This story was updated to reflect the closing prices for stocks discussed below. 

Consumers have moved on from looking at just photos and have embraced watching videos from all sorts of sources, like YouTube and Facebook (FB - Get Report) . But now video is taking a backseat... sort of. 

Live video is taking over. Friends can watch and interact with others, or fans can watch their favorite artist or big-name figure, in real-time. Twitter's (TWTR - Get Report) Periscope has been gaining traction, as has Facebook Live. 

However, while "more than 50% of people watching live videos are using Android devices," those users can only watch, but not share their own live video. Instead, only those using an iOS device - Apple (AAPL - Get Report) - were able to produce content. That is, until now. 

Facebook announced that over the course of the next week, Android users will be able to produce their own Live content, starting in the U.S. However, the company isn't ending there, as it plans to roll out the service to Android users in more countries, too. Currently, there are over 30 countries that can share Live video with an iOS device. 

Shares of Facebook closed at $107.92 on Friday, down 0.14%. 


Apple is all over the news, but this time it doesn't have anything to do with its court order from the government or its rebuttal to said demand. Instead, it has to do with the tech company's patent dispute with Samsung.

"A U.S. appeals court on Friday overturned a $120 million jury verdict against Samsung," according to Reuters.

The court unanimously ruled that Samsung did not infringe on Apple's patents for "quick links." Two other patents -- Apple's "slide to unlock" for its devices, along with its autocorrect patent -- were invalid. 

This is a win for Samsung, without question. And it must feel good to finally get some love on the patent debate. For the most part, Apple had been the victor in these decisions and the company had recently won a near-$550 million ruling against Samsung in December. The case has since been appealed, however. 

Shares of Apple closed at $96.91 on Friday, up 0.16%. 


It's no secret that Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) is looking to expand its global reach to consumers beyond China. Its move to acquire a 5.6% stake in Groupon (GRPN - Get Report) highlights that fact, along with its stakes in other entities including like Jet.com and Zulily (ZU , among many others. 

As if Alibaba's motives weren't obvious enough, the company is looking to raise up to $4 billion form a number of different banks. According to Bloomberg, the banks are likely to start with around $3 billion, and potentially raise it to $4 billion depending on demand for the debt. 

Some analysts say the company could make acquisitions close to $40 billion, which will buy plenty of big-name companies both in the U.S. and abroad -- assuming Alibaba could pull off such or move, or would even want to.

Only time will tell, but the Chinese Internet juggernaut doesn't seem to be shy about expanding its operations. 

Shares of Alibaba closed at $66.90 on Friday, up 0.36%. 


Shares of Baidu (BIDU - Get Report) are on the move Friday, up over 10% after the company topped analysts' EPS and revenue expectations for the fourth quarter. 

However, shares reman up despite the company issuing guidance that fell short of analysts' estimates.

Sales for the most recent quarter came in a shade under $2.89 billion - up 33% year-on-year. Monthly active users -- a closely watched metric among other companies like Facebook and Twitter -- grew 21% for Baidu's mobile search. 

As for the bottom line, net profits for full-year 2015 climbed 155% to a not-too-shabby $5.2 billion. Baidu, which is referred to by many in the U.S. as the "Google of China," reported a strong quarter, a strong year and expects 2016 to be good as well.

"Even as China's overall growth slows, services and domestic consumption are growing. This growth in service is outpacing overall GDP in 2015," said CEO Robin Li, aiding investors in the realization that even as Chinese GDP sags, the country -- at least for the moment -- seems like it's succeeding in its transition to a consumption-driven economy.

Shares of Baidu closed at $173.80 on Friday, up 9.85%. 

 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.