You can find our opening times in this week’s Lab Weekly and also on our Facebook and Twitter page. For our final Lab Weekly story of 2016 we discuss new updates to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and Google low authority stories.

From everyone in #TheLab we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Google Tackle Low Authority Stories

Recently, Google have been trying to tackle the issue of fake news articles and a search query has brought this back to their attention. It was found that after searching “did the Holocaust happen” the first result was for a Holocaust denial site. Google have since changed their algorithm to change this result which is not only false but a sensitive subject of which is even illegal in Germany. Rather than manually removing the site, by updating the algorithm, it will hopefully change the results of other false claiming sites. If they would have removed the site it would have also brought up confusions and debates as to what should be allowed to rank, subjects such as religion may then come under fire as well. Currently, the results for this specific query are jumping around on different devices and locations as the algorithm is still undergo and takes a while to roll out. This is just another step in Google providing their users with quality, relevant sites for their queries.

Social

Instagram

Taking another leaf out of Snapchat’s book, Instagram has added stickers to their Stories. Snapchat stated that the stickers add ‘context and creativity’ to the Story feature. Much like on Snapchat, after the photo or video has been taken, a variety of sticks can be added, moved, and resized, including the time, temperature, and fun images. For this holiday season, festive stickers have been added including snowmen and candy canes.

Instagram has made another update to Stories, being that when you record videos, you no longer have to press and hold the button, one tap is simply enough and hand free recording is on the go. Unlimited text is also now available, with the option to align the text and wrap it.

Snapchat

Working very closely with Shazam Snapchat now have a new and useful feature that allows the platform to recognise, discover and share music. If there is a song playing in the background and you just can’t remember the name then simply go onto Snapchat and hold down anywhere on the screen until the title and artist of the song pops up and then you will most likely kick yourself for not knowing the song! Every song that you have shazamed on the platform will appear in your settings where you can then add the song to your Snapchat and include stickers, captions, and coloured filters. The good news about this fantastic new feature is you don’t need to have a Shazam account you simply just need Snapchat and some tunes!

Facebook

With the release of live television using Facebook live which was released around April time Facebook has just announced that they are releasing a new feature called Live Audio which is going to be very similar to Facebook live however without the display. This new feature will allow users to listen to a variety of different broadcasts, this could include book readings, radio shows and podcasts. Similar to Facebook Live the user will be able to interact with the broadcaster by commenting and sending their reactions, not only can you listen in but you are able to put it on in the background and continue with your daily tasks of updating your status and sharing great pictures with friends and family. For Android users who you use the Facebook app, you are able to exit out of the app and continue listening to the broadcast even when in another app, unfortunately iPhone and iPad users will not have access to this feature. This brand new feature is currently only available for a select few pages including BBC World Service and more, the feature will be available to more in the new year.