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Twitch now lets broadcasters notify YouTube viewers when they’re streaming live

Twitch announced today a new Live Annotations feature for YouTube that will let game broadcasters add a real-time notification to their YouTube videos when they’re live. The tie-in comes as a boon for Twitch creators, as it enables them to drive traffic to their live streams from their YouTube archives.

Twitch already supports Twitter and Facebook notifications for new broadcasts. Users can turn on the feature by connecting their YouTube account and opting in to it in the Connections page of the Settings section. The notification queues up behind existing scheduled promotions and annotations.

twitch1 Twitch now lets broadcasters notify YouTube viewers when they’re streaming live

The new collaboration between YouTube and Twitch is bound to fuel speculation of a pending acquisition. Last month, The Wall Street Journal claimed that Google was looking to buy Twitch for as much as $1 billion.

Twitch Live Annotations for YouTube

Beaconic cuts prices for and adds units to its Apple-licensed iBeacon retail kits

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Yelp Bites Back At OpenTable, TripAdvisor And Google With Free Yelp Reservations Service

TripAdvisor last week consumed LaFourchette to make a big move into online reservations against OpenTable, and Google gobbled up Appetas to battle with Yelp and raise its game with restaurants looking for more marketing presence online. Now city guide app Yelp is also biting back: today the company is announcing a new, free Yelp Reservations service.

Incorporating technology from SeatMe, an OpenTable competitor it acquired last year, Yelp will now offer restaurants the ability to take bookings with no fee paid — as long as the restaurant has “claimed” its Yelp profile page.

Screen Shot 2As a point of comparison, SeatMe’s normal service, which sits on a restaurant website, is charged at $99/month.

“Reservations is a free and simplified form of SeatMe and they’re essentially different products,” a spokesperson tells me. SeatMe will continue to operate as before.

But it looks like Yelp Reservations will offer at least some of the same features as the paid SeatMe service, including the ability to accept invites and alert customers with confirmations. And it will let restaurant owners run the free reservations service via a widget — meaning that it appears to be competing directly with Yelp’s own paid product on a basic level.

Restaurants control the free Yelp Reservations through their Yelp Business Owners Account.

The point of Yelp Reservations seems to be twofold: first, adding another free feature, Yelp’s giving restaurants another reason to come into Yelp’s walled garden. And if Yelp could get restaurants to engage with their profiles on Yelp, there is more of a chance that they will keep details up to date, making the listings more accurate, and also buy into other services Yelp has to offer them. Today, that primarily comes in the form of selling ads and other marketing services on top of basic listings.

“By simplifying the reservation process and offering this feature free of charge to all businesses that have claimed their Yelp business page, we continue to deliver on our fundamental goal to connect people to great local businesses,” said Elliot Adams, a spokesperson for Yelp in London. “As consumer demand grows for the ability to reserve a restaurant online, and business owners look for ways to translate online search results into custom, Yelp Reservations connects the dots to deliver a solution, at zero cost.”

The second is that it will keep those restaurants away from shifting attention to other portals like Google’s, or Foursquare’s, both of which also offer free listings that consumers use to find places to eat. Currently, it looks (at least here in the UK) like Google’s online restaurant listings take you through to other services like OpenTable to make reservations. Google’s acquisition of restaurant site builder Appetas could point to Google wanting to take more control of more features over time.

While there are some restaurants out there with their own, standalone sites, it’s estimated by one researcher that only around half of the restaurants in the U.S. have any online presence. And from personal experience, among those that do, there are many that are useless. Yelp and other listing sites like it have bridged the gap by giving restaurants active, feedback-filled online profiles, and so a booking facility would help Yelp continue to “own” that route to online presence.

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Weibo Spikes 19.06% In Its Debut

This morning Weibo went public, offering fewer shares than previously expected, though the bloc was priced at $17, in line with yesterday’s reporting.

The company went gangbusters its first day of public trading, spiking 19.06% to $20.24 by the end of the day, likely adding draft winds to other technology companies, social or otherwise, looking to list on the public markets. Given a starting market capitalization of $3.4 billion at its IPO price, Weibo gained $376M in value.

Weibo joins a number of other recent technology IPOs to have big first days. As TechCrunch reported on April 6th of this year: “Friday was a busy day for tech companies on Wall Street, with GrubHubFive9 and IMS Health going public on the same day. It went well: GrubHub spiked 30.77%, Five9 9.14%, and IMS Health 15%.”

Here’s Weibo’s first day as a public firm:

weibo_chart

Gaming giant King Digital has struggled since its public offering. Aerohive, another recent technology IPO, claimed that it saw “deterioration” in the investing market during its roadshow. Box’s losses when it disclosed its finances in its S-1 were larger than expected, causing some to doubt private-market valuations of certain tech sectors.

But Weibo’s IPO is another indication that investors are more than willing to snap up tech shares, provided the growth upside looks firm. Welcome to the club, Weibo. We’ll see you at earnings.

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