Category Archives: Search Engine Marketing

Facebook is indeed a behemoth of a social icon and the center of it all is the news feed with almost 1.5 billion monthly active users. One of the most iconic Facebook feature is the News Feed which provides daily relevant content to its users. How does the News Feed work and what can we expect from it in the future?

The Facebook News Feed is known as a digest of all activities that happens across the site. The news feed premiered on September 5th 2006, to the confusion of most facebook users who immediately hated the concept.

As Facebook prospered it needed to include more types of content and opened its doors to users outside of colleges. As such, the site was required to turn to a more mathematical solution for how popular the news feed of each online user.

This led to the introduction of Edge Rank an algorithm that dictated what stories you see on your news feed. Edge Rank formula took 3 things into consideration: affinity which is your relationship to the poster, weight (how many likes, comments and shares the posts has) and decay (how old the post is)

The Facebook we know today continue to use these 3 elements into consideration along with about a hundred thousand others. As facebook grew and grew, so did their algorithms.

So now for instance, knowing that I liked the Game of Thrones fan page, Facebook might notice that my close friend has liked this Game of Thrones meme on a mutual friend’s wall. Knowing that I’ve liked memes in the past will present them to me in the news feed along with a few ads revolving around Game of Thrones merchandise.

So with this more comprehensive algorithm, Facebook isn’t showing me what thinks I like but rather shows me what it knows I like.

The news feed will continue to grow as Facebook’s data scientists continue to research user behavior on the site. Facebook has recently revealed a “see first” feature which pushes content the user likes to the top of their feeds and soon the like button will be getting an upgrade with new reactions giving users more empathetic options on how to react to a post including love, yay, sad and angry. The news feed algorithm is rapidly evolving and as Facebook explores native video, instant articles and new forms of advertising, you can expect your news feed to show you more accurate content.

In late October, a new initiative has been launched in an effort to give those witnesses a simple way to express themselves and shut down bullying the moment that it starts

The campaign is a collaboration between major tech companies and marketing agencies which his dubbed as “I Am A Witness.” Though you might not have noticed this it yet, the campaign is shared with its logo, and has already made its way into your iPhone’s emoji set which is basically a simple icon depicting an open eye within a speech bubble.

Giving kids a way to call out bullying in text messages or online communications is what the idea revolves around it. One can simply respond with the emoji instead of using words if someone’s trashing a peer.

Lisa Sherman, CEO of Ad Council said, “This emoji felt like it could give teens something to say when they don’t know what to say.”

The one who spearheaded the I Am A Witness campaign is the Ad Council which garnered financial as well as creative support from several companies including the likes of Apple, Adobe and Facebook. Goodby, Silverstein and Partners who are advertising firms work hand in hand together in designing the campaign logo which was then converted into an emoji and presented to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that standardizes special characters across several platforms.

With that being said, there is always a unique challenge when you want to convey a message though emojis as they are not always clear on what exactly they mean. For instance, the eggplant emoji is used to refer to a certain part of the male anatomy which can be a bit misleading.

Kate Baynham, a copywriter at the agency said, “Victims of bullying feel so isolated. And online, bullies feel they have the power to bully because they think they have anonymity. So an eye felt like a no-brainer. It says, ‘I see what’s happening here and I’m not into it.”

At the same time, Adobe agrees with such sentiments who were the ones provided financing to the campaign and helped put the emoji in front of Unicode.

The Ad Council is producing a series of videos on YouTube that explore bullying prevention if you remain a bit skeptical about the emoji. Just last week, three different clips have been debuted.

Sherman added, “At the end of the day, our hope is that this truly incredible and unprecedented collaboration is really going to move the needle on this issue.”

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 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.