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Google Adds New Search Tools for the Holidays, Including AR Try-On Tools and Map Overlays

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Google Adds New Search Tools for the Holidays, Including AR Try-On Tools and Map Overlays

Google’s adding some new Search enhancements for the holidays, in order to help businesses maximize interest in the peak shopping season, and to help people get around and maximize their upcoming travels.

First off, Google’s adding some new AR shopping elements for the holiday shopping push, including a new make-up simulator for foundation, which is the most searched make-up category.

As per Google:

Developed with guidance from beauty brands, our new photo library features 148 models representing a diverse spectrum of skin tones, ages, genders, face shapes, ethnicities and skin types. Backed by Google’s technology, this library is a big step toward changing the way people shop for makeup online, helping you better visualize what different products look like on you.

Google already has AR Try On options for lipstick and eye shadow, and this new addition will further expand its virtual testing tools, which could make it easier to find the right shade of foundation for your skin, without having to test it out in-store.

Google’s also adding a new AR sneaker shopping experience, which will enable you to look at shoes in 360 degrees, to get a better idea sense of each.

You can start exploring products from brands like Saucony, VANS and Merrell today, with more coming soon. Just search for a sneaker type, like “Shop blue VANS sneakers,” and tap “View in my space.”

Google says that shoppers engage with 3D imagery 50% more than static photos, which presents a big opportunity for brands to maximize engagement, and interest, via these advanced presentation options.

Google’s also looking to help people find their holiday favorite foods, with two new Search elements that will help you locate exactly the thing you crave.

First, Google’s adding a new element to its Google Lens camera search feature, which will enable users to find where certain foods are being sold nearby.

Google holiday updates

As you can see in this sequence, you’ll now be able to take a picture of a food item, and Google will show you where you can get it, so you can grab more for yourself after leaving Christmas dinner.

Google’s also added a new search element to help you locate specific food items at restaurants nearby.

Google holiday updates

So now, you’ll be able to get the exact foods you want to liven up your holiday experience.

Finally, Google’s also rolling out some new additions for Maps to make it easier to get around over the holiday period.

The main addition here is the expansion of Live View, which enables users to explore the things around them via AR overlays. Google’s now making Live View available in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo on Android and iOS.

“Say you’re visiting New York with plans to knock out your holiday shopping and catch up with friends. Lift your phone and tap on the camera icon in the search bar to see nearby stores and other places like coffee shops, banks and ATMs. With AR-powered directions and arrows, you can see what direction they’re in and how far away they are – and even spot places that aren’t in your immediate view (like a clothing store around the block) to get a true sense of the neighborhood at a glance.

Google holiday updates

As you can see in these examples, Live View is basically an in-camera version of what AR glasses will provide, with a digital overlay of directions, pointers and other notes on your view.

That could make it a lot easier to find your way around, especially in unfamiliar cities.

Google’s also adding new search elements to highlight wheelchair friendly locations, and electric vehicle charging points.

These are some handy updates – nothing revolutionary, but each providing a glimpse of how emerging technologies can provide direct, practical value, and enhancement for your marketing campaigns.

And while access to Google’s new AR options is fairly limited at this stage, this is where things are headed, with brands set to increasingly lean into 3D modeling, either for AR or for metaverse experiences, to better showcase and promote their items.

Worth considering, and worth checking out over the upcoming holiday period.

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‘Stop the hate’ online, UN chief pleads on Holocaust Day

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A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – Copyright AFP Michal Cizek

The UN secretary-general warned of social media’s role in spreading violent extremism around the globe as he marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, urging policy makers to help stop online hate.

Antonio Guterres said parts of the internet were turning into “toxic waste dumps for hate and vicious lies” that were driving “extremism from the margins to the mainstream.”

“Today, I am issuing an urgent appeal to everyone with influence across the information ecosystem,” Guterres said at a commemoration ceremony at the United Nations. “Stop the hate. Set up guardrails. And enforce them.”

He accused social media platforms and advertisers of profiting off the spread of hateful content.

“By using algorithms that amplify hate to keep users glued to their screens, social media platforms are complicit,” added Guterres. “And so are the advertisers subsidizing this business model.”

Guterres drew parallels with the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, when people didn’t pay attention or protest.

“Today, we can hear echoes of those same siren songs to hate. From an economic crisis that is breeding discontent to populist demagogues using the crisis to seduce voters to runaway misinformation, paranoid conspiracy theories and unchecked hate speech.”

He lamented the rise of anti-Semitism, which he said also reflects a rise of all kinds of hate.

“And what is true for anti-Semitism is true for other forms of hate. Racism. Anti-Muslim bigotry. Xenophobia. Homophobia. Misogyny”

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Weird of the Week

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Weird of the Week

What happened when six doctors swallowed Lego heads for science, and the results of Santa’s DNA test. Plus, is Dolly Parton really recording an album with Slipknot?

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De mest besökta webbplatserna i världen – 2023 års upplaga [Infographic]

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The Most Visited Websites in the World - 2023 Edition [Infographic]

Google remains the most-visited website in the world, while Facebook is still the most frequented social platform, based on web traffic. Well, actually, YouTube is, but YouTube’s only a partial social app, right?

The findings are displayed in this new visualization from Visual Capitalist, which uses SimilarWeb data to show the most visited websites in bubble chart format, highlighting the variance in traffic.

As you can see, following Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the next most visited social platforms, which is likely in line with what most would expect – though the low numbers for TikTok probably stand out, given its dominance of modern media zeitgeist.

But there is a reason for that – this data is based on website visits, not app usage, so platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, which are primarily focused on the in-app experience, won’t fare as well in this particular overview.

In that sense, it’s interesting to see which social platforms are engaging audiences via their desktop offerings.

You can check out the full overview below, and you can read Visual Capitalist’s full explainer here.

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