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Daily Crunch: Twitter tests limiting replies

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Twitter is giving users tools to avoid abusive or annoying replies, MakeSpace raises $55 million and Sphero gets a new CEO and a new spinoff.

Here’s your Daily Crunch for May 21, 2020.

1. Twitter is testing a feature that limits who can reply to your tweets

Users can pick from one of three options: Everyone, People You Follow and Only People You Mention. If you opt for either of the latter, the reply function will be greyed out for all who don’t fit the description. They can view, like and retweet the thing, but they won’t be able to reply directly to the sender.

After all, one of Twitter’s greatest benefits and downsides is its openness relative to platforms like Facebook. Anyone and everyone can reply directly to a tweet — and that’s not always ideal for the sender.

2. On-demand storage startup MakeSpace picks up another $55M

On-demand storage startups have sprung up all over the world, hopeful that their new take on an antiquated, fragmented and valuable market would lead to big returns in a brave, new, Uberified world. But the industry has seen a lot of ups and downs, with various startups merging, closing, transferring and trying to pivot in the process. That’s left a consolidated space with fewer — hopefully better capitalized and better organized — competitors remaining.

3. Sphero appoints new CEO, spins off robotics startup for first responders

While still a robotics company at its heart, the underwhelmingly named Company Six will create robotic systems designed for first responders and other humans whose work requires them to put themselves in harm’s way — allowing its parent company to continue its focus on education-related products.

4. Salesforce Commerce Cloud releases four quick-start pandemic business packs

Salesforce decided to build four packages of services for customers, specifically designed to help conduct business during COVID-19. The company even has systems integration partners who will run everything for the first three months.

5. Why VCs say they’re open for business, even if they’re pausing new deals

This week, former TechCrunch editor Alexia Bonatsos of Dream Machine and Niko Bonatsos of General Catalyst swung by Extra Crunch Live to discuss where they are investing today and what the future might look like. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Facebook introduces new Messenger safeguard aimed at combating scams and fake friends

The social network scans accounts for suspicious activity, leveraging machine learning to pick up anomalies like accounts sending a large number of requests in a short timespan or numerous message requests to users under 18.

7. Amazon launches food delivery service in India

The e-commerce giant, which has invested more than $6.5 billion in India, today launched its food delivery service Amazon Food in select parts of Bangalore. The company had originally planned to launch the service in India last year.

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 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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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.

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.

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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