This week’s online updates concern direct messaging, with Facebook and LinkedIn both making surprising changes to their service. We also take a look at Google’s trial of infinite scrolling for mobile search results, which may curtail businesses hellbent upon landing on the first page.
LinkedIn Updates Direct Messaging by Providing GIF Support
Do we need GIFs to make a point in professional online communication? LinkedIn think so.
LinkedIn has formed a partnership with Tenor, a company recently acquired by Google, that will allow for GIF support in direct messaging. Tenor’s platform allows for LinkedIn users to immediately search for and send GIFs in the same way we use Facebook Messenger.
LinkedIn drew upon research that found 7 in 10 Americans use GIFs and visuals in online communication. Some parties have suggested that GIF support may be inappropriate for a professional network such as LinkedIn, but the professional social platform is going ahead with the plan. They have acknowledged such concerns by releasing a disclaimer that urges users to ‘…think about your company’s culture, your professional relationship with the person, and the industry you work in to decide if it makes sense to send a GIF.’
The company has already begun to introduce the new update, with worldwide support expected in the next few weeks.
Google Considers Switch to Infinite Scrolling for Mobile Search Results
Marketers have long since championed the importance of appearing on Page One in Google search, but these days may be over as far as mobile is concerned.
The search giant is trialling infinite scrolling for mobile, where the standard page results you see in a Google search are replaced by a ‘More Results” button which loads further results on the same page. This is what appeared when I performed a standard Google search on an Android phone today.
Google has confirmed that the feature is only a test at this stage, with user feedback likely to dictate whether it becomes permanent. The new feature is present across multiple mobile browsers that we tested, meaning that Google are likely testing it on a large scale.
It remains to be seen whether this new feature will change the way marketers think about page rankings.
Facebook Will Allow Messenger Users to ‘Unsend’ Their Messages Soon
Embarrassing autocorrect fails may be a thing of the past within Facebook Messenger, with a retraction feature supposedly on the way for all users.
TechCrunch reported earlier in the month that certain Facebook messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg and top executives at Facebook were deleted from relevant inboxes. After being presented evidence of this, a Facebook spokesperson announced that an ‘Unsend’ feature is being prepped and all users will be able to make use of it in coming months.
It is unconfirmed at this point how the retraction feature will work, but TechCrunch were told that an expiration timer is the likely format. When sending a message, Messenger users will be able to set a time, after which the message in question disappears from the inbox of the sender and recipient.
It is debatable whether a retraction feature is a good idea from a business perspective. Users could become more willing to send inflammatory or confidential messages through Messenger, safe in the knowledge that the content will eventually disappear. Details are light on the ground at the moment, but business owners who use Messenger should keep their eyes open for the change in coming months.
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