Google launched a new search feature which serves fun facts at the top of search results pages for animal, plant, fruit, and vegetable queries which include the phrase “fun facts.” For some queries, Google says multiple facts will be displayed as the SERP is refreshed.
Google launched the most recent version of its iOS app which now includes new local search filters, Gboard access, and more AMP support. Version 23.0 features local search filters like “Top Rated” and “Open Now”, and can turn on Gboard – Google keyboard that allows searching/sending info, emojis, and GIFs. The app will also have more AMP support, enabling pages to load quickly.
Google Maps now allows users to use a list feature to save places for later access to be shared both on and offline. To save a location in Google Maps, tap it and save to add to a list. Lists can be organized with presets like “Want to go,” or users can create new lists. They can be circulated by text, email, and social channels. The Google Maps feature works on desktop, Android, and iOS.
Instagram revealed an extended carousel format for organic posts. Both advertisers and user accounts can pick up to 10 photos or videos for one post that can be swiped through. For advertisements and organic posts, users can choose the order of the content in a carousel, but advertisers can leave the ordering to Instagram, which will order according to performance. Instagram does not plan on inserting ads within organic carousels. For now, the carousel allows only square photos or videos and Instagram will display an icon on carousel post thumbnails to make them identifiable on a user’s page. As of February 22nd, those who have not updated cannot see the carousel posts at all.
Last year, Facebook released an API geared towards developers wanting to build a Messenger chatbot, but now, the AI bots hit a ‘70% failure rate.’ In addition to Facebook’s chatbots, Microsoft is interested in expanding the technology to support a variety of media. Forrester reports that chatbots aren’t yet capable of the intricacies of conversation and still need human intervention to succeed. Forrester classified chatbots as hyped technology of 2016, but Gartner predicts 85% of customer interactions won’t depend on human customer service representatives by the end of this decade as CRM software and personalized chatbots reduce the necessity for call centers.