Instagram Introduces New User Age Check & Google Updates

by | Dec 5, 2019 | News

Feeling festive yet? Let’s take a brief pause from the Christmas craziness to talk about Amazon’s new keyboard, optimisation scores for display ads, a Facebook bot to appease family members, plus updates from Insta and Google Search Console.

Home > News > Instagram Introduces New User Age Check & Google Updates

You better be old enough for the ‘gram kids! 


No One Knows Why Amazon Just Created A New AI Keyboard…

Earlier this week, Amazon released a new musical keyboard, with a built-in AI composer – and no one is quite sure why. 

On top of the randomness of the launch, the AI keyboard has not exactly received the best reviews, with one expert describing the audio as “terrible”. Ouch. The keyboard itself, dubbed the AWS DeepComposer, is a two-octave, 32-key model, which connects to a computer using a USB cable. The idea is that users can play tunes, use pre-recorded sound clips, or embellish them using different styles – such as jazz or classical. 

An Amazon spokesperson said the keyboard was supposed to be a “fun and engaging” way for developers to learn new skills, but an expert on musical AI at Durham University said that “a musician with a basic sequencing ability could easily mock up better examples”.  Read more on this strange, strange release over at BBC News.


Get Scored on Your Display Campaigns with Google Ads Optimisation

Google has announced that it’s now expanding its Google Ads Optimisation score to include display campaigns, as well as search and shopping.

The optimisation score, which ranges from 0% to 100%, is designed to help “identify opportunities for improvement,” as well as pointing marketers in the direction of areas to work on first. The closer to 100% you are, the better your campaigns.

The functionality will work the same for display as it does with search and shopping, although there will be unique recommendations on offer based on the display functionality itself. Experts have theorised that these could include using targeting expansion or adding responsive display ads, so it could provide useful information for ensuring that your display campaigns are as strong as they could be. Check out more on the news over at Search Engine Journal


Facebook Staff Given ‘Liam Bot’ to Avoid Awkward Questions

Facebook appears to be so worried about its public image that it’s armed its employees with an AI chatbot tool for the holidays – designed to help them answer awkward questions about the company and its policies. 

The chatbot, which was first rolled out to employees before Thanksgiving, contains answers written by Facebook’s public relations team, and covers everything from free speech and moderation to election meddling. The bot, which is called “Liam Bot” for reasons which are still unclear, also links out to Facebook blog posts for further reading on a topic, or links to FAQs if the query is technical. 

With crisis after crisis hitting the social megabrand in the past few years, and a rumoured on-going drop in morale among employees, Facebook appears to be trying to help staff appease friends and family members with this tech solution, although it may take more than a chatbot to convince Uncle Steve they don’t work for the devil. Read more at The Verge.


Rent-a-Quantum Computer – What Could Go Wrong?

Quantum computing is the latest buzzword in the tech world, but so far it’s been fairly unattainable. That may all be about to change however, with the news that Amazon is planning to offer a quantum computing service to companies through the internet. 

AWS has partnered with D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti to launch Braket, which will make the companies’ quantum computers available through the cloud. This will allow developers and researchers to make use of features like quantum circuits and algorithms, without having to build their own (very expensive) quantum computer. 

The move, along with the creation of the AWS Center for Quantum Computing and the AWS Quantum Solutions Lab, shows Amazon working to create an “ecosystem” to help explore and advance this area of technology. Plus, it allows the e-commerce giant to join the quantum game without forking out the big bucks. Maybe quantum computers aren’t as out of reach as we thought? Take a look at the full story at Engadget


Sorry Kiddies, Instagram Will Now ‘Age Check’ New Users

Following industry criticism, Instagram has announced a new sign-up process which will prompt users to enter their date of birth when they create an account – hopefully preventing underage users from gaining access to the ‘gram. 

Instagram’s Terms of Use state that you must be at least 13 years old to have an account in most countries, although until now there have been no age-related checks in place during the sign-up process. Other social platforms such as Facebook and TikTok have long had age checks in place, so it makes sense for Instagram to follow suit. 

While getting people to enter their date of birth isn’t a foolproof solution, the platform hopes that it will act as a “barrier” for younger users. Recent research has shown that a growing number of younger users have started to convert their personal Insta profile into business accounts to gain access to more in-depth analytics, although this can leave them vulnerable regarding having their phone number or email address made public. WIth this in mind, putting more precautions in place to protect younger users is a wise move from the platform. Read more at Social Media Today


Google Search Console Messages Easier to View Than Ever

Google is on a bid to make Google Search Console even more user-friendly, with messages now able to be viewed from anywhere within the tool – without having to leave reports. 

The announcement earlier this week explained how users will now be able to access messages through the bell icon at the top of any page, helping to make the information more accessible. Messages will also now be categorised into types based on what they relate to, such as performance or enhancement. 

Not only will this help to create a smoother workflow, but the categorisation of messages will also ensure that users are able to find comms around a specific issue in a more efficient way. And who doesn’t love improved efficiency? Check out more on the news at Search Engine Land.


One week closer to Christmas, people – and only a small amount of digital news left to cram into 2019. Who knows what next year will bring!


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