Google is starting 2014 with their favorite move: killing an useful service used by millions worldwide.
Via The Verge
Via The Verge
This has become quite a common story. Celebrities get some money in exchange for a stealth spontaneous post praising an Apple competitor, despite them having iPhones and iPads as their real personal devices. Jessica Alba, Oprah, David Ferrer and Dani Calabresa (who?) are a few examples of this sort of situation.
However, this is the first time that a brand does the exact same thing. Early last September, Kit Kat and Google announced a partnership to name the next version of Android as Android Kit Kat. The chocolate brand is also making a world-wide sweepstake that places the little green robot on their packages and tout at the chance to win hundreds of tablets.
But none of that was enough to stop the Brazilian branch of the brand from making a Facebook post suggesting that the perfect kit for a night out includes your wallet, your car keys, your Kit Kat, and… your iPhone, of course!
In the post comments (it’s in Portuguese) some people pointed out the irony, which prompted the brand to make a new post (in Portuguese again) featuring an Android phone, and saying “Oh, yeah, iPhone users were being left out since our partnership, so this was an homage to them”. Sure.
I don’t get how this sort of thing happens after a world-wide really expensive deal is announced. But I also don’t get how such a poor Photoshop job to remove the car brand in the car key gets approved as well, so…
“Today we’re introducing an updated ad experience we think is more attractive for users and more effective for advertisers.”
There is a clear typo that Google missed in this press release. It says “users” where it clearly should have been “us“.
“Google’s social network only accounts for 2% of all social sharing across the web.(…) LinkedIn is actually beating Google+ for shared content with a 3% share.”
It’s pretty shameful to see how much Google has been investing on Google+ and how little the return has been.
Google+ is sort of their Ping. Except Apple had the good sense of shutting Ping down when they realized it wasn’t gonna go anywhere, and Google keeps shutting other services down to try to shove Google+ down everybody’s throats.
Google announced today that starting August 9th, Google Latitude (a.k.a. their failed attempt at a Foursquare) will be gone.
The first thing that I thought was “Wait, this thing actually outlived Google Reader?” I think that priorities up in Mountain View have been a little off. (No news there).
The good news is that unlike Google Reader, nobody will really miss Latitude. The bad is that Google is still pretty consistent with their “kill services one by one to keep pushing our pointless Google+” plan. I wonder which will be next.
Excellent text by Marco Arment on the subject:
“Google Reader is just the latest casualty of the war that Facebook started, seemingly accidentally: the battle to own everything. While Google did technically “own” Reader and could make some use of the huge amount of news and attention data flowing through it, it conflicted with their far more important Google+ strategy: they need everyone reading and sharing everything through Google+ so they can compete with Facebook for ad-targeting data, ad dollars, growth, and relevance.”
Stop what you’re doing go read Arment’s text. It’ll be worth it..
Very interesting post by Aaron Harris at Tutorspree, showing how organic x paid search results are presented to us, both via the iPhone and regular a computer browser.
“Open your iPhone. Search for “Italian Food.” What do you see? If you’re in NYC, you see zero organic results. “
The worse part is remembering that not even these 13% or organic results are that organic anyways, as they are probably caught in the search bubbles Google kindly traps you in.
Now will you look at that: if you look up “the xbox one is” on Google, here is what they will suggest for your search:
Now if you head to Bing for the same search), here is what they come up with:
Remember the whole search bubbles thing? Yeah…
Richard Gringras’ interview for Wired reminded me of a TED in which Eli Pariser shows how Google (and Facebook) will only show results based on the information they have about you, and how this can be completely harmful for your online experience.
Links, stories and contents become completely undiscoverable by you, simply because Google actually believes that you want them to choose what you read, when you’ll read it and how you’ll get it.
After watching this video, consider adopting DuckDuckGo as your search engine. They don’t keep any information about you, and search results are completely unbiased.
In an interview for Wired, Google’s Senior Director of News and Social Products, Richard Gringras, said that Google Reader died for the following reason:
“Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day. (…) [Google is looking into] pervasive means to surface news across [Google’s] products to address each user’s interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means.”
So he’s saying that Google Reader died because we stopped reading news in the morning and at night, and started reading them all throughout the day? What the hell part of that wasn’t Google Reader good for? Newspaper-in-the-morning-light-read-at-night died about 15 years ago, way before Google Reader ever existed. Actually, Google Reader helped changing this very habit.
I don’t think I know anybody who didn’t leave a Google Reader tab open all day long to ‘consume news in bits and bites throughout the day’. What the hell is RSS for, then?
The latter part of the text shows the true reason behind the killing of Google Reader. People just wouldn’t use the damn Google+ and their new shove-it-down-their-throats service Google Now if Google Reader was still around.
“Address each user’s interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means?”. Absolutely not. I’ll chose what I want to read, when I want to read it, where I want to read it. Thank you very much.