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Google’s Working on a New Process Which Would Convert Static Website Assets into Video Content

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Google is testing a new process which would enable businesses to create video assets from static website content, making it easier for brands to move into video content. 

As you can see from the video, Google’s URL2Video process is able to automatically analyze your webpage assets, then arrange them into an animated presentation.

As explained by Google:

“Assume a user provides an URL to a web page that illustrates their business. The URL2Video pipeline automatically selects key content from the page and decides the temporal and visual presentation of each asset, based on a set of heuristics derived from an interview study with designers who were familiar with web design and video ad creation.”

Those interviews provided Google’s researchers with insights into common video editing styles and approaches, which has informed the URL2Video creation process. 

“Using this information, the URL2Video pipeline parses a web page, analyzing the content and selecting visually salient text or images while preserving their design styles, which it organizes according to the video specifications provided by the user.”

Google URL2Video process flow

That, as noted, could make it a lot easier for more businesses to shift into video content – and as every social media platform says, repeatedly, video content is the best performing content type online.

​Video is also, increasingly, how younger users are engaging, through Stories, and now TikTok clips, which points to this becoming even more of an expectation for brand communications in future.

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It’s not publicly available yet, but Google’s URL2Video process could provide another avenue on this front. Facebook actually provides similar, with its Video Creation Kit, which it launched back in 2018. 

YouTube also has a Video Builder tool which facilitates the same. URL2Video would take that to another level, by simply converting your website assets into a brand video.

Basically, if you’re not creating video content, you’re running out of excuses – new tools like these are making it easier than ever for all businesses to put together simple, animated productions that they can use to promote their offerings online.

And with the pandemic accelerating the adoption of eCommerce, that could be an even more important consideration.

You can read more about Google’s URL2Video process here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Iran pop singer silenced, but his song remains a protest anthem

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Shervin Hajipour's song "Baraye" draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life

Shervin Hajipour’s song “Baraye” draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life – Copyright Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)/AFP –

David Vujanovic

Even though he has been silenced, Iranian pop singer Shirvin Hajipour’s impassioned song in support of protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in custody remains an unofficial anthem of the movement.

The song “Baraye” notched up 40 million views on Instagram before it was deleted when Hajipour was arrested, but he has since been freed on bail and has distanced himself from politics, likely as a condition for his release.

Baraye, the Persian word “For” or “Because”, is composed of tweets about the protests and highlights longings people have for things lacking in sanctions-hit Iran, where many complain of hardship caused by economic mismanagement.

It also draws on everyday activities that have landed people in trouble with the authorities in the Islamic republic.

“For the sake of dancing in the streets; Because of the fear felt while kissing; For my sister, your sister, your sisters,” the song’s lyrics say.

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“Because of the embarrassment of an empty pocket; Because we are longing for a normal life… Because of this polluted air.”

Baraye has been heard played loudly at night from apartment blocks in Iran to show support for protests sparked by Amini’s death on September 16, after the notorious morality police arrested her for allegedly breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab headscarves and modest clothes.

It was also sung with gusto by the Iranian diaspora at rallies in more than 150 cities around the world at the weekend.

In one clip shared by the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, a group of schoolgirls without headscarves is seen singing Baraye in class with their backs to the camera.

The tune was removed from Hajipour’s Instagram account shortly after his arrest but is still widely available on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

– ‘Because of forced Instagram stories’ –

Hajipour’s lawyer Majid Kaveh said he was released on bail at noon on Tuesday.

The reformist Shargh newspaper said his family had been informed of his arrest in the northern city of Sari on Saturday, in a report that cited his sister Kamand Hajipour.

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She had said in an Instagram post that her parents had been informed of his arrest in a call from the city’s intelligence ministry offices.

Shortly after his release, Hajipour was back on Instagram, but this time to apologise and distance himself from politics.

“I’m here to say I’m okay,” he told his 1.9 million followers on the platform.

“But I’m sorry that some particular movements based outside of Iran — which I have had no relations with — made some improper political uses of this song.

“I would not swap this (country) for anywhere else and I will stay for my homeland, my flag, my people, and I will sing.

“I don’t want to be a plaything for those who do not think of me, you or this country,” he added.

In response to his post, many on Twitter suggested the line “Because of forced Instagram stories” should be added to the lyrics of the song.

Human rights groups including Article 19 have repeatedly called on Iran to end its use of forced confessions, which they say are false and extracted under duress or even torture.

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In one recent case, a young Iranian woman, Sepideh Rashno, disappeared after becoming involved in a dispute on a Tehran bus with another woman who accused her of removing her headscarf.

She was held by the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and appeared on television in what activists said was a forced confession before being released on bail in late August.

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