Demise of Google+ Points to Facebook’s Social Dominance

Google is shutting down its Google+ social network in the wake of revelation that a software bug exposed the data of up to 500,000 Google+ users since 2015. The company also debuted tools that give users more control over the data they share with Google-connected apps and services. The demise of Google+ is in stark contrast to its 2011 launch, when it represented an “exclusive club” that required a private invitation to enter. In following years, Google discovered running a social network is trickier than it appears to be. Continue reading Demise of Google+ Points to Facebook’s Social Dominance

Google Fends Off Facebook Threat with Local Search Feature

Although Google+ might be considered a failed experiment in creating a social network, it still came in No. 1 in the 2017 American Customer Satisfaction Index, meaning some people still find it useful. Most brands have moved from Google+ to other social media platforms with bigger audiences, but Google didn’t give up, introducing Google My Business in 2014. The service, which allows businesses to manage how information about them appears in a search, is poised to go big with Google Posts. It could also help fend off Facebook as a competitor in search and advertising revenue. Continue reading Google Fends Off Facebook Threat with Local Search Feature

Facebook Messenger Will Roll Out Voice-to-Text Capabilities

Facebook will continue to improve its Messenger app this year. The standalone app already has more than 500 million monthly users, but the company is hoping to get to a billion users by the end of the year. One attractive new feature will be the voice-to-text transcription. A release date has yet to be announced, but the company is already testing it. Also, Facebook will experiment with ways to generate revenue and give people a way to communicate with businesses on the Messenger app. Continue reading Facebook Messenger Will Roll Out Voice-to-Text Capabilities

Google Maps App Includes OpenTable’s Reservation Service

Google is integrating OpenTable’s booking service into its Maps mobile platform feature. Not only can users view turn-by-turn directions, reviews for businesses, and related photographs, but the addition will allow them to reserve a table at a restaurant from inside the application. Google has used other services in similar ways, such as displaying Uber fares, times of arrival and times to destination inside its app. The latest addition is a result of Google’s growing partnership with OpenTable parent Priceline.

Continue reading Google Maps App Includes OpenTable’s Reservation Service

Apple Plans to Target New Customers with Larger iPad Screen

Following reports that the upcoming new iPhone will have a bigger screen, Apple may also have an even larger iPad in the works. The new iPad with a 12.9-inch display would dwarf the current models of iPads, which measure 9.7 inches and 7.9 inches diagonally. Tablet sales have been on the decline for the past two quarters, but the iPad remains Apple’s second-biggest product. The larger screen could give the iPad more functionality and appeal for businesses, schools and government customers. Continue reading Apple Plans to Target New Customers with Larger iPad Screen

Google’s Ingress Game Combines Virtual and Real World Play

“Ingress,” a multiplayer game that uses the entire globe as its game board, made its debut on iOS this week. Now, iPhone users can join in the fun of working with other online gamers to find real life portals in their community and progress through the “Risk”-like game. “Ingress” already has about four million downloads on Android devices in about 200 countries. Google has also taken advantage of advertising opportunities, allowing businesses to pay to become a portal. Continue reading Google’s Ingress Game Combines Virtual and Real World Play

Users Lose Interest in Facebook and Google Login Services

Facebook and Google have benefited from the social login button, which allows consumers to log in to other websites and apps using their social media accounts. While app makers have found the tactic useful as users are spared the hassle of signing up, Facebook and Google+ use the information to track what their users do on the Internet. In reaction to users’ decreasing interest in social logins, both companies are shifting tactics to allow for more anonymity.  Continue reading Users Lose Interest in Facebook and Google Login Services