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Talk Social: 16 October, 2018

Rise in private search engines


DuckDuckGo, the search engine that promises total transparency and privacy for users, is achieving record traffic.

An average of 30million people daily are now using the service to search the internet. And while this is a drop in the ocean compared to the big players Google, Bing and Firefox, its growth is significant.

With so many controversies about how the public’s data is used, stored and often mis-handled, the numbers of people turning to a service that protects the people who use it and does not sell its user data, cannot be underestimated.

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Google uses machine learning to improve search


Google is attempting to improve the accuracy of up to a third of search enquiries by improving its understanding of synonyms.

These phrases – that sum up what is in the user’s head as opposed to being an exact match of what they are looking for – are being translated by Google’s sophisticated AI.

The search giant is using neural matching to pair phrases with the exact answer the user presumably meant to type.

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Image recognition upgrade for FB Marketplace


Facebook’s Marketplace feature is two years old and to mark the anniversary, the social shopping centre has been upgraded for sellers.

First, the use of image recognition now helps to suggest a sale price for items uploaded – based on what similar items have sold for – plus automatically suggests categories for new items based on what the AI believes the item to be.

This indexing – which comes with an understanding on context around search descriptions – is also claimed to make it easier for those buying to find the right items.

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Want to stand out? Try a 3D photo


Facebook’s latest new feature to give users and brands standout in the news feed is the 3D photo.

The social network is now rolling out the ability for all users to create 3D photos from normal camera shots, using its software. Users will tap on the new ‘3D Photos’ button to transform their image.

It is now possible for every Facebook user to view 3D pics and the ability to create them on mobile and desktop is rolling out across the coming weeks.

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Tapping, not scrolling, could be future of Instagram


Instagram thinks it has hit on a way for users to see more of their daily feed – ditching scrolling.

A new feature to ‘tap’ your way through your social feed – like users already do with Stories – is being trialled to see if users prefer it.

Tap to advance is a method first brought to social media by Snapchat, but is now seen as a more relaxed way of browsing than scrolling.

It is also believed tapping is more beneficial long-term for joints than scrolling, making it beneficial to those with conditions such as arthritis.

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