Facebook to focus on search in 2017
Facebook’s domination of our online time is leading it to shape up to seriously rival Google as a search engine.
The social network now handles around 2 billion search queries every day – with the numbers searching for people falling and the number of general enquiries rising.
As a result, Facebook is improving its capabilities around search utilising its data and algorithms to provide ever more accurate matches to search queries.
Look out for this improving even more in the new year as the challenge to Google increases.
Uber ups the game for customer feedback
Brands seeking customer service tips and feedback on how remote-based employees are performing may want to take a leaf out of Uber’s book.
The app-based taxi service is now letting users give additional feedback on drivers beyond the star rating service that’s already part of its customer journey. Now, using the ‘compliments’ section, passengers select one of nine stock compliments such as ‘awesome music’ or ‘excellent service’.
The compliments are optional, but each one has been selected as a result of typical driver actions gathered by Uber from its global network of drivers.
Uber has already revolutionised one industry, might they work the same magic on customer service now, too?
Image recognition ads next on Snapchat?
As Snapchat tries to fend off bigger rivals all trying to copy its features, it is trialling another social game-changer.
The disappearing photo app is testing image recognition-triggered ads that could be used to deliver custom, targeted brand content.
So where a user takes a photo in a restaurant, for example, this may trigger a filter that includes the restaurant’s branding.
At the moment, this is just a patent that Snapchat has applied for – but its possibilities are intriguing and have the hallmarks of the ‘next level’ approach that the app is already known for.
Gramming, gramming, gone…
Talking of rivals trying to copy Snapchat’s innovation, Instagram has added disappearing messages to its features.
Users can now send images to individuals or groups, that will disappear within a set time frame.
This attempt to grab and hold on to a younger audience has come at the same time as the image-led social platform also launched a live streaming video feature.
Amazon removes incentivised product reviews
Fake news on the internet is being rightly brought into focus – as are fake reviews.
Amazon has taken the step of deleting more than half a million reviews from its site, almost three quarters of which it believes were incentivised.
The average rating for these reviews was 4.75 stars – much higher than the typical average for products.
Amazon is continuing its purge as fake and incentivised reviews are still flowing into its site, despite warnings that they will be removed under this new policy.