Voice control now comes with a screen
The future of internet search is the voice – but Amazon is hedging its bets that the connected future might also include screens.
Next month, Amazon launches the Echo Show, an updated model of its original Echo, which utilises the Alexa assistant to perform online searches and other functions.
The twist with the Echo Show is a seven inch touch screen, that allows for streaming of videos, to show search results (where the user then instructs Alexa which number to select from the search results), video calls and ‘internet of things’ connectivity. This can include controlling the thermostat, lights and security in the home.
The most significant thing about the introduction of the Echo Show is the realisation that search might not change as dramatically as we’re all thinking. Yes, digital assistants will become commonplace, but with a screen there will still be options as to where the user goes next, as opposed to needing to be the single best answer.
New insights on Instagram engagement
Instagram has been publishing new insights into trends and engagement across different sectors.
The social platform has looked at four different areas of engagement – sport, beauty, travel and cars.
Taking those who are fans of the automotive industry, for example, the report shows that users on Instagram with this main interest are skewed 70 per cent male, their average age is 26, 83 per cent of them watch car videos weekly, with 52 per cent saying they are watching videos to evaluate car performance.
Additionally, 53 per cent of users like to connect with other like-minded people on a regular basis.
Easier conversation tracking on tweetdeck
Tweetdeck has announced new features to make it simpler for social media managers and brands to use its social platform.
First, is a button ‘see who quoted this tweet’ which allows you to access a full list of those who have interacted to give wider context on conversations that your brand has started or been involved in.
Also, a new feature allows those posting GIFs to decide if they want the animation to autoplay in users’ feeds or not.
Snapchat bids to stay ahead of copycats
After seeing rival social platforms copy their ideas for too long, Snapchat is coming out fighting with a new raft of features.
These include the ability to play looping videos and also the limitless Snap, where there is no time limit on how long a user can keep a photo open. However, it will still disappear once it has been viewed.
Instagram and Facebook have both launched copycat features to Snapchat over recent months, which has resulted in Snapchat’s audience declining and the numbers of influencers and brands on the platform also take a dip.
Pinterest Lens goes widescreen
Those who have tried the Lens feature on Pinterest – where you take a picture of an image and the app finds related and relevant Pins – can’t speak highly enough of it as a tool for discovery.
Now the social platform has expanded its functionality in a dramatic way. Rather than taking a picture of one item or product, Lens lets you take a snap of an entire room – and find related Pins.
This opens up the potential for search and discovery enormously, as well as keeping people within Pinterest for longer. Pinterest will also now directly scan QR codes to jump users to brand pages.