Lab Weekly: Yelp Expansion, Google Maps & Social

Phoebe Skinner

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It has been a slightly quieter week in #TheLab, apart from Richard found a Prince compilation playlist that he shared with the office, whether they wanted to or not. We had a few client meetings and consultations with it being the end of the month we have all been busy working away. We have all been keeping an eye on the Euros, with many of our teams from the sweepstake being knocked out now that it has got to the quarter finals, lets not even speak of the England game. In honour of first day of the battle of somme 100 years ago we dedicated our image to the fantastic poppy display that has come to Lincoln castle, we recommend that you go take a look at it if you are local it is lovely. In this week’s lab weekly we discuss Google letting you tailor the ads you see, Pinterest announcing new shopping features and more.
Google Lets You Tailor The Ads You See
Google has a new feature which allows people, should they opt in, to enter information about themselves and their interests which will allow Google to show relevant ads. This feature has become noticed as users on Chrome and Gmail have been receiving notifications of the opt-in service. A new ‘My Activity’ page displays all of your activity within Google and its surrounding features, this includes searches, websites, use of maps, and ads you’ve interacted with. Only you have access to this information and can delete whatever you don’t want to see. Ads Personalisation is where you can enter more information about yourself to help Google only show you relevant ads. Information such as your age, gender, and if you want Google to use your interests and what these are, can be entered and changed here. Should you not wish to opt in, your ads may be more general or based on your location but when it is on, you are less likely to get ads which you don’t want as they will be based around you specifically. Google uses a range of information to collect information to tailor your ads, aside for the information that you enter, Google will also use your searches, YouTube videos watched, and general activity. If you’re going to be subjected to ads, you may as well make them ads you are interested in.  
Google Maps Android Users Get New Features
If you are a Android user, then you will want to know that Google Maps now lets you create route directions with multiple stops, and add photos and notes via the “Your Timeline” feature. Google have said that the new feature works in a navigation mode which creates “the seamless driving experience you’re used to”. Both of the new features are currently only available on Android, however Google have said the features will be coming to iOS devices soon.
Yelp Expansion “Yelp Knowledge”
Yelp is expanding its third party companies which have direct access to Yelp reviews and they also announced a new program called “Yelp Knowledge”. With this access they will be able to see more than just a simple review rating them out of 5, they will have access to information providing them valuable insights on how their locations are performing and how customers feel about the company. The historical data will be extremely valuable and will provide information for local and national businesses.
The information which some businesses will have access to will help them improve and alter to the needs and wants of their customers and it allows them to easily respond and ask what customers need and want. Yelp has been running for twelve years and Yelpers have now written 100 million reviews, with the rapid improvement in technology since the launch of Yelp you can expect that number to not stop rising anytime soon. As more and more businesses and users are wanting and writing reviews as it is so simple and easy with their phones having access to all the information needed online.
Twitter have recently announced a new feature which they have called ‘Stickers’, they are a combination of hashtags, Snapchat filters and emoticons. Similar to how hashtags work they can now be searched meaning this isn’t just a feature which adds a little something to your photos it is a great opportunity for brands. Twitter may even offer sponsored stickers, which would allow brands to reach a wider audience.
Twitter tweeted:
“Connect your photos to the world with a visual spin on hashtags: tap #Stickers to peel back a fun new way to
Pinterest is bringing out a new set of features for shopping on the social media platform, an expansion on their buyable pins which is thought to be extended from simply the current US use to other countries in the foreseeable future. The new features include a shopping cart being added to the platform allowing users to add items from different merchants across the site. This comes with merchant’s profiles being updated so that users can see which products merchants have to sell and which are popular and on sale.
Arguably the most innovative feature is the computer vision that Pinterest has put in place, this allows users to click on products in a single image and this will take them to similar products found throughout Pinterest. The feature which will be available if the users are using their iPhone or iPad, will show a dot on an image which will correspond with a certain product and once clicked on will take you to similar products. The technology behind this is that Pinterest’s computers have learned to recognise objects and soon this will be further expanded on by allowing users to take a photo and have Pinterest suggest similar products for sale on their website based on that object.

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