This week in the ever-changing world of search and social, Google goes hands-free, Facebook gets in on the e-commerce business, and Facebook Messenger gets secretive.
Read on for more information and links to the full story!
Google Debuts its New Family of Hardware
On October 4th, Google announced the release of its new family of products, both hardware and software, aimed at making the best of Google accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
With the release of Google Home, the search giant is poised in direct competition with Amazon Echo. As Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan explains:
“Google bucked the odds to win the first generation of internet search, on the desktop. It proved nimble to thrive in the transition to mobile search. Now it faces a third big generational change: hands-free search in the age of internet-connected devices. Enter Google Assistant and Google Home as how Google hopes to win.”
Until now, virtually all interactions people have had with Google have involved touch. You had to touch your keyboard to type, either on desktop or mobile. You had to touch your phone, even if speaking a search, in order to review results….
Contrast that with the Amazon Echo, the surprise hit device that allows anyone to just speak to it to get the weather, news updates, order products, play music and much more….
Google Home gives Google the physical device to play in the space.”
Facebook Takes on Craigslist & eBay With the Release of Marketplace
This past Monday, the world’s largest social network made a giant leap into the world of e-commerce, with the launch of Facebook Marketplace – a new feature that allows individual Facebook users to buy and sell items ranging from jewelry to electronics to cars.
Kathleen Chaykowski of Forbes explains the details:
“To start, Marketplace is rolling out to users over the age of 18 in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand on iOS and Android over the next few days. Facebook plans to extend the service to its desktop site and additional countries over the coming months.
For now, Marketplace can be accessed by tapping a highly-visible shopping bag icon at the bottom of the app, alongside icons such as ”Messenger” and “Notifications.” Facebook’s massive 1.7-billion person user base and the new feature’s ease of use give it a good shot of competing with more established, peer-to-peer online marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist.
‘Marketplace is a single destination where people can discover, buy and sell things in their neighborhood and community,’ said Facebook product manager Bowen Pan in an interview. ‘The feature will also surface the most relevant items when we don’t know what we’re looking for. It’s designed for people, not big businesses.’ ”
Facebook Finished Rolling Out Secret Conversations
Another Facebook feature wraps up this week’s roll-up, as we shine the spotlight on its wildly popular Messenger service, which now gives users the ability to encrypt their conversations so that no one else – not even Facebook itself – can read them. It’s called Secret Conversations, and it offers end-to-end encryption for all users.
Andy Greenberg of Wired brings us the whole story:
“A Facebook spokesperson tells WIRED the company just finished rolling out “Secret Conversations” to all 900 million Facebook Messenger users in the past few weeks. The opt-in feature allows users to encrypt their messages so that no one can read them except the two people on either end of a conversation—not even Facebook or law enforcement or intelligence agencies. “Your messages are already secure, but Secret Conversations are encrypted from one device to another,” states a description in the app when users initiate their first encrypted conversation.
While the company’s software updates for iOS and Android haven’t explicitly mentioned the encryption feature, anyone who updates their Messenger app will now find the “secret” option on the top right of the “new message” screen.”
Want to start your own secret conversations, but aren’t sure how? TechCrunch gives us a detailed step-by-step walkthrough, offering a visual guide on how to use the new encryption feature.
Thank you for joining us – have a wonderful long weekend!