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 Ali.
is was in the air
Last week t’internet was cooing and ahhing over the mile high romance that blossomed between two passengers on a flight from New York to Dallas. Rosie Blair, a fellow traveller, excitedly documented the exchanges between the two on Twitter as they sat in the row in front of her. Using the hashtag #PlaneBae she captivated people from around the world with her updates that ranged from discovering they were both personal trainers and vegan, to showing each other photographs of their mothers and how their body language developed during the journey.
So did the inflight entertainment have a happy ending? It seemed that way as, urged on by followers and the possibility of love at first sight, Blair stayed on their tail all the way to baggage claim where they collected their suitcases together and skipped off into the sunset.
Unfortunately that’s where this rom-com parts with tradition…
The girl involved has broken her silence and, via her lawyer, issued a statement about the consequences of her unwitting involvement in the hashtag. She said that ‘#PlaneBae is not a romance – it is a digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent’ and that she’d been doxxed, shamed, insulted and harassed.’ Blair has since apologised for her actions.
2. Bing fails and no-one seems to notice
According to Statista, Google’s domination of search remains intact albeit having declined marginally over the past 3 years, in favour of Bing. That said, an 83.96% market share is fairly untouchable for now.
However, with a 12.08% market share, you might have thought that someone would have noticed that the Bing Webmaster API (the tool that webmasters use to troubleshoot the crawling and indexing of their website) was down for five days, but apparently not. Mike Sullivan of Analytics Edge bought it to the attention of search guru Barry Schwarz but the rest of the world didn’t seem to bat an eyelid.
Whilst Bing doesn’t reach the sheer volume of people that Google does, it does appeal to a certain type of user. They may be less tech savvy in general and are commonly over 55, but they do have good levels of disposable income and often more intent to purchase than users of other search engines.
3. Wimbledon embraces AI for 150th anniversary
Most people would associate Wimbledon with tradition rather than being at the forefront of technology. However, IBM, its key partner in delivering in-depth match and player statistics to commentators and viewers, has helped the tournament take things to a new level to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
Only too aware of the variety of ways in which fans with differing levels of interest want to enjoy matches on their phone, tablet and television, Wimbledon has always faced an uphill battle in compiling the ‘best bits’. Die-hard tennis fans may want see more in depth coverage whereas sports enthusiasts may just prefer the key points.
How do you capture 150 years of history in a single image? We used #AI to select and stitch 8,400 classic @Wimbledon photos together to create the 2018 Official Championships Poster: https://t.co/QbnuawUfwd pic.twitter.com/yWBMVYlkgw
— IBM (@IBM) July 2, 2018
Rather than have teams manually selecting the highlights, according to econsultancy, IBM Watson uses artificial intelligence to analyse ‘player emotion, movement, and crowd noise in order to determine the most interesting and must-see moments to include.’ Not only does this mean that fans will be drawn in to watch edge of their seat points that they may ordinarily have missed, but the process is much, much faster.
The tournament has also used AI to select and stitch 8,400 classic Wimbledon photos together to create this year’s Official Championships poster reflecting both tech and tradition.
4. Celebs experience follower hit on Twitter
In a move to cut down on fake news and its “ongoing and global effort to build trust”, Twitter has wiped our nearly 70 millions accounts.
Accounts were monitored for unusual activity and then sent an email to verify the identity of the owner. Where no response was elicited, they are now excluded from Twitter follow tallies.
For most of us, this may mean a loss of around 4 followers but spare a thought for celebrities where a social media following is almost everything, as the changes have made a rather larger dent.
Katy Perry who had the most followed account, has had her follower numbers reduced by 1.5m, Taylor Swift lost 2m and Justin Bieber 1.4m.
Although not quite as engaging as #PlaneBae, other footage of people on a journey has emerged from Russia. In a four minute video, the pair wage a totally hilarious and totally silent battle about whether a bus window should be open or closed.
Spoiler alert – the video ends before we know who’s won!