theEweekly Wrap: Search, think and protest
|Yahoo Instant||Yahoo! has launched a new feature named Search Direct, seemingly in an attempt to snatch some of the search engine market share back from its rivals. Search Direct is similar to Google Instant, predicting search results which change with every additional letter in a ‘streaming’ style. However, the service touts itself as providing “answers not web links”.
This is partly because the results come from the Yahoo! web index, which is much smaller than Google’s almost complete index. Like Instant, Direct features rich results such as images and videos. When nothing is typed in the search box, the drop-down results box displays the top ten most popular searches in the US. However, there is no preview function yet, allowing users to see what is on the page before they click it; Google Instant Previews for mobile rolled out in early March 2011.
|LGBT ‘cure’ app removed||Apple has removed a controversial app from the app store after receiving a petition of over 146,000 signatures to that effect. The app, produced by Christian group Exodus International, claimed to provide “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus”. This ‘gay cure’ became available on 15 February 2011 but was removed on Tuesday night, after the campaign to have it removed gained momentum.
The Change.org petition claimed, “Apple doesn’t allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth”. A similar app was removed in 2010 after a petition attracted 7,000 signatures. Both apps were awarded a 4+ rating by Apple, meaning they contain no offensive material and are suitable for everyone. Although Apple has been praised for removing the app, questions are being asked about how it ever slipped through the app store guidelines in the first place.
|Mobile search at home||US performance marketing company Performics has conducted a survey into mobile search behaviour. The study was limited to those who use their mobile to surf the internet on a weekly basis, but found that 57 per cent of this group go online more than once a day. An incredible 75 per cent of respondents said mobile search makes their life easier, while 32 per cent claimed to use mobile search more often that they use desktop search.
However, the most interesting results concern where people use mobile search. The most popular answers, perhaps surprisingly, were ‘at home in the evening’ with 81 per cent, and ‘at home on the weekends’ with 80 per cent. Answers which reflect the on-the-go nature of mobile search were less popular, such as ‘at a social gathering’ with 56 per cent, and ‘while commuting‘ with 47 per cent.
|Google glossy||Google has produced a 68-page Flash magazine all about data. The first edition of Think Quarterly was written and produced in the UK, under the leadership of UK & Ireland MD Matt Brittin. Described by the search giant as “a breathing space in a busy world”, the magazine features articles on the history of data collection and the top ten places to view data online, as well as PPC and AdWords tips from Tony Fagan, director of research at Google.
Mashable commented: “It’s unclear whether the new online magazine is another sign that Google is entering the media business or whether it’s just a project to feed the company’s intellectual curiosity. Google doesn’t describe its newest project as a magazine or a publication. Instead, Google calls it a book on its website and a “unique communications tool” on its Twitter account.”