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 Libby.
1. … Unless they figure out how to open doors
Softbank’s Boston Dynamics published a video of SpotMini, “a nimble robot that handles objects, climbs stairs, and will operate in offices, homes and outdoors”.
SpotMini inherits the mobility of big brother, Spot, but with an extra, terrifying, arm, complete with “beefed up” perception sensors and a door-handle grabber.
As you might expect, people are drawing comparisons from that episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, and there is certainly something creepy – even foreboding – about the way this pupper moves, but there’s no denying that this tech is incredible.
2. Friendship is… being equally annoying
Just when you thought you couldn’t be any more sick of your distant high school acquaintance’s habitual status updates, Facebook begins rolling out “Lists” – an inventory of the mundane.
In case you agree that this is one of the most boring ways to
get more personal information from users encourage “more meaningful social interactions”, users can jazz up their lists with… a colourful background. Great.
Apparently, this is a slow global roll out, and so you might not get the feature right away, so at least there’s that.
3. A million people can’t be wrong
… and they all hate the new Snapchat.
Snapchat’s 2018 update includes:
- Having to swipe right on the camera screen to see the Friends page in order to view friends’ stories
- Stories, Snaps, and messages are lumped together with groups chats plus Group Stories
- Stories are ranked in order of who users keep in touch with most, not chronologically
- The all-new Send To page
Although Snapchat was prepared for teething problems, I don’t think they anticipated Nic Rumsey’s “Remove the new Snapchat Update” petition…
“As expected, it will take time for our community to get used to the changes, but overall, we are pleased with the initial results.” – Evan Spiegel, Chief Executive, Snap.
Even if you do you hate the new Snapchat, I’m not sure it’s worthy of a change.org petition, is it?
4. AMP Stories
Yep. More stories.
“The AMP story format is a recently launched addition to the AMP Project that provides content publishers with a mobile-focused format for delivering news and information as visually rich, tap-through stories.” – Rudy Galfi, Product Manager for AMP at Google
So this is content centred around images. Short, sharp, and visually engaging, this is designed to combat the craze of people browsing articles through mobile, but not actually engaging with them. The thinking behind Google’s AMP Stories is that a video or graphic will better grab the attention of users.
Collaborating with publishers such as Mashable, Washington Post, and CNN, the process for creating this kind of content has been made accessible and inexpensive so smaller publishers can have a go, too:
“Just like any web page, a publisher hosts an AMP story HTML page on their site and can link to it from any other part of their site to drive discovery. And, as with all content in the AMP ecosystem, discovery platforms can employ techniques like pre-renderable pages, optimized video loading and caching to optimize delivery to the end user.”– Rudy Galfi, Product Manager for AMP at Google
Have a go at g.co/ampstories and search for any one of the development partners: CNN, Conde Nast, Hearst, Mashable, Meredith, Mic, Vox Media, and The Washington Post.
5. Dog day afternoon
I’d like to finish this My Five round up with an office favourite: funny dogs.
I thought it'd be cool to show off my dogs athleticism, until I realized he had no self control… ????? pic.twitter.com/9sFvlTU7zm
— Ro (@UpNcomin_Ro) February 9, 2018
The state of that guy’s car seat!