Weekly Industry News Round-Up
The Belgian Government about to sue Google? Facebook experiencing yet another breach? Keep up to date with all the latest news with Bright Design’s Tuesday Newsday.
The social family dispute
Over the past couple of years, we have seen that Facebook has been acquiring some of their up-and-coming competitors. Following their purchase of companies such as WhatsApp and Instagram, we’ve seen the growth of what seems to be a social networking empire/ family (I think I prefer the word empire though).
Well, recently it seems there’s been trouble among the networking family as on Tuesday 25th September it was announced that Instagram’s co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are leaving the social networking platform. I think the most surprising thing about this announcement is that it didn’t come sooner. The reason I say this is because after a company is bought by the likes of Facebook, the founders tend to ‘jump ship’ as they have already banked on the sale of their successful project.
Both Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have said nothing negative about Facebook, however, since their departure from the company, rumours have circulated about the treatment they received from Facebook. Many speculate that after Facebook had acquired them for $1bn back in 2012 they had started to lose their independence and in strategy decisions.
To give you an idea of how much $1bn is, the same amount of money was raised for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign the same year.
Google + Apple = $9 billion agreement?
Now we know that nearly every day there are deals made between the world’s largest companies and brands in order to keep themselves ahead of their competitors. And we also know that Google is destroying the push to be the number one search engine that everyone turns to (the answer to every question is always ‘google it’).
One of the more interesting deals to come to light recently is how much Google is paying Apple to remain as the default search engine for Apple’s Safari browser. Experts from the Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs have estimated that Google is paying Apple an eye-watering $9 billion.
The deal between Google and Apple started back in 2014 with a ‘small’ $1 billion deal, but as the demand and sales volume of Apple products have been released (iMac and the countless amount of iPhones) the original deal has increased by 900%.
It is clear that Google is dedicated to remaining as the number one search engine of choice, even going as far as making a deal with Apple for absurd amounts of money (money I think we all wish we had). I think the only two questions I have now are, how much money does Google generate with their services? And how much of that money comes from Apple devices?
Google has been criticised in the news recently, as the Belgian government and military have requested that the tech company blur images of the military sites. The refusal to blur these images has resulted in the Belgian government deciding to sue Google.
No further details of the legal action have been released. All we know at the moment is that Belgium had requested that images of nuclear power plants and military air bases be blurred on Google Maps.
Google’s spokesman Michel Sallaets said, “It’s a shame the Belgium Department of Defence have decided to take this decision”. He also stated that Google has been working with them for more than two years and that they have made changes to their satellite imagery to comply with Belgian law.
This isn’t the first time that Google have been asked to blur and censor images on their Google Maps service, as other governments around the world have also asked the same of Google for their own military bases.
The Breach of 50 Million Accounts
A security flaw left exposed on Facebook has left more than 50 million Facebook accounts accessible by attackers. Once accessed, the attackers have full control of the users’ accounts. When attackers had full control of the accounts they could then spread fake news, hate speech or share controversial content on the social media platform.
The breach was discovered on last Tuesday. Once the breach was found, Facebook states that they informed the police. All users that were affected by the breach were all forced to re-login into their accounts to make sure that the account was restored to the original owner.
The security flaw has been fixed since the discovery. Facebook’s Vice president of Project Management, Guy Rosen, stated that all of the affected accounts had been reset along with an additional 40 million other accounts. As a precautionary step.
This flaw has led to even more distrust in Facebook and has caused them to lose a total of 3% of their share price. Now I know that 3% doesn’t seem like a lot, but a drop like that could mean the potential loss of millions of dollars.
Have Google Changed Their Mind?
Google have officially announced that they’ve been making small changes to the Google algorithm. The small algorithm update was based around Google’s search ranking system. So if you have noticed a fluctuation in your Google rankings, that’s why.
The small changes were made official when Google’s Danny Sullivan stated on Twitter that Google’s core algorithm is updated all of the time. Major updates to the Google algorithm will be shared on @searchliaison however this update wasn’t considered major.
What we’d advise is that if you haven’t seen any fluctuations in your rankings then don’t. But if you have noticed that your rankings are dropping then work on the quality of your site, with improvements things such as ensuring no duplicate content is present on your site. Need a hand? Get in touch.
Do we need more social media guidelines for children?
Medical experts have started to research and provide parents with advice on their children’s time on social media. The research will concentrate on the mental health effects that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have on the next generation.
Over the years, many parents have voiced their concerns about the time that their children spend on social media and worry that it will negatively affect their future. Due to this, England’s Chief Medical Officer has been asked to provide advice for concerned parents.
The NHS has said that it was right to highlight the concern that many parents have about social medias role in the rise of young people’s mental health issues. We think that any advice that could lead to less mental health issues is a great way to let parents know the dangers of overuse of the biggest social platforms.
Google My Business limits posts
In a recent update, Google have decided to change the limitations of their Google My Business posts. The update has now changed the limit from being based on the number of words which could be posted to the number of characters. Changing from 300 words to 1,500 characters, which now means that for the majority of posts, the maximum length of the post has been shortened. Not only has the maximum length of each post been updated, but now thanks to the new update, there is no longer a minimum word limit.
The 1,500 character limit will work for businesses that like to post short, brief offers and sales on their website, but this does not allow much room for detailed content. For that sort of content, we would suggest to sticking to blog posts on your website.
I think I can speak for all and say that the new limiting update to Google My Business posts is not going to encourage new users to adopt them as part of their online presence unless it becomes a a part of ranking their website.