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Google’s Adding New Contextual Data Panels to All Search Results to Inform Users of Site Info

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Google’s looking to help users get a better understanding of the websites displayed in its search results by adding new informational panels accessible on all listed site matches in SERPs.

As you can see here, by tapping on the three dots at the top right of any search result, you’ll now be able to access information about that site, sourced from Google itself and Wikipedia.

As explained by Google

“Starting today, next to most results on Google, you’ll begin to see a menu icon that you can tap to learn more about the result or feature and where the information is coming from. With this additional context, you can make a more informed decision about the sites you may want to visit and what results will be most useful for you.”

Google says that this additional information can provide extra “context or peace of mind, especially if you’re looking for something important, like health or financial information”. The listings will also include when Google initially indexed the page and whether it has HTTPS enabled.

Google’s also looking to provide extra info on other surfaces like job listings or local business listings.

“[For these listings] you’ll see a description about how Google sources that information from sites on the web, or from businesses themselves, and presents it in a helpful format.”

Google extra info

It’s an interesting addition, and part of the broader push to add more contextual information across the web, giving users more ways to verify and check information to ensure they feel confident in the data they’re accessing. 

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Of course, that’s only effective if people actually check the extra info, and you would assume that many won’t. But by providing the tools, and educating users on their options, Google’s doing what it can to help improve digital literacy, and keep people better informed, where possible.

For website owners, that could mean that you’ll want to re-check your results, and see what these panels say about your business. Given that they’re not upfront, like Apple’s planned IDFA updates, you would expect that their relative impact would be minimal, but still, you’ll no doubt want to ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward in all aspects of search results, which will include this additional contextial information.

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Google says that it will begin rolling out the feature to US users from today, on desktop, mobile web and the Google App on Android. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat’s Coming ‘Family Center’ Will Work

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New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat's Coming 'Family Center' Will Work

Snapchat’s parental control options look close to launch, with new screenshots based on back-end code showing how Snap’s coming ‘Family Center’ will look in the app.

As you can see in these images, shared by app intelligence company Watchful (via TechCrunch), the Family Center will enable parents to see who their child is engaging with in the app, along with who they’ve added, who they’re following, etc.

That could provide a new level of assurance for parents – though it could also be problematic for Snap, which has become a key resource for more private, intimate connection, with its anti-public posting ethos, and disappearing messages, helping to cement its place as an alternative to other social apps.

That’s really how Snap has embedded its niche. While other apps are about broadcasting your life to the wider world, Snap is about connecting with a small group of friends, where you can share your more private, secret thoughts, without concern of them living on forever, and coming back to bite you at a later stage.

That also, of course, means that more questionable, dangerous communications are happening in the app. Various reports have investigated how Snap is used for sending lewd messages, and arranging hook-ups, while drug dealers reportedly now use Snap to organize meet-ups and sales.

Which, of course, is why parents will be keen to get more insight into such, but I can’t imagine Snap users will be so welcoming of an intrusive tool in this respect.

But if parents know that it exists, they may have to, and that could be problematic for Snap. Teen users will need to accept their parents’ invitation to enable Family Center monitoring, but you can see how this could become an issue for many younger users in the app.

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Still, the protective benefits may well be worth it, with random hook-ups and other engagements posing significant risks. And with kids as young as 13 able to create a Snapchat account, there are many vulnerable youngsters engaging in the app.

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But it could reduce Snap’s appeal, as more parents become aware of the tool.

Snapchat hasn’t provided any further insight into the new Family Center, or when it will be released, but it looks close to launch based on these images.  

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