Stuff we like 30 July 2014

Posted by Mal Darwen on 30 Jul, 2014
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Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Michael Jackson's video techniques revisited

Communication

Facebook released the first version of its Messenger app in 2011, which allowed us all to quickly send and read messages without loading up the full-fat Facebook app - but still left us the ability to write, read and reply to messages in the main app. However, this is all changing in the next few days, Facebook will require anyone wanting to send or read messages on mobile to download the app. Apparently, response times to messages are 20% faster on the new app than in the main Facebook mobile interface. Some people in the tech world are having a bit of a grumble, but having used it, I can't bring myself to grumble about a free app which keeps me in touch with colleagues and friends making some changes...

 

Progress

Development continues apace at Google, where a new feature has been globally rolled out to AdWords advertisers - Dynamic Site Links. These ad snippets, which appear automatically (no, you can't control them yourself unless you disable them altogether) to try and align with a user's search behaviour (for example, if they're shopping or planning a trip). Ginny Marvin at Seach Engine World tells us clicks on DSLs are free (for now), but it's likely that a cost-per-click price will eventually be added on here. You can see the sitelinks in this screengrab:

sitelinks on adwords

 

Sharing

Twitter Cards are showing up more and more in blogs, news articles and other content across the web. Cards offer a much more elegant way of displaying someone's tweet, whether it has an image, a link to a web page or app, or even video content. There's a handy quick start guide to using Cards at Search Engine Watch, but if you want to dig right into the tech specs, then Twitter's own page is the place to go

 

App of the week

This week, App of the week has to go to Ivona, because it has one of the most natural text-to-speech apps I've heard yet. That, and the fact that their introduction video on the Play store uses a technique I've not seen since Michael Jackson's 'Black or White' video from 1991. It's not available yet for iOS, but developers are working on this.

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