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Tag: Features

New Instagram features flag potentially offensive comments, allow you to quietly ‘restrict’ users

July 9, 2019 No Comments

Instagram announced two new features today that it said are designed to combat online bullying.

In both cases, the Facebook -owned service seems to be trying to find ways to limit bad behavior without outright blocking posts or banning users.

“We can do more to prevent bullying from happening on Instagram, and we can do more to empower the targets of bullying to stand up for themselves,” wrote Instagram head Adam Mosseri in the announcement. “Today we’re announcing one new feature in both areas. These tools are grounded in a deep understanding of how people bully each other and how they respond to bullying on Instagram, but they’re only two steps on a longer path.”

The first feature is supposed to use artificial intelligence to flag comments that “may be considered offensive.” In those cases, users are asked, “Are you sure you want to post this?” and then given the option button to “undo” their comment before it posts.

This might seem like a relatively tame response, particularly because users can still go ahead and post the original comment if they want, but Mosseri said that in early tests, his team found that the prompt “encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.”

Instagram warning

The other addition, which Mosseri said the service will start testing soon, is the ability to “restrict” users looking at your account.

“We’ve heard from young people in our community that they’re reluctant to block, unfollow, or report their bully because it could escalate the situation, especially if they interact with their bully in real life,” Mosseri wrote.

So by using this new option, you can limit another user’s interaction with your account without making it obvious. If you restrict someone, their comments on your posts will only be visible to them, unless you approve a comment for general consumption. They also won’t be able to see if you’re active on Instagram or if you’ve read their direct messages.

Mosseri described earlier versions of these features at Facebook’s F8 developer conference in April.


Social – TechCrunch


The Newest Amazon Sponsored Products Features of 2019

January 22, 2019 No Comments

The new features include bidding strategies, placement multipliers, and new targeting options that introduce additional complexity to the Amazon marketplace.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Google’s Cloud Spanner database adds new features and regions

January 1, 2019 No Comments

Cloud Spanner, Google’s globally distributed relational database service, is getting a bit more distributed today with the launch of a new region and new ways to set up multi-region configurations. The service is also getting a new feature that gives developers deeper insights into their most resource-consuming queries.

With this update, Google is adding to the Cloud Spanner lineup Hong Kong (asia-east2), its newest data center location. With this, Cloud Spanner is now available in 14 out of 18 Google Cloud Platform (GCP) regions, including seven the company added this year alone. The plan is to bring Cloud Spanner to every new GCP region as they come online.

The other new region-related news is the launch of two new configurations for multi-region coverage. One, called eur3, focuses on the European Union, and is obviously meant for users there who mostly serve a local customer base. The other is called nam6 and focuses on North America, with coverage across both costs and the middle of the country, using data centers in Oregon, Los Angeles, South Carolina and Iowa. Previously, the service only offered a North American configuration with three regions and a global configuration with three data centers spread across North America, Europe and Asia.

While Cloud Spanner is obviously meant for global deployments, these new configurations are great for users who only need to serve certain markets.

As far as the new query features are concerned, Cloud Spanner is now making it easier for developers to view, inspect and debug queries. The idea here is to give developers better visibility into their most frequent and expensive queries (and maybe make them less expensive in the process).

In addition to the Cloud Spanner news, Google Cloud today announced that its Cloud Dataproc Hadoop and Spark service now supports the R language, in addition to Python 3.7 support on App Engine.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Twitter hints at new threaded conversations and who’s online features

September 1, 2018 No Comments

Twitter head Jack Dorsey sent out a tweet this afternoon hinting the social platform might get a couple of interesting updates to tell us who else is currently online and to help us more easily follow Twitter conversation threads.

“Playing with some new Twitter features: presence (who else is on Twitter right now?) and threading (easier to read convos),” Dorsey tweeted, along with samples.

The “presence” feature would make it easier to engage with those you follow who are online at the moment and the “threading” feature would allow Twitter users to follow a conversation easier than the current embed and click-through method.

However, several responders seemed concerned about followers seeing them online.

Twitter’s head of product Sarah Haider responded to one such tweeted concern at the announcement saying she “would definitely want you to have full control over sharing your presence.” So it seems there would be some sort of way to hide that you are online if you don’t want people to know you are there.

There were also a few design concerns involved in threading conversations together. TC OG reporter turned VC M.G. Siegler wasn’t a fan of the UI’s flat tops. Another user wanted to see something more like iMessage. I personally like the nesting idea. Cleans it up and makes it easier to follow along and I really don’t care how it’s designed (flat tops, round tops) as long as I don’t have to click through a bunch like I do with the @reply.

I also don’t think I’d want others knowing if I’m online and it’s not a feature I need for those I tweet at, either. Conversations happen at a ripping pace on the platform sometimes. You are either there for it or you can read about it later. I get the thinking on letting users know who’s live but it’s not necessary and seems to be something a lot of people don’t want.

Its unclear when either of these features would roll out to the general public, though they’re available to those in a select test group. We’ve asked Twitter and are waiting to hear back for more information. Of course, plenty of users are still wondering when we’re getting that edit button.


Social – TechCrunch


Snapchat launches less creepy Send and Request Location features

May 25, 2018 No Comments

Snapchat is taking another shot at location after its always-on coordinate-broadcasting Snap Map proved a bit invasive for some users. Snapchat now lets you send your ongoing real-time location to a friend, or request theirs, which show up on the Snap Map and within your message thread.

Essentially, this is location sharing built for the intimacy people love about Snapchat, rather than the foreign and a little freaky idea of giving a wide swath of your contacts access to your whereabouts through Snap Map. As Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp ruthlessly exploit their clones of Stories, it’s the more private, close friends features like this and ephemeral messaging that are Snapchat’s best shot at staying relevant.

TechCrunch was tipped off to the location feature by our reader Chand Sethi (thanks!) and now Snapchat confirms it’s been slowly rolling out to iOS and Android users over the past few weeks. Snap Map, which launched last June, has always offered the option to only share with specific friends instead of all of them. Still, the whole idea of location broadcasting might have scared some users into staying in only-me Ghost Mode. This new feature is Snap’s chance to get them on board, one friend at a time.

Now when you long-press on a friend’s name or hit the three-line hamburger button on a chat thread, you’ll get the option to Send Location or Request Location. It only works with bi-directional friends, so you can’t ask for the spot of your favorite Snap star if they don’t follow you back, and you can turn off getting requests in your settings if people are spamming you.

Location shared through this feature will only update live for eight hours after you last open the app. You can cancel someone’s access at any time through the Snap Map. And if you’ve never enabled it, you’ll go through the location consent flow first.

By letting users dip their toes in, Snapchat could get more users active on Snap Map. After its June 2017 launch, it hit 35 million daily viewers, but that number was at 19 million and sinking by November, according to leaked data. In February, when it launched on web, Snapchat said it had 100 million monthly users — but as Snap never shares monthly user numbers and instead relies on daily counts, the fact that it had to go with a monthly stat here showed some insecurity about its popularity.

Along with Discover, Snap Map represent one of the app’s best differentiators. Investing in improvements here is wise. After all, it might only be a matter of time before we see an Insta Map.


Social – TechCrunch


Google Analytics for Firebase: New Look and New Features

November 18, 2017 No Comments
If you use Google Analytics for Firebase to measure your apps, you’ll notice something familiar today: a new look and feel that’s more consistent with your Google Analytics experience.

These new elements echo some of the changes we made to Google Analytics earlier this year — the updates should help bridge the gap for anyone who uses both Google Analytics and Google Analytics for Firebase. We’ve also added new reports and cards that will make the Google Analytics for Firebase Dashboard more timely and helpful.

Real-Time Data 

We are now providing you with more real-time information throughout Google Analytics for Firebase to give you a better read on what’s happening in your app.

Inside the Google Analytics for Firebase Dashboard, you’ll now find a real-time card, much like the one on the Google Analytics Home. It shows details on the number of active users in the past 30 minutes. You’ll also see the top conversion events logged by the app. You can configure these conversions so you can track app events that are most important to your team.


The new Google Analytics for Firebase Dashboard

 
Google Analytics for Firebase has a brand new stability card that reports on data from Firebase Crash Reporting and Firebase Crashlytics. It displays the percentage of users who have not had their app crash, so you can see just how stable your app is.

Latest Release 

The new Latest Release report lets app developers track the adoption and stability of new app versions within a few hours of release.

The report also contains a real-time card with an app version filter that lets you see which users have adopted the latest version of a release and know whether any versions have crashed in the past 30 minutes. It also lets you measure your users’ level of engagement.

Same Great Analytics 

The updated experience is more consistent with Google Analytics, but one thing hasn’t changed: Google Analytics for Firebase users still get the same great app-centric reporting and analysis they’re used to for Android and iOS. Our engineers are working on developments and new features we’ll share in the months to come.

To see the new look and updated features, check out your Firebase project now. (Don’t have one yet? Sign up!)


Google Analytics Blog


Google launches new security features to protect users from unverified apps

July 19, 2017 No Comments

 Google has been steadily adding new security features for its G Suite users over the course of the last few months, including new anti-phishing tools and OAuth apps whitelisting, as well as an enhanced app review process. Today, it’s adding another layer on top of this with the launch of a new “unverified app” screen for new web applications and Apps Scripts. This new screen… Read More
Enterprise – TechCrunch


Bing Ads Releases New Audience Features

June 21, 2017 No Comments

Bing announced two new open betas, In-Market Audiences and Custom Audiences. These targeting options intelligently leverage customer data, enabling marketers to serve better ads.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Firebase Analytics Gets New Features and a Familiar New Name

May 19, 2017 No Comments
Can it be just a year since we announced the expansion of Firebase to become Google’s integrated app developer platform at I/O 2016? That Firebase launch came complete with brand new app analytics reporting and features, developed in conjunction with the Google Analytics team.

Now, at I/O 2017, we’re delighted to announce some exciting new features and integrations that will help take our app analytics to the next level. But first, we’d like to highlight a bit of housekeeping. As of today, we are retiring the name Firebase Analytics. Going forward, all app analytics reports will fall under the Google Analytics brand.

This latest generation of app analytics has always, and will continue to be, available in both the Firebase console and in Google Analytics. We think that unifying app analytics under the Google Analytics banner will better communicate that our users are getting the same great app data in both places. In Firebase and related documentation, you’ll see app analytics referred to as Google Analytics for Firebase. Read on to the end of this post for more details about this change.

One other note: The launches highlighted below apply to our latest generation of app analytics – you need to be using the Firebase SDK to get these new features.

Now let’s take a look at what’s new.

Integration with AdMob
App analytics is now fully integrated with AdMob. Revenue, impression and click data from AdMob can now be connected with the rest of your event data collected by the Firebase SDK, all of it available in the latest Google Analytics app reports and / or in the Firebase console.

For app companies, this means that ad revenue can be factored into analytics data, so Analytics reports can capture each app’s performance. The integration combines AdMob data with Analytics data at the event level to produce brand new metrics, and to facilitate deep dives into existing metrics. You can answer questions like:

  • What is the true lifetime value for a given segment, factoring in both ad revenue and purchase revenue?
  • How do rewarded ads impact user engagement and LTV?
  • On which screens are users being exposed to advertising the most or the least?

With this change, you can now have a complete picture of the most important metrics for your business ― all in one place.

Custom parameter reporting
“What’s the average amount of time users spend in my game before they make their first purchase?” Many of you have asked us for the ability to report on specific data points like these that are important to your business.

Custom parameter reporting is here to make that possible. You can now register up to 50 custom event parameters and see their details in your Analytics reports.

  • If you supply numeric parameters you’ll see a graph of the average and the sum of that parameter.
  • If you supply textual parameters you’ll see a breakdown of the most popular values.

As with the rest of your Analytics reports, you can also apply Audience and User Property filters to your custom parameter reports to identify trends among different segments of your userbase.

To start using custom parameter reporting for one of your events, look for it in the detail report for that event. You’ll see instructions for setting things up there.

Integration with DoubleClick and third-parties – Now in Beta
We’re also pleased to announce a new integration with both DoubleClick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick Bid Manager. Firebase-tracked install (first open) and post-install events can now easily be imported back into DoubleClick as conversions.

This is a boost for app marketers who want a clearer view of the effect their display and video marketing has on customer app behavior. Advertisers can make better decisions (for all kinds of ads, programmatic included) as they integrate app analytics seamlessly with their buying, targeting and optimization choices in DoubleClick.

We also know that some of you use advertising platforms beyond AdWords and DoubleClick, so we continue to invest in integrating more third-party networks into our system. (We’re now at 50 networks and growing). The goal: to allow app data from all your networks to come together in Google Analytics, so you can make even better advertising choices using all the data you collect. Learn more.

Real-time analytics for everyone
Google Analytics pioneered real-time reporting, so we know how important it is for our customers to have access to data as it happens. That’s why we’re so excited by the real-time capabilities we’ve introduced into our latest app reports. To refresh an announcement we made in March: StreamView and DebugView are now available to the general public. These features allow you to see how real-world users are interacting and performing with your app right now.

StreamView visualizes events as they flow into our app reporting to give you a sense of how people around the world are using your app, right down to the city level. Then Snapshot lets you zoom-into a randomly selected individual user’s stream of events. And DebugView uses real-time reporting to help you improve your implementation – making it easy for you to make sure you’re measuring what you want how you want. DebugView is a terrific tool for app builders that shows you events, parameters and user properties for any individual development device. It can also highlight any events that contain invalid parameters.

Same product, familiar new name
As mentioned above, we’re rebranding Firebase Analytics to make it plain that it’s our recommended app analytics solution, and is fully a part of the Google Analytics family.

Our latest reports represent a new approach to app analytics, which we believe better reflects the way that users interact with apps. This means that these reports have different concepts and functionality when compared to the original app analytics reports in Google Analytics.

If you’re used to using the original app analytics reports in Google Analytics, don’t worry: they’re not going anywhere. But we recommend considering implementing the Firebase SDK with your next app update so you can start getting the latest features for app analytics.

Good data is one thing everyone can agree on: developers and marketers, global firms and fresh new start-ups. We’ve always been committed to app-centric reports, because analytics and data are the essential beginning to any long-term app strategy. We hope that these new features will give you more of what you need to build a successful future for your own apps.


Google Analytics Blog


Urban-X’s investors showcase features high-tech face masks, navigation for the blind and more

May 7, 2017 No Comments

 The Urban-X investors showcase is a closed-door event that shows off eight different incubated startups to potential investors and press. I stopped by earlier this week to see what the fuss was about. Of the eight companies in Urban-X’s 02 cohort, I picked four that tackled problems relating to pollution, the visually impaired, urban deliveries and maintaining public cleanliness:… Read More
Startups – TechCrunch