CAD and AutoCAD maker Autodesk acquires Socialcam for $60M

socialcam logoWhether you like it or not, you know Socialcam. It’s the spammy, ever-present video application that has taken over the Facebook News Feed and shames watchers by giving their friends details about all the terrible videos they’re willing to watch on the Internet. Despite Socialcam’s borderline sketchy reputation (featuring popular YouTube videos to drive traffic, namely), it has amassed a number of users and been part of the “Instagram for video” arms race of the last year.

And now it’s been acquired by Autodesk, creators of CAD and AutoCAD, for $60 million. It’s a bit of a surprising buy, given Autodesk’s apparent entire lack of interest in social-mobile applications and its very corporate appearance, but the company’s focus on 3D imaging and design software is apparently what led its interest in Socialcam.

This isn’t Autodesk’s first venture into consumer imaging applications, however: Autodesk also acquired Pixlr, the filter-heavy Web, Facebook, and mobile app that’s been fairly popular. Clearly, there’s been a progression from professional tools to those that are more interesting to the Facebook generation.

Thus, enter Socialcam. It gives Autodesk a leg up with the share-happy users it’s trying to corner, as well as a channel to develop consumer video technology. And it gives Socialcam… well, in addition to the $60M, the ability to continue operating independently and grow the product with a lot more money and some talented engineers at its disposal.

Given Autodesk’s expertise in 3D creation software, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Socialcam introduce a SpinCam sort of feature, where you take 360 degree shots, and combine that with some sort of 3D element. However, if we know anything about Socialcam, it isn’t about creating interesting content so much as popular content, so we’ll have to see if the influx of capital and resources changes that.

Also worth noting is that at this point, we might need to call off that previously mentioned “Instagram for video” competition. Video and stills create different interactions and communities, and it just doesn’t seem like the various video platforms are having the Instagram effect on their users. A handful are interesting in their own right, but it’s safe to say that no one is about to unload $1 billion on any of them.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Smart Home

Uber Eats is testing a system for cheaper meal delivery

You know how Uber Pool offers cheaper trips if riders share a car? Well, Uber Eats is currently testing the same idea for meal delivery, and it could mean cheaper orders for customers.

New Apple Watch begins saving lives one week after getting EKG feature

The Apple Watch Series 4 was updated almost a week ago with a new feature that allows users to take electrocardiogram tests -- and already it seems like the new feature is saving lives.

OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.

The best smartphone stocking stuffers for a very techy Christmas

If you've got a tech-loving smartphone enthusiast to buy for, we can help you out. Here's a selection of top phone accessories that would make amazing stocking stuffers so you can have a very Merry Christmas.

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.