Google Maps’ Jen Fitzpatrick Says the Future of Maps Goes Beyond Driving

Fifteen years ago this week, Google Maps launched on the web. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Google Maps transformed both the way we think about maps and the way we move around in the world. Over time, the application has evolved from a fairly static online representation of an atlas to a GPS-powered navigation tool to a platform for reviews—and, of course, for ads.

Source: Wired

YouTube is a $15 billion-a-year business, Google reveals for the first time

YouTube generated nearly $5 billion in ad revenue in the last three months, Google revealed today as part of parent company Alphabet’s fourth quarter earnings report. This is the first report under newly instated Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who took over as the chief executive of the entire company late last year after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped back from day-to-day duties and promoted Pichai, formerly Google CEO, to the top spot. The announcement marks the first time in YouTube’s nearly 15 years as a Google-owned platform, since Google bought the website in 2006 for $1.65 billion, that the company has revealed how much money YouTube-hosted ads contribute to the search giant’s bottom line.

Source:  The Verge

Doctors on TikTok Try to Go Viral

Although medical professionals have long taken to social media to share healthy messages or promote their work, TikTok poses a new set of challenges, even for the internet adept. Popular posts on the app tend to be short, musical and humorous, complicating the task of physicians hoping to share nuanced lessons on health issues like vaping, coronavirus, nutrition and things you shouldn’t dip in soy sauce. And some physicians who are using the platform to spread credible information have found themselves the targets of harassment.

Source: New York Times

To Survive, Byte Needs to Win Over Creators Where Vine Failed

When Twitter suddenly announced it was shutting down Vine in 2016, fans immediately started campaigning to bring the beloved short-form video app back. Dom Hofmann, one of the original cofounders, has been working on doing just that for years. After a few stops and starts, his new app Byte finally launched last week. It already has 1.3 million downloads, according to Sensor Tower. It also appears to have learned some lessons from Vine’s demise, but that won’t necessarily be enough for another social video app to survive in 2020.

Source: Wired

The Fractured Future of Browser Privacy

In the 1990s, web browsers like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer competed bitterly to offer the snazziest new features and attract users. Today, the browser landscape looks totally different. For one thing, Chrome now dominates, controlling around two-thirds of the market on both desktop and mobile. Even more radical, though, is the recent competitive focus on privacy, a welcome change for anyone who’s gotten sick of creepy ad tracking and data mismanagement. But as browsers increasingly diverge in their approaches, it’s clear that not all privacy protections are created equal.

Source: Wired

Scroll makes hundreds of websites ad-free for $5 per month

A new subscription service called Scroll is offering ad-free access to hundreds of websites — not by blocking the ads, but by working with an expanding group of publishers to take the ads down in exchange for a slice of the subscription fee. Scroll launches today with support for a number of major websites and networks, including The Atlantic, BuzzFeed News, G/O Media (which includes websites like Gizmodo and Kotaku), and Vox Media, which — important disclosure here — includes The Verge

Source:  The Verge

Trump’s Digital Advantage Is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists

Experts in the explosively growing field of political digital technologies have developed an innovative terminology to describe what they do — a lexicon that is virtually incomprehensible to ordinary voters. This language provides an inkling of the extraordinarily arcane universe politics has entered:

Geofencing and other emerging digital technologies derive from microtargeting marketing initiatives that use consumer and other demographic data to identify the interests of specific voters or very small groups of like-minded individuals to influence their thoughts or actions. Microtargeting first had a significant impact on American politics in state level campaign work by Alec Gage, a Republican, and his firm TargetPoint in 2002.

Source:  The New York Times

 

Amazon vs. Walmart: Who’s Really Winning Online Grocery?

Consumer adoption of online grocery—led primarily by Amazon and Walmart—saw hockey-stick growth last year. As these two Goliaths vie for market control, conflicting reports have made it difficult to determine who has the momentum, and where consumers prefer to shop. Amazon currently holds the largest market share of online grocery. We estimate that Amazon’s US food and beverage sales amounted to $6.13 billion in 2019, or 23.7% of total US food and beverage ecommerce sales. However, a September 2019 survey conducted by The Retail Feedback Group found that 37% of US digital shoppers most recently purchased groceries from Walmart, compared with 29% who used Amazon.

Source: eMarketer

Google’s ads just look like search results now

Last week, Google began rolling out a new look for its search results on desktop, which blurs the line between organic search results and the ads that sit above them. In what appears to be something of a purposeful dark pattern, the only thing differentiating ads and search results is a small black-and-white “Ad” icon next to the former. It’s been formatted to resemble the new favicons that now appear next to the search results you care about. Early data collected by Digiday suggests that the changes may already be causing people to click on more ads.

Source: The Verge

 

TikTok’s Ad Formats and Partnerships

It’s now been more than a year since TikTok launched in the US, and in that short period, the Chinese-owned video app has capitalized on the viral nature of its platform by partnering with a number of brands and slowly unveiling a slew of advertising capabilities. In the hopes of reaching a younger audience, TikTok announced a multiyear partnership in early September with the National Football League (NFL). Tom Brady, the six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the New England Patriots, posted for the first time on his TikTok account, sharing highlights from his first week of the season. Brady and the NFL join a host of other US brands that are hoping to reach younger consumers through TikTok. Below is a roundup of TikTok’s current ad offerings and some of its biggest brand partnerships to date.

Source: eMarketer

 

Now Facebook says it may remove Like counts

Facebook could soon start hiding the Like counter on News Feed posts to protect users’ from envy and dissuade them from self-censorship. Instagram is already testing this in 7 countries including Canada and Brazil, showing a post’s audience just a few names of mutual friends who’ve Liked it instead of the total number. The idea is to prevent users from destructively comparing themselves to others and possibly feeling inadequate if their posts don’t get as many Likes. It could also stop users from deleting posts they think aren’t getting enough Likes or not sharing in the first place.

Source: TechCrunch

Snap Deepens AR Push With Lens Studio Update, Including New Templates And Landmarkers

If there was any doubt before, Q3 2019 has made clear that Snap is betting heavily on Augmented Reality (AR). Earlier this month, Snap announced a $1B fundraise to invest in AR startups. A week later, the Snapchat parent company unveiled the third-generation of Spectacles, its AR sunglasses, which are now available for pre-order.  Snap is continuing its emphasis on the AR ecosystem in an announcement today: a major update to Lens Studio, the company’s desktop app for producing augmented reality “Lenses” on the Snapchat messaging platform.  The update includes 14 new Landmarker locations, six new templates, and an updated UX that highlights new offerings and provides step-by-step tutorialization for beginners.

Source: Forbes

The Definitive Tactical Guide to Quitting Facebook

For all its flaws, Facebook is still be an integral part of many people’s lives, acting as a lifeline to faraway relatives, a trove of professional opportunities, a connection to the neighborhood, or a digital map of experiences lived. Plus, with all the ancillary apps that require (or provide the convenience of) Facebook logins, like Spotify, Tinder, and Airbnb, quitting can feel like fighting your way out of an impossibly tangled web. If you truly want to leave the platform without a trace, you’ll need to put in some effort. Here’s how to do it.

Source:  OneZero

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