Hashtag Trending – Google search update, fast delivery cuts Amazon’s profits, Facebook News tab

Google executives are calling the search engine’s latest update as one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search, fast deliver is cutting into Amazon’s profits, and Facebook’s new News tab raises eyebrows.

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Google search just got a little bit smarter. Thanks to new software called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (or BERT), the tech giant’s search engine algorithm can now identify conversational, full-sentences queries. This means instead of glossing over words like “to”, “can”, and “for”, Google can actually search with some nuance. Google is calling it one of the biggest leaps forward in Google search’s history.

Amazon’s more than two years of back-to-back quarterly growth has come to an end. The online retail behemoth reported a 26 per cent drop in third-quarter profit as its global shipping cost climbed by 46 per cent to $9.6 billion. This can largely be attributed to the company’s efforts to get Prime customers one-day shipping, as well as the expansion of its workforce. Amazon has added nearly 100,000 full time and part time employees, most of whom work in fulfilment and transportation roles. The news, which is trending on LinkedIn, led to people questioning the worth of one-day shipping.

And lastly, news about Facebook’s latest News Tab is drawing heavy criticism on Twitter. The company is piloting Facebook News in the U.S. as a home screen tab and bookmark in the main Facebook app. Facebook execs say news articles will continue to appear in the main News Feed, but introducing a specific tab focused on journalism “gives people more control over the stories they see, and the ability to explore a wider range of their news interests, directly within the Facebook app.” Facebook News will use both human editors and algorithms to determine which stories you see. But many are pointing out how Facebook carries a high level of distrust among people, and that relying on Facebook as the primary news aggregator is not a great look for the publications that are involved.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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