All Posts in search

March 2, 2015Published by: Anton Perreau

So long, Google+


Has the time come to bid Google+ auf wiedersehen?

It has been announced today that Google+ is being officially split into two (or more) parts, named 'Photos' and 'Streams'. The two new elements are being led by Bradley Horowitz, a longtime Google VP of Product Management.

Historically, Google+ has been useful for increasing authorship of a blog or website, focusing on SEO which Google has always had a big stake in through their majority share in the search market. Google+ also automatically backs up users' photos online, aggregates content from location pages, and acts as a contact book for Gmail. However, much of this functionality is already possible without Google+ although more social elements will probably be reduced with this change.

In an interview with Forbes last week, Sundar Pichai hinted that Google+ was being split up. Whilst Horowitz who's now heading up Google+ has confirmed rumours, Google has yet to make an official announcement on what will happen next to the social network. A big element of the social network that is now integrated into Android and Google for Work is 'Hangouts' although its future looks uncertain.

Read more about this Google+ news on The Verge.

July 9, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

Privacy as a priority: Facebook rolls out Graph Search

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 14.23.31

A few months ago, Facebook announced it was developing Graph Search - a new tool for users to harness each others data by enabling smart searching through phrases. For so long, Facebook has been built to provide search results within specific search dimensions. Now though, users can dig a little deeper. Even more importantly, brands will be able to target more effectively.

Search has always been an appealing feature - the foundations of so many successful websites. It's a long term goal for Facebook to provide insight alongside search. Whilst one of the key focuses on Graph Search has been the use of language, another aspect to which we've been drawn to is on privacy. Whatever concerns they may have been, Facebook Graph Search is rolling out right now.

Facebook isn't naive to users' concerns over privacy and if you're a Facebook user you'll have seen more prominent alerts over the last few days, inviting you to reassess your privacy settings. On a site plagued by so many privacy concerns in the past, it's a welcome sign to see privacy concerns prioritised. However, by providing a user the option to choose what they share publicly, Facebook compromises on the quality and accuracy of the result and ultimately questions whether unlimited privacy controls on Facebook profile data will exist for an extended period.

Facebook Graph Search is very much still a work in progress; a tool that will only become more accurate as more users try it out. The way we see search now will likely be dramatically different in a matter of months. In the meantime, enjoy searching for friends who live in Bognor and love cats - they might just be searching for you too.