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Talk Social: 5 December, 2017

Google Trends now showing real time data from News, Images and Shopping

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Google Trends is to provide increased real-time data on the popularity of search terms.

In addition to organic search, it will offer data on searches taking place within News, Shopping, Images and YouTube.

Using a new drop down menu, it’s possible to select a topic and filter data to see what aspects of it are trending and where there might be increased interest given the events of the day.

The same filters that existed before can still be applied, meaning it’s possible to review the popularity of News searches of old. The Google Trends new filters are available globally on mobile and desktop.

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YouTube launches its version of Instagram Stories

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YouTube is adding its own version of Stories, a social format that’s proved popular on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Reels will appear in a new tab on a creator’s channel.

Reels provides a new video format different from having to post a full video, allowing up to 30 seconds with filters, music, text and stickers.

Unlike Stories on other platforms, users can make multiple reels that won’t expire. Since Reels are posted separately, viewers can actively choose whether or not to watch the new content.

If users engage with the Reels, YouTube will take this as signal that you’d like to see more, offering them as a home page recommendation. Reels is one of a few changes for YouTube and its Community hub, which launched as a mini social platform for creators to share more photos, text, GIFs and polls.

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Facebook experimenting with animated profile pics

Facebook is working on a new way to animate still images, using a range of computer vision techniques to bring a still portrait to life.

The inspiration, Facebook says, is Harry Potter-style animated portraits.

The process takes a base video animation and uses it to formulate estimated animations for a portrait. The primary application is to create ‘Reactive Profiles’ which respond to user actions – click on a love heart reaction or thumbs up, for example, and the profile will respond.

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Snapchat redesigns app to algorithmic feed

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Snapchat has redesigned its app and now runs algorithms to personalise what users see. The redesign, to be rolled out over the coming weeks, separates the app into two algorithmic feeds.

One feed ranks friends based on how often the user interacts with them, while the other suggests content based on users’ interests and their previous actions on Snapchat.

This followed complaints from users that photos and videos from friends are mixed in with content from publishers, creators and influencers. The Snapchat solution is to rely on algorithms based on a person’s interests and not those of their friends.

Visually, Snapchat doesn’t look that different. Prior to the redesign, it was divided by Chat (left), Stories (right), and Discover (far right). It no longer has the Stories feed, instead there is Friends (Chat plus Stories from friends) and Discover (Stories from publishers and community).

That personalisation and ease of use is an ethos similar to Facebook, the social network Snapchat has tried so hard to distance itself from for so long.

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Instagram hosts 25 million business profiles

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Instagram now hosts 25 million active business profiles, up from 15 million in July, which shows that brands view the social platform as a vital way to connect with customers.

More than 80 per cent of Instagram accounts follow a business, with 200 million users visiting a company profile every day.

This growth is significant, given that Instagram launched business profiles only 18 months ago. Nearly 50 per cent of business profiles don’t link to an outside website, implying that they regard Instagram as their primary online presence.

Research of user behaviour has revealed that two thirds of visits to Instagram business profiles come from users who don’t follow the brand. This means that Instagram is keen to provide more detail about where visitors come from and what they do after visiting a profile in order to help provide greater advertiser targeting options.

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