Smartphone cameras now search tools
Google has unveiled new technology to turn every smartphone camera into a search tool.
Google Lens will perform internet searches and more based on snaps that are taken. The tech is able to identify objects to perform an immediate internet search. In addition, it can perform other functions, including translating foreign languages, and even connecting to a wifi network after taking a picture of the network name and password.
A picture of a restaurant will return, for example, a map showing its location, its TripAdvisor reviews and menu.
While this is undoubtedly an exciting social and online breakthrough from the planet’s biggest search engine, it also throws up questions of privacy once more. If our smartphone photos are now to be analysed and data mined, is this another piece of the jigsaw that sees us willingly hand over data of our every move, action, want, need and desire?
Facebook goes to war on clickbait
The scourge of clickbait stories on social is almost as infuriating as fake news, and now Facebook is taking action.
We have all seen stories with headlines exclaiming ‘you won’t believe…’, ‘what came next is incredible’, ‘here’s what happened when…’, ‘five things we learned from…’ and so on. The list is long.
However, Facebook’s algorithm has been tightened up to recognise language like this and demote such stories in a user’s news feed.
This will apply to individual posts and has the potential to affect members of the public as well as brands and publishers.
Why twitter wants to get to know you better
Twitter is ramping up its ability to collect data on users as they travel around the web, while at the same time providing greater insights and control for people to keep their privacy if they wish.
Twitter is letting users see exactly how much data they have on you as an individual, what interests it has marked you as having and the number of custom audiences that you are part of.
Additionally, if you visit a website that’s integrated with Twitter (ie, via an embedded tweet), Twitter can track that activity and then attribute it to your profile.
So don’t say you haven’t been warned – twitter wants to know a lot more about you as the social platform tries to compete in advertising terms with Facebook. If you don’t like the sound of that, opt out.
Ad targeting gets more sophisticated on Snap
Also upping their ad targeting game in a bid to woo more brands as advertisers is Snapchat.
With sponsored Lenses out of the reach of most brands, Snapchat is refining its offer, now allowing potential advertisers to target Lens campaigns by age, gender and the types of content people look at and engage with.
This narrowing of who will see the sponsored content will bring the cost down and into the budget of more organisations.
Snapchat is also introducing promotional World Lenses, that will give users the opportunity to superimpose themed graphics and logos on a real world scene – movie giant Warner Bros. will be the first company to use this new feature to promote a new film.
Tuck in to a Facebook feast
Finally, in its quest to keep users on Facebook 24 hours a day without ever needing to leave, the social network is now letting you order food direct from your feed.
Tucked away as a menu option – and currently only on US versions of Facebook – the feature utilises a link-up with a delivery app to seamlessly complete the ordering process.
By offering users the ultimate in convenience – no browsing of multiple pages to scan menus or having to leave Facebook to place your order – the feature is bound to be hugely popular and will make its way to these shores before long.