Just about a month after the merger of the short-form video apps Musical.ly and TikTok, the app is introducing a new social feature, allowing users to post their reactions to the videos that they watch.
Instead of text comments, these reactions will take the form of videos that are essentially superimposed on top of existing clips. The idea of a reaction video should be familiar to anyone who’s spent some time on YouTube, but TikTok is incorporating the concept in way that looks like a pretty seamless.
To post a reaction, users just need to choose the React option in the Share menu for a given video. The app will then record your audio and video as the clip plays. You can also decide where on the screen you want your reaction video to appear.
If you don’t recognize the TikTok name, that’s probably because the app only launched in the United States at the beginning of August, but it’s been available in China for a couple of years.
Back in 2017, Bytedance — the Chinese company behind TikTok as well as news aggregator Toutiao — acquired Musical.ly for around $1 billion. It eventually merged the two apps to combine their audiences and features; Musical.ly users were moved over with their existing videos and settings.
The company says Reactions will be available in the updated app on Google Play and the Apple App Store over the next day or two.
TikTok adds video reactions to its newly-merged app
The excitement around 5G is palpable at the Brooklyn 5G Summit this week, and for good reason. Once the province of academic engineers, there is increasingly a consensus emerging among technology leaders that millimeter-wave technology is ready for prime time.
Yet there remain large barriers to a successful rollout, particularly at the local government level. Those challenges could prevent the U.S. from aggressively competing with other nations like China, which are investing massive resources to lead this next generation of wireless technology.
The Summit, now in its fifth year and organized by New York University’s Wireless Center, Nokia and IEEE, is designed to showcase New York’s technology leadership in the space. New York has been at the forefront of wireless for many years, with the first mobile phone call taking place in Midtown Manhattan.
That was 45 years ago though. This month, New York learned that it had been selected as one of two initial sites for a 5G testbed by the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation in concert with a consortium of wireless companies.
Through a program called COSMOS, researchers will deploy a total of 249 large, medium and mostly small cell nodes to West Harlem (including Columbia University’s Morningside Heights main campus) in order to investigate the performance of 5G in an urban setting. New York was awarded an initial grant of $3.6 million to execute the initiative.
This sort of testbed model is quite progressive in the wireless industry. While the notion of a minimum viable product and constant test feedback is a hallmark of software startups, that mentality has not been translated well into the wireless world. The hope for this testbed is that as new equipment is invented in the coming years, the West Harlem network can be continuously upgraded, serving as a model for potential deployments onto operators’ networks across the country.
It’s also critical because the network architecture of wireless is expected to change drastically in the years ahead. More computing will be done at the “edge” in order to reduce network latency and power the internet of things. In order to handle that traffic, new machine learning algorithms are going to have to be deployed that can actively manage traffic and ensure that applications have reliable performance. A realistic testbed provides key training data and analytics that can improve those algorithms and ultimately deliver better services to customers.
The good news is that the U.S. has conceived and launched this test program. The bad news is that we may still be too slow to win the competition for this generation of wireless tech.
The wireless industry’s trade association, the CTIA, has declared the rollout of 5G a “race” between the United States and the Asian nations of China, Korea and Japan. The U.S. widely won the competition for 4G technologies, but the rise of Huawei as a dominant force in the wireless equipment space means that competition for technological leadership has never been more keen.
The White House and the federal government have made a 5G rollout a national security priority, but getting 5G wireless into the hands of consumers is likely to be stymied by opposition from local city councils and mayors around the issue of site access.
In order to provide reliable cell service, operators need to deploy cell sites near consumers. While they don’t need direct line of sight for the spectrum used in 4G, buildings and other objects can interfere with signals, making it critical to have a dense mesh of sites in urban environments.
Concerns about cancer, historical preservation and fees for renting space have slowed the expansion of wireless services to communities across the country. Permits for erecting a new cell site can easily take a year or more.
In the 4G world, that was somewhat manageable, since the network architecture was built with large cell sites as the core of the network. With 5G though, technologists are pushing for greater decentralization through deployment of microcells that would be closer to street-level, improving quality of service while lowering power requirements. The fear is that if permits continue to take so long for every new site, the burden of that process could kill 5G in the United States.
The FCC is investigating how to reduce the burden of siting requirements, and one option is to exempt from review the kinds of small cells that are at the heart of 5G. That plan though has faced significant pushback from environmental and historical preservation activists, who don’t want the federal government overruling local government decisions on wireless rollouts.
One attendee of the Summit this morning joked that “It takes 18 months to review a permit, and one hour to install” a small cell. Others noted that it takes just a few short weeks to deploy cell sites in South Korea and China, one reason those countries are in many ways leading the race for 5G.
As with any summit, there were buzzwords galore, but the reality is that the U.S. has an incredible opportunity to win this critical space. But we will need to fight in jurisdictions across the country if we ever want to see this technology actually arrive in our hands.
The 5G wireless revolution will come, if your city council doesn’t block it first
Last week, Amazon said that its massive $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods is wrapping up on Monday — giving it access to one of the strongest food brands in the United States, as well as hundreds of grocery stores in metropolitan areas. That means it’s going to be easier and easier for people to get access to great ingredients, and there’s been a continued trickle… Read More
Where does Blue Apron go after Amazon wraps up its Whole Foods deal?
Nokia is bringing its free streaming music service to Lumia handsets in the United States.
Nokia Brings Free Music Service to USA
Oh, you thought this whole mess was over now that Samsung has to pony up $1.049 billion in damages to its bitter rival Apple? Not by a long shot. According to The Verge, Samsung and Apple attorneys have been talking with Judge Koh about a preliminary injunction hearing, and have apparently agreed to schedule it on September 20.
Now that Apple has a considerable jury verdict to back up its claims, you can expect the company to push Samsung hard to either license the infringed patents in question (meaning Samsung would have to pay out even more money on top of the damages it already owes) or bar the Korean electronics giant from peddling some of its questionable wares in the United States.
Apple’s clearly not shy when pushing for that latter option too — the company won a preliminary injunction against the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus earlier this year (ordered by the same judge, no less), a move Samsung quickly appealed.
This song and dance is already familiar to both parties, which hopefully means they’ll make judicious use of their time. According to Judge Koh, Apple will file its motion by August 29th, after which Samsung’s (undoubtedly bummed) legal team will have two weeks to cobble together its crucial response. From there, Apple has two days to whip up a response to the response. Just like in these proceedings, both Apple and Samsung are stuck with page limits for all their filings, so neither of them can afford to go off on tangents.
The Battle Continues: Apple/Samsung Injunction Hearing Set For September 20