Alexa, the voice assistant that was developed by Amazon, has been made available to developers for free as part of Amazon’s plans to establish Alexa as a serious rival to Siri and Cortana. Alexa is the core behind their new product, Amazon Echo. This will allow it to be used with other apps, as developers can build support for it directly into their own apps. The process of integrating Alexa into apps has been made as simple as possible, with the hope that it will be just as simple for novice developers, as it will for those working within well established businesses.
A number of companies have already taken Amazon up on their offer, due to the benefits this will have for their business. The type of industry that these companies operate in is quite varied, but they all plan to use Alexa in the same way, to make things easier for their customers. The types of business that are using Alexa range from security companies to those that make toys that help parents communicate with their children when they are away from home.
In addition to making Alexa available for free, Amazon have also announced that start ups and those who develop apps and build gadgets will also be eligible to apply for funding from a $100 million fund to support the development of voice activated devices. This has the potential to vastly increase the amount of use that Alexa will get in the near future, as companies take advantage of this funding that they may have struggled to get from elsewhere.
Google News Lab has been created to transform the way news is created by tapping into technology and making it easier to find eyewitness videos from around the world. This hub also allows journalists to get search data to create stories based upon peoples’ interests. Google News Lab is to help with gathering of information, enhancing stories with visualization, and sharing stories with a wider audience. Technology and access to data can be used to create new media companies. Google news Lab is starting with USA, Germany, France and UK and later will expand to other countries.
Since technology (mobile phone with video and audio capabilities) has allowed everyday people to be able to record what is happening at any given time, Google has announced a tool that will enable these eyewitnesses and journalists the platform to upload news worthy events as they are happening, to be watched by the whole world. To achieve this goal, Google has made tutorials, showing journalists and mobile phone users how to use Maps, Earth, YouTube, Search and Fusion Tables in their reporting.
YouTube Newswire is a news feed service Google has created to focus on the most relevant events worldwide. Google has teamed up with Storyful, which is a social news agency, which will verify the most news worthy eyewitness videos every day. The First Draft Coalition is another aspect of YouTube Newswire, will educate journalists on how to verify eyewitness videos. People watch more that 5 million hours of news video on YouTube every day.
Google Trends, another pillar of News Lab, is a visual engine for Google queries that provides journalists with real time data, a Homepage with a list of trending stories, better cover for niche topics, and a daily selection of data sets.
In the past, there were only a few news reporting agencies and they were swaying the stories to reflect their way of thinking or the way they wanted us to think. Now with technology, the news will be reported more accurately and in such a way that we can form our own opinions. Also we will be able to see a different viewpoint.
Facebook has been a very dominating presence in the social media world now for close to ten years now. However, as of 2015, this news guru is trying on a new hat of sorts. What is this new hat? This new hat that is being tried on for size is no other than the latest unfolding of Facebook Dynamic Ads. This is not something that comes as a tremendous surprise to seasoned retail marketers. Facebook Dynamic Ads is a very newsworthy and strong contender to go up against the likes of market giants such as Amazon and Google.
This latest advertising program is something that was launched earlier on this year. It is an advertising program that can go on to bigger and better things. These bigger and better things are all about groundbreaking money that can be made for both the social network and its related advertisers. This is something that is in thanks to extensive user-data and targeting capabilities. What Facebook Dynamic Product Ads does offer is very clear. It has numerous options for advertising for retailers. It also includes a very engaging product image carousel that does feature three products. These three products are all focused in one single ad unit that is called a multi-product ad.
How do retailers leverage Facebook advertising for 2015?
1. Properly Setup The Business Manager
The very best of all entry ways into Facebook Dynamic Product Ads is by making sure that all retailers do have their Business Managers set up and working right. The things they will need to make this happen do include a personal Facebook account, first of all, and also an ad account, which is capable of being moved to Business Manager. They also do require to have a working Facebook page that can also be moved to Business Manager as well. What also is suggested to be added to Business Manager are all the names, as well as, any working email addresses for all of the retailers that they would like to add to their business as well.
2. Installation of Facebook Conversion Pixel
There are two benefits that do go along with installing the Facebook Conversion Pixel.
- Ad Optimization – Facebook will display ads automatically to those users who are more than likely to convert.
- Measurement – Retailers get the ability to see just how much they are having to spend for each and every conversion that is made by them. They can fine-tune their ads to calculate exact return on an ad spend.
In order to install Facebook’s Conversion Pixel – Retailers will have to follow four detailed steps. These four steps are creation of the pixel itself, adding the pixel to the website, using pixel for ad optimization, and also measuring conversions.
If you would like to know more on how to use Facebook’s Conversion Pixel. Please visit Facebook’s Ad Manager for more information.
Web design trends are constantly changing and 2015 is no exception. With Google’s new algorithm causing upheaval in the web design world, there has been a drive for change this year and a move away from complex, visual intensive websites towards clean, simpler lines. Here are 5 of the top design trends for this year:
1. Mobile optimization
There’s no doubt about it, optimizing web design for mobile users is big news. Google’s new algorithm has meant that companies have raced to make their pages mobile friendly in time for the big change. Only pages that offer a good user experience for mobile devices are boosted to the top of the search engine rankings, so fast loading, mobile friendly trends are on the increase.
The key to this year’s design trend is simplicity and responsiveness. In short, help the user to achieve their aim as quickly as possible. Easy to use interfaces combine with a great looking website to lead more visits to conversions.
3. Flat Design
One of the biggest trends this year is towards the polished, easy to use flat design. Allowing for much faster page load times, flat design feeds into the move towards simplicity with its simple lines and minimalistic elements.
Scrolling sites are on the increase. This caters for the new mobile optimized trend as scrolling is much easier for mobile users than endlessly clicking and waiting for a new page to load. Infinite scrolling boosts page load speed as it only loads a small amount of content at a time.
5. Single Pages
Another trend that feeds into the drive for simplicity, companies are moving towards a single page website to showcase their product. Condensing all necessary information into a single page is mobile friendly, simple to navigate and allows a quick overview of a product or service.