My Five #109

Five interesting things we’ve seen in the last week including Google in Time Square, the end of Facebook’s free ride and the BandAid 30 lineup.

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Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Katie.

1. Google advertise in Times Square

On Tuesday this week Google became the first company to rent to the world’s largest and most expensive digital billboard. The billboard has been estimated to cost £1.6m to hire for four weeks, which isn’t that surprising when you consider that it is the size of a football field and is located in prime real estate for advertising – Time Square, New York, where an estimated 300,000 people will pass it every day.

Currently showing a nature-inspired digital art piece, Google’s adverts will begin running next week. As always with Google, they are one step ahead and have connected the screen to cameras which allow the advert to display interactive content.

2. Google Image Recognition

Two years ago Google researchers created image-recognition software and showed it 10 million images. In three days the software had taught itself how to pick out pictures of cats. Because cats are awesome.

Fast forward to this week, when Google released the news that their artificial intelligence software can now describe the contents of photographs far more accurately than ever before, in fact, pretty similarly to how an actual person would. This technology will be used to make it easier to search for images, and could also be used to help blind people understand pictures.

For more information, see the Google Research blog.

3. Bye bye promotional Facebook

I’ve written previously about how Facebook is cracking down on the audience that brands and business posts are exposed to, but they’ve now announced they’ll be cracking down on ‘promotional content’ from brands too.

Starting from January there’ll be an algorithm change, similar to Google’s quality score, which will remove updates with a clumsy promotional message showing up in your feed. In case you are confused about whether your business is posting too promotionally, Facebook has given some handy clarification on what will be banned by the NY:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Not a massive surprise, but the rug has been pulled out from under the feet of businesses that rely on Facebook’s organic posts as a free form of advertising. This whole money making scheme has been fronted as protecting the user and Facebook have made a point of saying that this change won’t result in more ads being shown in users’ news feeds.

4. Facebook attempts to topple LinkedIn & Google Drive

Facebook this week released plans for Facebook at Work, a network to connect professionals. So, er, it’s just LinkedIn then?
But more than that, Facebook at work will also give users the chance to collaborate on projects and share documents. Oh, and it’ll give you the chance to chat with your colleagues… because face to face communication is so last year.

Said to be already in use internally at Facebook HQ, Facebook at Work aims to help integrate Facebook back into the workplace after some companies have banned employees from the site and others keep a close eye on their employees’ social activity.

It will be similar to regular Facebook, but users will be able to keep a nice separate divide between their professional network and their personal profile – bringing a huge sigh of relief to any professionals whose personal profiles hold *ahem* rather unprofessional behaviour…

5. Do they know it’s Christmas time?

The Band Aid 30 single was recorded last weekend and has been hitting the headlines for most of this week. For the 30th anniversary of the charity single, instead of utilising the most talented pop stars of today, Bono and Geldof have drafted in some YouTubers and bloggers. I had never previously heard of Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella), Joe Sugg (aka Thatcher Joe) and Alfie Deynes (aka PointlessBlog) but I can only assume that as a fashion blogger, an ‘internet personality’, and ‘vlogger’ and YouTuber, they probably don’t sing quite as well as Ed Sheeran and Seal…

Luckily, the BBC have put together a handy page for anyone over 25, which identifies who the lineup actually is. But if you are anything like me, you’ll still have to Wikipedia everyone (aside from Ed Sheeran and Seal) to find out what they actually do.

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