Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Color’s Plan C (Or Is It B.5?): Becoming Verizon’s Live Mobile Video Partner

Color, the famously overfunded social app shop, is still looking for its first big hit. But the company has found a way to get some help, via a deal with Verizon Wireless to preinstall Color on some of its Android smartphones.

This will be an extension of Color’s current app, which gives users a way to publish live, 30-second silent video clips to Facebook.

Color CEO Bill Nguyen says his company is working to “ratchet up the quality” to enable live high-definition video broadcasting from phones. Color will be able to do this better than existing mobile social video apps, because the company is customizing its app for each Verizon phone, he said.

While there have been many attempts at live-broadcasting video apps, today’s leading mobile video apps like Socialcam and Viddy do recorded video. Color will offer ways to upload both live and recorded video, as well as still photos from within a video, according to Nguyen.

“The problem [with other apps] is that the technology they’re built upon is on the OS level. That’s not efficient enough to make this work,” Nguyen argued. “We can’t write to the OS anymore — we literally have to write to the chipset.”

Today, Color is not available in high definition at all — but it is doubling its current frame rate with new versions of its iPhone and Android apps today, and allowing Verizon users to include audio in their videos (which was the weirdest restriction ever, by the way). The videos are still limited to 30 seconds, for the time being.

What Verizon gets out of the partnership is to draw attention to the upstream video potential of its 4G LTE network. It is supposed to start preinstalling Color on some phones later this year.

Color, meanwhile, has staffed up on video experts — the Palo Alto, Calif.-based team now has more than 50 people, up from 30 last year.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald