Category Archives: Local Internet Marketing

The most recent email app from the Gmail team, the Google launched Inbox touted the app’s ability to act almost like an assistant. Google is now making the app more like an aide than ever after a year.

A new feature called “Smart Reply” is what the company will be rolling out soon which uses artificial intelligence to suggest replies for your messages. According to the company, the feature will be coming to Inbox’s iOS and Android apps later this week.

A predictive text in keyboard apps is what the Smart Reply feature works a bit like, except that it predicts phrases you’re most likely to use when replying to messages. Basing on the message, the feature will show up to three short sentences and how people have responded to similar emails in the past.

Software engineer Bálint Miklós writes, “For those emails that only need a quick response, it can take care of the thinking and save precious time spent typing. And for those emails that require a bit more thought, it gives you a jump start so you can respond right away.”

Miklós, explains that the feature took quite a bit of engineering to get it working behind the scenes. In order to surface relevant responses in realtime, it makes use of machine learning techniques. Smart Replies should improve over time as people use the feature more as with other tools that use natural language technology. When they first began testing it, Miklós notes that, a commonly suggested reply was “I love you,” which is probably not appropriate for most work-related correspondence. (He promises that reply suggestions have been tweaked to be more Safe From Work.)

Privacy of course, is another very important factor in working with email. Miklós stressed that they adhere to the same rigorous user privacy standards that they’ve always held in the development of Smart Reply – in other words, no humans are reading your email. Basically, researchers have to get machine learning to work on a data set that they themselves cannot read, which is like trying to solve a puzzle with your eyes closed.

How much of an impact the feature will have on Inbox and how people respond to email, is something that is still too early to tell, however it offers an enticing look into how Google is using artificial intelligence to make some of the most ordinary tasks we do on a daily basis — like answering emails — a little easier.

The star icon for “Favorites” was replaced by a heart icon on Twitter last Tuesday. 2006 is when the star icon made its debut however, now will be referred to as “Likes.”

Akarshan Kumar, a Twitter product manager, wrote in a blog post announcing the change saying, “We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers.”

Kumar added, “You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite. The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.”

Twitter realizes that alienating its longtime users is a business risk, as it acknowledged in its S-1 filing to become a public company in 2013. Nevertheless the conception of the “like” feature — which has already been panned by journalists, other longtime users and at least one actual Twitter employee — suggests the company is appealing to the masses at the cost of the people who made the platform into a global nervous system for information exchange.

Even though the addition of Like button doesn’t change the core functionality and probably will not, drive power users away, it will pose a particular dilemma for journalists.

For example, let’s say there’s breaking news about a nuclear power plant explosion. Tweets revolving around the topic are something the members of the media will want to bookmark, perhaps as a way of saving or curating them. However, now they will be forced to Like the tweets instead. It’s easy to see how this could be a little dicey especially when considering news coming out of war zones or stories of abuse or natural disaster abuse.

Users have pioneered many of the best features on Twitter over the years — from the #hashtag to the retweet — and later adopted into the product by the company itself. However, Facebook popularized the like button, while on the other hand, Instagram used the heart icon as a core feature. Twitter is swiping conventions from other platforms, rather than adapting user-driven innovations by adopting both concepts.

A company will not sink or be saved by turning Favorites into likes. However, it does suggest that Twitter executives still aren’t interacting with the people who use it most or use the product that much themselves.

The search features of a popular social network site are being updated to make posts easier to find. The update is beginning to roll out to Facebook’s website and iOS and Android apps now, the company says.

Facebook users will see three major improvements in search once it hits live. This includes the personalized search suggestions which has the ability to search posts shared publicly or by friends and the ability to search for what people are saying about specific topics.

In the previous iteration, entering a search term would turn up results for pages, people, groups, events, apps or trending topics. This was quite useful and handy if you were searching for something specific — a fan page perhaps, for your favorite TV show, — however, it becomes less helpful if you were trying to search for more general info, like a discussion of the latest episode or fan theory.

With the new updates and changes, Facebook will surface personalized suggestions to help you find exactly what you’re looking for when you begin a search.

Popular and trending topics will also be highlighted in the search, to make it easier to follow topics in real-time. Furthermore, you now have the power to see individual Facebook posts as they are now surfaced in search results. For instance, a search for your favorite TV show may surface posts from friends who have also shared their thoughts on the latest episode.

In the same way you can use search to have an overview on what others are saying about popular topics and viral posts. Tom Stocky, the company’s VP of Search wrote in a statement saying, “When a link gets shared widely on Facebook, it often anchors an interesting public conversation.”

“Now there’s a new way to quickly dive into that discussion. With one tap, you can find public posts about a link, see popular quotes and phrases mentioned in these posts, and check out an aggregate overview of sentiment.”

The search results will respect your existing privacy settings and won’t show anything that wasn’t already available to friends and this is what Facebook noted. With that being said, it can’t hurt to revisit your current settings, or perhaps change who can see posts you’ve previously shared since the new search features will make your posts a lot easier for others to find. It is good to hear that Facebook is listening to fan and user feedback with their updates.

On Thursday, Facebook announced the rollout of a new “Reactions” buttons, in which it allows users to respond to posts with six emoji-inspired faces, as well as the traditional Like.

The new options will appear alongside the familiar thumbs-up icon and all the user will need to do is to press and hold the Like symbol to activate Reactions

You can see how this new feature works in the video below which was posted by Chris Cox, chief product officer at Facebook.

In the video description Chris also shared his insights about this new feature saying, “As you can see, it’s not a “dislike” button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly. We studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun. Starting today Ireland and Spain can start loving, wow-ing, or expressing sympathy to posts on Facebook by hovering or long-pressing the Like button wherever they see it. We’ll use the feedback from this to improve the feature and hope to roll it out to everyone soon.”

Back then in September, Marc Zuckerberg said that the company was working on a feature to satisfy people who’d been asking for new ways to interact with posts. A number of individuals assumed that this would be the inevitable “Dislike” button, however these new options allow for a greater range of responses.

So now if you Facebook users can have the option to react to different posts found in their newsfeed in a more effective manner without necessarily drawing the attention and ire of the online community.

As mentioned earlier, Facebook came up with the six new emoji reactions by studying which comments and reactions are most frequently and widely used across the site.

According to a Thursday post by Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, the feature will be tested first in Spain and Ireland and will be available on both mobile and desktop versions when it launches.