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Daily Crunch: Goodbye, Periscope

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Periscope is shutting down, Samsung has plans for more foldable devices and Airbnb sets new diversity goals. This is your Daily Crunch for December 15, 2020.

The big story: Goodbye, Periscope

It’s official: Twitter -owned live-streaming app Periscope is shutting down by March of next year.

That’s not hugely surprising, both because Jane Manchun Wong spotted some app code suggesting that a shutdown could be coming and also because … when was the last time you thought about Periscope?

In an open letter, Periscope said that its current operations are “unsustainable,” and that “leaving it in its current state isn’t doing right by the current and former Periscope community or by Twitter.”

The tech giants

2021 holds even more Samsung foldables — Whether that means an additional device or something more meaningful remains to be seen.

AWS introduces new Chaos Engineering as a Service offering — Chaos engineering tools help simulate worst-case scenarios. (Also, “chaos engineer” is the best job title imaginable.)

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Airbnb sets new diversity goals — By the end of 2025, Airbnb is aiming for 20% of its U.S. workforce to consist of underrepresented minorities.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Social stock trading services Public raises $65M Series C — The startup says it has expanded its userbase by 10x this year.

Financial aid-focused Frank expands into helping students take online classes — The company is helping students deploy their financial aid money to open digital slots at more than 100 colleges.

Parsec raises $25M from a16z to power remote work and cloud gaming — Parsec started out by helping gamers access their gaming PCs from other devices, but it was a natural transition to other use cases.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Inside Zoox’s six-year ride from prototype to product — Unlike its rivals, Zoox is developing the self-driving software stack, the on-demand ridesharing app and the vehicle itself.

2020 was a disaster, but the pandemic put security in the spotlight — Many of the security headaches exposed by the pandemic will linger into the new year.

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Startup valuations have recovered from summer lows — New data shows that down rounds are dying out.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Among Us launches on the Nintendo Switch — Among Us just launched on the Switch after becoming a surprise hit during the pandemic.

Bandcamp Fridays will continue through next May — On the first Friday of every month, the service has waved its fees, letting artists and labels reap the benefits.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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