theEweekly Wrap: 31 Oct
Google steps up fight against piracy
Google has announced that it will be releasing an update to its 2012 DMCA anti-privacy algorithm, which will make it much harder for web users to find music and movie torrents.
The previous algorithm was designed to prevent websites with copyright infringement reports from ranking highly in Google’s listings, while this update will target those sites which would have escaped punishment in the past.
Websites associated with keywords such as “free” and “download” will be hit extremely hard and many have already received a 98 per cent markdown in visibility.
Google is also currently in the process of testing a format where search results will offer alternative links to legal sources of media like Spotify and Netflix.
Google recently released a report on how they are combating privacy and while they have been acting on this issue for a number of years, they now claim to have refined how they are able to detect illegal content.
Content producers have long called for sites hosting pirated content to be highlighted and demoted, with the entertainment industry widely welcoming this latest step.
Bing allows users to search with emojis
Next up is the news that Bing is allowing users to search the web using emojis. For example if you were looking for the best pizza in Manchester, you could replace the word “pizza” with the emoji for pizza before being shown relevant search results.
Google might dominate the UK market with an 88.75 per cent share (according to September figures), but Bing has shown an increase in market share of late and it will hope this unique tweak helps it steal away some of Google’s dominance.
Search engines are not averse to hidden extras, with Google allowing users to play classic arcade game Atari Breakout if they search for it in the image search bar.
Facebook announces new chat room feature
To conclude our wrap for this week, we have the news that Facebook has announced a new iOS app which encourages users to chat anonymously.
Rooms is a move away from the social networks that we know today, where we are connected with other users via social connections or geography.
Inspired by “early web communities and the capabilities of modern smart phones”, the app will allow users to create places or “rooms” for their specific interests, with other users then able to be invited and join in conversations by scanning a 2D barcode.
The rooms will act much like a feed or discussion board, with the topic of the conversation determined by the creator.
Designed to be creative and spontaneous places for communities to grow, the invite only system will mean that each room will be spread by word of mouth. Membership will then be reserved for users who are willing to contribute meaningfully to discussions.