There have been some really interesting developments this last week – both in social media and the land of search.
Pinterest has come through with the goods and officially announced its camera search technology which is bound to have a huge impact on any brands using the site for sales and marketing. YouTube has opened up its live streaming feature to certain users and also introduced a method for making money from the videos.
Google has been busy creating a new data layout in AdWords as well as updating Google Maps to show nearby businesses in real time.
LinkedIn made some changes to the way users can comment on posts, and believe it or not Pokemon GO is still alive and well and celebrating Valentine’s Day with some themed updates.
Pinterest follows through with camera search technology promise
Having already announced the creation of their advanced visual search option, Pinterest has now rolled out the final version for all us happy users.
The photo-sharing company has labelled this new innovation as ‘Pinterest Lens’ and officially announced it via their company blog.
We wrote about Pinterest’s camera search technology when it was announced at a company event last September. Users can simply take a photo of an item they want to search for, and Pinterest will conduct a search that matches the images with results from their site.
Pinterest has said that “For now, Lens works best for finding home decor ideas, things to wear and food to eat. As more and more people give it a try, and we continue making improvements to our technology, results will get even better, and the range of objects Lens recognises will get increasingly wider.”
Two other developments were announced on the blog – Instant Ideas and Shop the Look (which sounds familiar). Instant ideas works just like related searches in Google – if you tap the circle icon at the bottom of a pin it will show related articles to that product or topic. Shop the Look works in a similar fashion (pun intended), by allowing users to tap other products within a pin and then be shown where to purchase them. It even works for products that are not directly related to that search. For example, if you search for home decor and the model in the pin is wearing a pair of jeans that you like, you can tap them to be taken to their location on Pinterest.
Pinterest Lens will be rolling out in the US over the coming weeks, and all updates are available across most platforms – iPhone, Android and desktop.
Mobile live streaming on YouTube
To continue its live streaming efforts after the US presidential elections, YouTube is making its mobile live streaming feature available for certain users – and you can make money from it too.
Similar to Facebook Live, users just need to open the YouTube app and start streaming.
Google says that the live videos will have all the same features as normal videos, such as appearing in SERPs and user recommendation. To enable users to monetize their videos, YouTube has also introduced ‘Super Chat’. Super Chat will enable people watching the videos to pay for priority of their comments on the content so that they stand out from the crowd and the video creator can see them easily.
For now, live streaming is only available to YouTube accounts that have more than 10,000 subscribers, although it has been promised that everyone will have access soon.
Search Console update: Data Studio
In addition to Search Console’s existing features, Google has now added a Data Studio to give users better insights into search analytics.
Search analytics are currently located within a separate report, which makes it difficult to combine data with other sources. The Data Studio will now provide a connection between search analytics report data and other insights in the Console.
The Studio can pull information about impressions, clicks and average keyword position according to countries, devices and keywords.
Users can use the Data Studio to build a deeper understanding about their web traffic and compare the performance of paid and organic search.
To find out more about how it all works, visit the Google Analytics help centre.
Google Maps real-time info on local eateries
Google has added a feature to Google Maps that allows users to see information about local businesses in real time.
If users swipe up from the bottom of Maps, they will see three tabs for nearby Places, methods for beating traffic or information about buses. The Places tab can be used to find nearby restaurants, service stations, grocery stores or pharmacies. Real time information is listed for each business, such as type of cuisine, opening hours and distance from the user. The tab will also provide information about the local area with images and a short description.
Information that is personalised in this manner helps consumers make decisions, and if your brand’s site is search optimised you can enjoy the benefits of this update.
The update also created real-time estimates from the current location to saved home or work locations, and personalised recommendations for public transport based on the user’s location in Maps.
LinkedIn changes to comments
To improve the publishing experience on its platform LinkedIn has made some updates that concern how users can receive and post comments on long form content.
Users can now directly manage comments on their long form posts with the option to enable and disable them. If disabled, existing comments will be deleted permanently. LinkedIn said that “We continue to encourage two-way conversations on LinkedIn, and for many members who publish, comments are a great way to start discussions and can lead to broader reach. At the same time, we want to give you greater choice in the types of conversations you have on LinkedIn.”
Users can now also report and hide inappropriate comments, which will be particularly handy for spam comments such as the example here.
Pokemon Go for Valentines
Stuck for a date idea this Valentine’s Day? Why not catch some Pokemon?
Pokemon GO has announced some new additions to the game (yes, apparently it’s still a thing) to fit in with the Valentines theme.
I won’t go into all the details of catching and hatching a pink Pokemon, but the most important part of the update for brands are the 6 hour lures. They will be available during the days leading up to Valentine’s and can offer businesses a unique opportunity to get customers through the door.
If you’re a business looking to capitalise on the most romantic day of the year, you might want to consider some clever ways of drawing people in with this new development.