Both Facebook and Google has introduced some major changes to their products, aimed at higher engagement and more usage.
Facebook Notes Revamped
Facebook now wants its users to blog on their platform; and to enable large scale blogging, they have revamped their Notes feature. The new look appears similar to Medium, another popular blogging platform.
In the new Notes, users can now include a bigger, higher resolution image as the cover image, and the text size and appearance has been made bigger. Additionally, people can also tag other Facebook users, include hashtags and hyperlinks within the body.
To assist long form articles, Facebook has also changed the font from Arial to Georgia, which is a serif font. No ads or sidebar options are visible in the new Notes.
The new features are being tested among a small group as of now, which will be soon rolled out to all users.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “We’re testing an update to Notes to make it easier for people to create and read longer-form stories on Facebook,”
Launched in 2006, Facebook Notes has been lying dormant for quite a few years. Initially launched as a medium to share longer posts when Facebook wall post restricted the length of posts, Notes was never a ‘winner’ for Facebook. Its usage further diminished when Facebook removed any character limit from Wall posts.
The changes were first spotted by Programmer Dave Wine, when he shared an image of the new look Notes.
Google Hangout Is Now A Standalone Website
Google’s messaging interface received a new jolt of innovation, when Hangouts was transformed into a standalone website. Users can simply visit hangouts.google.com and start using chat facility. Thus, users can now use Hangout independently, without depending on Gmail or Google (although the same log-in details apply)
Earlier, Hangout was only accessible via mobile app or within Gmail.
The new website is sleek, minimalistic with a dynamically changing background. One of the most useful features is the ability to take individual chat windows away from the tab, as it opens into a new window, enabling users’ to chat without being stuck on one single tab.
Google Products In Vernacular Languages
In a related news, Google India has reconfirmed it’s pledge of bringing all of their services in vernacular languages. Google has already optimized their voice based search for English speakers in Hindi assent.
Soon, Google Maps will have directions in Hindi as well.
During a recent Google House event in Bangalore, Google India marketing director Sandeep Menon said: “Hindi content consumption on the web has grown 94% y-o-y as compared to 19% growth for English content. While there are an estimated 500 million speakers of Hindi, there are just 1,00,000 Wikipedia articles.”
During the Google House demo in Bangalore, several celebrities such as chef Kunal Kapur, fashion photographer Dabboo Ratnani, YouTube comedy sensation Kanan Gill, and emerging photographer Anushka Menon, came on the stage and explained how they use Google products.
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