly, RBI maintained its key policy rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent. The reverse repo rate stood at 5.75 percent. Interestingly, this was against the consensus estimate of a 25 basis points cut given the easing inflation and rising concerns over a slowing economy. In the previous monetary policy also RBI kept the repo rate and reverse repo rate unchanged.

RBI sees the inflation number at 4 to 4.5 percent during the period of April-September. The MPC is of the view that the persistence of inflation excluding food and fuel prices could set a floor on further downward movements in headline inflation and trigger second order effects. Nevertheless, headline CPI inflation in quarter 4 of 2016-17 is likely to be below 5 percent.

GVA growth for 2016-17 is projected at 6.9 percent with risks evenly balanced around it. RBI believes growth is expected to recover sharply in 2017-18 on account of expected bounce back in demand after demonetization. The emphasis in the Union Budget for 2017-18 on stepping up capital expenditure, and boosting the rural economy and affordable housing should contribute to growth. Accordingly, GVA growth for 2017-18 is projected at 7.4 percent.

RBI said the current account deficit (CAD) is likely to remain muted and below 1 per cent of GDP in 2016-17. There will be no limit on cash withdrawal from March 13. RBI will also raise the withdrawal cap to Rs 50,000 a week from Rs 24,000 a week for savings accounts with effect from February 20.

Reliance Jio Tariff Plans Comply With Regulations, Says TRAI

Reliance Jio Tariff Plans Comply With Regulations, Says TRAI

Reliance Jio got a boost on Thursday after telecom regulator TRAI said that the Jio tariff plans comply with its regulations and the current regime of tariff orders. This comes after Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellularmoved telecom tribunal TDSAT against TRAI for allowing Reliance Jio to extend its promotional free services Welcome Offer, which expired on December 31 2016, to March 31 2017 in the form of the new Happy New Year Offer.TRAI is expected to communicate the statement  of Reliance Jio plans complying with existing regulations to Airtel and Idea. The two had contended that Jio’s free services should not be allowed to extend after the 90 day period. Jio’s free calls, data and other services have led to a tariff war in the telecom sector, and rivals Vodafone and Idea are in talks for a merger.

“TRAI has examined the tariffs and has found that the [Reliance Jio] tariffs are in compliance with regulations and existing tariff orders,” sources said.

The decision comes just days after the Attorney General communicated to TRAI that Reliance Jio tariff plans do not violate any existing regulation or order issued by the regulator, and therefore it should not intervene in the matter.

TRAI had asked for the Attorney General for views on Jio’s free voice and data offering till March 2017, that rivals have termed “predatory.”

Sources said during the hearing at TDSAT on Wednesday, TRAI counsel submitted that the regulator has already taken a decision on the issue, after which TDSAT directed TRAI to file its decision. The next date of hearing on the matter is February 6.

On December 20, 2016, TRAI had asked Reliance Jio to clarify as to “why the offer of free data under the promotional offer should not be treated as predatory” and also explain why its tariffs were not in violation of existing regulatory guidelines.

In its response, Jio had stated that its latest Happy New Year offer is substantially different from the Jio Welcome Offer – which commenced on September 5 – as in the initial offer, it had provided 4GB of free data per day, while in the new one, the same was capped at 1GB under Fair Usage Policy.

Also, Reliance Jio contended that in the first, there was no option of renewal or payment after the 4GB limit was exhausted, but in the fresh offering, one can recharge both data and the promised speed.

In terms of market dominance, Reliance Jio said it accounts for 6 percent market share in the country whereas the Competition Commission of India (CCI) norms specify 30 percent threshold to trigger the misuse of market dominance clause.

“The two tariff plans are not the same, in terms of data on offer and other aspects,” TRAI sources said.

Instagram Reportedly Testing Multi-Photo Album Uploads on the Android App

Instagram Reportedly Testing Multi-Photo Album Uploads on the Android App


  • Feature was spotted by users of the Instagram v10.7.0 Android app
  • It lets users select multiple files from their smartphone galleries
  • For now, the testing doesn’t allow posting to the photo-sharing network

If you feel constrained by your inability to share multiple photos on Instagram in a single move, a new feature will soon make your vacation look beautiful in a single album.

According to a report in Droid Life on Thursday, Instagram is testing a new feature in the Android app that lets users share multiple photos from their smartphone’s gallery as an album on the photo-sharing network.

Only advertisers are able to share multiple photos from their gallery currently which users can swipe through horizontally, but with the test, it looks like the feature may make its way to all 600 million Instagram users soinstagram multiple photo uploads droid life instagram

“Users can select up to 10 photos from their galley, slap on filters to each photo they choose, then upload the photos as an album to your timeline. From your followers’ perspective, they will see the album and can then slide through the various shots, liking photos as they go,” the report noted. While users can select photos and apply filters, they cannot yet upload the entire album to their Instagram timelines.

So for, only limited users can see the feature on Instagram v10.7.0 for Android, the latest version of the app that’s available from Google Play. The Facebook-owned company looks to be testing the feature with select Android users for now, as not everyone with the app can see it. It’s probably a server-side update that may be enabled in a future version, or, in switched on for other users soon. Some users report that they are seeing the feature in the beta version of the Android app – there’s no telling when iOS devices will get the new feature.

Do you see the new feature in the Instagram app for Android? Do let us know in the comments section below.

The view count on videos, which was first spotted by BuzzFeed’s Dorsey Shaw, is now showing up for some people right next to the usual timer, as pointed out in a report by Mashable.

Twitter Starts Testing View Counts to Surface the Best Videos


  • The view count is visible right next to the usual timer on videos
  • View count could possibly be used to rank content going ahead
  • Twitter spokesperson has confirmed that test is being conducted

Twitter has reportedly started showing view count on videos for some users as the social network continues to experiment with video related features on its platform. Much like other social media platforms, Twitter has also been trying to figure out video features that are desired by its users so that it can stay relevant.

The view count on videos, which was first spotted by BuzzFeed’s Dorsey Shaw, is now showing up for some people right next to the usual timer, as pointed out in a report by Mashable.

twitter video view count story Twitter Video View Count

Photo Credit: Twitter/@dorseyshaw

“As video consumption continues to increase on Twitter, we are constantly experimenting with ways to provide a rich video experience,” a Twitter spokesperson told Mashable via email. “View counts provide helpful context on the popularity of a video, and we are exploring this feature to help surface the best content,” the spokesperson said.

With this test, it appears like Twitter will soon be ranking content on the basis of their popularity, possibly for its Explore tab, which was added with the aim to make it easier to find interesting content.

The spokesperson has also clarified that within this test the views will be counted as “[Media Rating Council]”. This essentially means that the view will be counted by industry standard of “2 seconds consecutively in view at 50 percent visibility,” Mashable said citing the spokesperson in its report.

It remains to be seen when this new feature will eventually be rolled out to everyone. Twitter recently started looping all videos posted on its website with duration less than 6.5 seconds after the conversion of Vine into a pared-down camera app.

OnePlus, Meizu Are Reportedly Cheating on Benchmark Scores

OnePlus, Meizu Are Reportedly Cheating on Benchmark Scores


  • OnePlus and Meizu have been blamed for Benchmark cheating
  • This is done by tweaking with the CPU
  • OnePlus said that it will rectify it with the next update

In a new development, OnePlus and Meizu have reportedly both been found to be artificially boosting their benchmark scores to fool critics and users. The OnePlus 3T and Meizu Pro 6 Plus were found to have been tweaked to show slightly higher scores than they deserve.

In the past, many OEMs including Samsung were reported to have cheated to elevate their benchmark scores. These unethical measures were lambasted, and Samsung rolled back the fraudulent practice after a major backlash.

XDA Developers claims to have uncovered that OnePlus was using cheats to achieve a higher score on benchmarks. Furthermore, the increase in score was minimal, and the need to indulge in fraudulent practices for such a little perquisite was questionable.

“OnePlus was making it CPU governor more aggressive, resulting in a practical artificial clock speed floor in Geekbench that wasn’t there in the hidden Geekbench build. It wasn’t based on the CPU workload, but rather on the app’s package name, which the hidden build could fool,” the report said.

When OnePlus was contacted, it swiftly promised to fix it in a future OxygenOS update. ‘In order to give users a better user experience in resource intensive apps and games, especially graphically intensive ones, we implemented certain mechanisms in the community and Nougat builds to trigger the processor to run more aggressively. The trigger process for benchmarking apps will not be present in upcoming OxygenOS builds on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T,” the company’s spokesperson told XDA.

As for Meizu, XDA Developers found that Meizu Pro 6 Plus switched to ‘Performance Mode’ from its normal ‘Standard Mode’ whenever it sensed benchmark apps. It had further tweaked Performance Mode that be even more aggressive than usual when entering a benchmark app. The company has not reacted to XDA Developers’ criticism.

This also gives a fair warning to all buyers to not take benchmark scores as the final word on a smartphone’s performance. The only certain way to know how a device will perform is by using it for a while.