Top stories of the Week (22nd August 2015 to 28th August)
- Facebook announced Siri like personal assistance in Messenger called ‘M’
- Cortana is now officially available for Android Users
- Google Map Maker is Up again in 45 more countries now
- Facebook Moments automatically create music videos from your Photos
- Facebook rolled out ‘Donate Now’ button to support nonprofits
- AdWords rolled out new structured snippet extension
- Instagram added landscape and portrait modes for photos and videos
Facebook has taken a step forward in the world of Digital Assistance. The company has announced its Siri like personal assistance service in Facebook Messenger and named it – ‘M’. The service works on the same technology of artificial intelligence that Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana is using presently. The main difference is that unlike all these services user don’t need to give voice command but they can communicate with ‘M’ via text messages. This service is capable enough to complete various tasks and can find certain information on request.
Pre-beta version of the Microsoft’s virtual assistance service was available for download about a month ago. The company has officially released the US beta version for the Android users on Monday. Android users will be able to perform several tasks like voice query search, initiate call or text via voice command, set alarms and reminders, get drive notifications etc. using the digital assistance of Cortana. It has lots of new features but doesn’t look as useful as ‘Google Now’ for the Android. As per the company announcement, iOS version of Cortana is coming soon.
Google has re-launched the Map Maker in Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Philippines and Ukraine earlier this month. The company has announced on Tuesday that they are making Map Maker live in another 45 new countries. Google has not declared the list of 45 countries but USA is among them. So, there are roughly 51 countries back online with Google Map Maker. It is not clear how long it will take to get all regions back online.
Facebook’s photo sharing app ‘Moments’ has got the first major update just after few months of launch. The app can automatically create a video of your shared photos now. You can customize those videos and share them back on Facebook as well. Video is the highest consumed content type on Facebook nowadays with over 4 billion daily views. This addition in the Moments App will definitely encourage more users to download the app. Moments App is available in most of the countries now with its translated version in 34 different languages.
Facebook has announced on Monday that they are rolling out Donate Now button to support the non-profits. ‘Donate Now’ button is currently available as call-to-action button for non-profits’ pages and is linked with advertisements. This new button is simply call-to-action link without any embedded payment processes. This is really a valuable tool for the non-profits but unlike previous attempts; Facebook is pushing users to the external sites to complete the donation through the ‘Donate Now’ button.
AdWords rolled out new structured snippet extension to highlight key features of the ad. Google is giving more control to advertiser over what shows up in the text ads. It is just a variation of dynamic structured snippets launched earlier this year. The Advertiser can highlight various ad values like amenities, product types, and brands etc. using the new structured snippet extension. Functionally it looks same as the callouts feature but according to Google Experts, this feature is more important to highlight one specific aspect of your product or service.
Instagram has announced one of the significant changes in the app in recent history. The photo-sharing network has added the portrait and landscape mode for Photos and Videos. It is really interesting that Instagram is coming out of its traditional square preference now. Users can post the Photos or Videos in dimensions they have originally taken. The company has admitted that it is not easy for users to always share square photos. That is why they are revising the photo sharing dimensions from 27th August.
So, these are some of the most interesting stories of the week. I will catch you again next week with weekly web industry news round up. Till then happy surfing and have a wonderful weekend.
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