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Google Featured Snippets Now Support Deep Linking  

Google Featured Snippets Now Support Deep Linking

Google Featured Snippets, a service introduced by the search giant in 2017, can now link to the precise sections of articles being sourced.

Affecting mobile sites using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), when a Featured Snippet links to a page, Google will take the seeker to the spot that’s most relevant to their query, highlighting the appropriate block of copy (in orange).

Already raising concerns among advertisers and site owners, understanding how Google Featured Snippets works is key: if, for example, a site has an “AMP version” (and a lot of its content shows up in the “Featured Snippets” section), visitors from Google could skip that site’s header and “land” in the middle of a page without getting the full benefit of the intended experience.

For advertisers, this could mean a higher percentage of placements on publisher sites could get overlooked, impacting ad clicks, conversion rates and other important site metrics.

Google Maps Expands Test of Messaging Functionality    

Google Maps Expands Test of Messaging Functionality

Google Maps’ instant messaging feature has been spotted in the wild, suggesting the product is nearing its global launch.

First reported in 2017, the messaging capabilities were designed to help users of the popular navigation app better connect with local businesses.

Currently limited to the Android platform, the feature has been described as an extension of Google’s real-time business-to-customer messaging service. “Last year we enabled users in select countries to message businesses from the Business Profiles on Google,” wrote product manager Aditya Tendulkar in a recent blog post. “Now you’ll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via Business Profiles within the Google Maps app, where you’re already looking for things to do and places to go or shop.”

As this rolls out, he continued, “Google users in additional countries worldwide will be able to message with businesses for the very first time, so no matter where you are, as long as a local business has enabled messages, you’ll be able to connect with them in a tap.”

Facebook Donates $1M to Wikipedia Endowment

Facebook Donates $1M to Wikipedia Endowment

Joining the ranks of Apple, Amazon, Adobe, Qualcomm, Netflix, and cadre of tech companies who’ve supported Wikipedia’s many projects over the years, Facebook has donated a cool $1 million to the Wikipedia Endowment.

In response to the Network’s generosity, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales (whose own fundraising campaign seemed to kick into high gear in recent weeks) said he hoped the gesture was an “indication of a long-term collaboration” to support the online encyclopedia’s future.

Founded in 2016, the Wikipedia Endowment currently backs Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary, MediaWiki, and – of course – Wikipedia. For years, Facebook has used Wikipedia to populate pages on its platform, and more recently introduced a feature that leverages the former’s database to give users more information about the sources of behind the articles found in their News Feeds.

PepsiCo Deploys Snack-Bearing Robots on CA University Campus   

PepsiCo Deploys Snack-Bearing Robots on CA University Campus

To promote their Hello Goodness portfolio, PepsiCo has begun testing a fleet of snack-vending robots at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Students who wish to engage the company’s  Snackbots – which are 3’ tall, weigh 80 lbs. and travel at up to 6 miles per hour – will be able do so placing an order for products like Smartfood Delight, Baked Lay's, SunChips, Pure Leaf Tea, or bubly sparkling water, LIFEWTR and Starbucks Cold Brew through an app, and meeting one of the six-wheeled automatons (which were manufactured by Robby Technologies) at one of 50+ locations on campus.

“We're thrilled to launch our autonomous delivery Snackbots and reimagine college snacking for the future,” said Scott Finlow, Vice President Innovation and Insights, PepsiCo Foodservice.

Catering 24/7 healthier solutions to fuel the always on consumer and building on the initial successes of its Hello Goodness vending platform, PepsiCo has expanded the idea of curated convenience into new formats, locations and experiences and plans to deliver 50,000 touchpoints by the end of the year.

2019 International Consumer Electronics Show to Kick Off Next Week  

2019 International Consumer Electronics Show to Kick Off Next Week

With CES just days away, the growing excitement around the event was hard to avoid this week.

As technologists, brands and marketers begin their descent on Las Vegas for the annual gadgets-filled show, we’ve been keeping a careful watch on “what’s next” in the world of consumer electronics, and have some predictions of our own.

In terms of “new, new” we’re not expecting much; what we do hope to see, however, are improvements on existing technologies with a focus on delivering even richer customer experiences.

Augmented and virtual realities are bound to feature prominently, as innovative use cases (and wearables that are actually wearable) are presented; conversations around artificial intelligence as a facilitator of stronger ties between brands and audiences will continue; and advancements in smart homes and the Internet of Things will be showcased as more appliances and more devices get connected.

We’ll be tracking the conference closely and will share our discoveries soon!