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.
1. People search next
Google has added a new feature to mobile search results. The new ‘People search next’ appears to be an addition and not a replacement for anything else (at the moment) and sits alongside ‘Related searches’ and ‘People also ask’.
It seems to be triggered when a ‘near me’ search is undertaken and pops up at where users might consider the bottom of page one to be, just above ‘Related searches’ (bearing in mind that mobile search is continuous scrolling).
It doesn’t appear for every single ‘near me’ so maybe just in Beta at the moment but it’s still an interesting development. Every new addition to SERPS like this means users can find more of the information they need from search results, which in turn means they have less reason to click through to ‘real’ results, thus potentially reducing traffic from organic searches.
2. Twitter’s ‘Flock’
Twitter also seems to be trialling a new feature that allows users to share tweets with a specific group of people – their ‘Flock’.
Twitter is working on a page that allows users to add up to 150 members and then put out selected messages to this group using an ‘audience’ option dropdown. It also appears that these messages are sent with the note ‘You can see this Tweet because the author has added you to their Flock’ so the selected few will know they’re your birds of a feather.
It also looks like users will have complete control over their Flock and will be able to add and delete friends and contacts without it being too much of a birdun.
3. Facebook and Ray-Ban launch stories sunglasses
Not sure how long it’s going to take for Meta to stick, if ever, so we’ll go with FaceBook is launching a new range of sunglasses with integrated cameras.
The new glasses will allow the wearer to record 30-second videos or take photos without having to get their phone out of their pocket. It’s not the first effort at tech glasses – Google and Snapchat have both tried before but to our knowledge, it’s the first time it’s been tried with a reputable sunglasses brand that won’t leave you looking like a cyborg.
There is a small LED that will let those nearby know that you’re recording but to all intents and purposes, they are pretty cool and come in the classic Wayfarer style. I’m tempted!
There is also built-in Bluetooth, microphone and audio which allows you to listen to music, podcasts or take calls. I’m even more tempted. Wearables haven’t ever really been high in the style stakes so this is a major step forward.
4. Google replaces FLoC with Topics
Google had originally planned to phase out third-party cookies by the end of this year but delayed its plans until 2023. These cookies allow websites to collect data about an individual’s browsing activity and then serve them highly relevant ads at a later date.
The replacement for third party cookies was called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). In short, it clustered large groups of people with similar interests.
However, this week, Google announced a replacement for FLoC called Topics. Topics will instead utilise the user’s recent browsing history to determine their ‘topics’ of interest from 350 different options and share these with other sites.
These topics are stored for three weeks and will help sites and their advertising partners share relevant information with potential customers.
The search world is a little cross that Google has changed its approach (again!) and privacy activists don’t believe it will make any significant difference anyway.
You’ve guessed it – same game, slightly more expletive version.
I must admit that I only popped my Wordle cherry this morning. I wasn’t quite sure what the fuss was all about, to be honest, until it became competitive against my husband. (I won!)
With the adrenaline pumping, I looked for alternative ways to get another Wordle-type fix (of which there are many!)
I’m not sure today’s Sweardle is actually a swear word (not in our house anyway!) but it did make me realise how limited my swearing vocabulary is!