YouTube Logo

2015 is coming to a close, and Google has begun their end-of-the-year celebrations by highlighting the most popular videos of the year. The past year has been an especially big one for YouTube, which has been celebrating its 10th birthday all year long.

It has also been the first year that YouTube has seen true competition. Facebook’s video platform has given the service a run for its money, by giving videos a wider platform and more prominent place in news feeds.

Despite this challenge, YouTube continues to be one of the largest platforms in the world, and is still synonymous with internet video. The past year, the service has helped drive a dance craze that swept the nation, become the new home of Super Bowl ads, and helped promote equality with these videos:

Google’s Top Trending Videos of 2015

1. Silento- Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) #WatchMeDanceOn by Tianne King

2. Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official Super Bowl TV Commercial) by Clash of Clans

3. Crazy Plastic Ball PRANK!! by RomanAtwood

4. Love Has No Labels | Diversity & Inclusion | Ad Council by Ad Council

5. Lip Sync Battle with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvRypx1lbR4

6. Justin Bieber Carpool Karaoke by The Late Late Show with James Corden

7. 6ft Man in 6ft Giant Water Balloon – 4K – The Slow Mo Guys by The Slow Mo Guys

8. Golden boy Calum Scott hits the right note | Audition Week 1 | Britain’s Got Talent 2015 by Britain’s Got Talent

9. Dover Police DashCam Confessional (Shake it Off) by Dover Police

10. Mean Tweets – President Obama Edition by Jimmy Kimmel Live

To help reminisce about 2015, YouTube also gathered over 150 YouTube creators for the latest installation of YouTube’s annual Rewind video, showcasing everything from dance prodigies, TV personalities, and even an insane plastic ball fight.

YouTube is certain to be a huge part of all of our lives for the years to come and these videos show the wide variety of videos you can find across the site. If you have a video you want seen in 2016, especially business related videos, YouTube is the place to look.

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As the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens grows closer, Google is getting in on the excitement. The company recently announced its new #ChooseYourSide campaign, and indicated it was planning a number of Star Wars Easter eggs ahead of the film’s release on December 18.

Well, you don’t have to wait for the Easter eggs to start popping up. The first surprise for Star Wars fans who use Chrome has already been found.

Just Google the famous first line from the original 1977 Star Wars movie (“a long time ago in a galaxy far far away”), and you will be treated to a page in the style of the series iconic opening crawl. Instead of an summary of intergalactic politics and jedi-related events however, the scrawl shows search results over a Star Wars-themed background.

You can find out more about the #ChooseYourSide campaign over at Marketing Land. Fans will have to keep waiting for the film’s release, but keep your eyes peeled for more exciting Easter eggs in the meantime.

 Facebook Dislike

The day has finally come. Facebook announced the feature users have been asking for since nearly the very beginning of the site, and it could entirely change how users interact across the largest social media platform in the world.

That’s right, during his live Town Hall Q&A’s yesterday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced a “dislike” button is coming soon. However, he did say the process of adding the button is more complicated than most people would think.

Nonetheless, the button is already being worked on and tested by the company, and will be released at some point in the future.

Zuckerberg said the company decided to add a dislike button as they realized their users were clamoring for ways to express other emotions than the classic ‘Like’.

The statement was also quite different from Zuckerberg’s statements given during a similar Q&A session in December, where he said he had strong hesitations about adding a feature that was designed to spread negativity.

Zuckerberg still hopes to prevent the button from being used to hurt others or spread negativity, as he said he hopes it can be used primarily to empathize with others.  Only time will tell, as there’s currently no telling when the feature will actually arrive.The day has finally come. Facebook announced the feature users have been asking for since nearly the very beginning of the site, and it could entirely change how users interact across the largest social media platform in the world.

That’s right, during his live Town Hall Q&A’s yesterday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced a “dislike” button is coming soon. However, he did say the process of adding the button is more complicated than most people would think.

Nonetheless, the button is already being worked on and tested by the company, and will be released at some point in the future.

Zuckerberg said the company decided to add a dislike button as they realized their users were clamoring for ways to express other emotions than the classic ‘Like’.

The statement was also quite different from Zuckerberg’s statements given during a similar Q&A session in December, where he said he had strong hesitations about adding a feature that was designed to spread negativity.

Zuckerberg still hopes to prevent the button from being used to hurt others or spread negativity, as he said he hopes it can be used primarily to empathize with others.  Only time will tell, as there’s currently no telling when the feature will actually arrive.

 

Facebook hit a milestone for both its company and the internet as a whole this past Monday, August 24th. According to an announcement from CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg on the network, Facebook recorded one billion daily active users on Monday.

As Zuckerberg said in the announcement, “We just passed an important milestone. For the first time ever, one billion people used Facebook in a single day. On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.”

He continued:

When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world.

I’m so proud of our community for the progress we’ve made. Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world.

A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values.

Thank you for being part of our community and for everything you’ve done to help us reach this milestone. I’m looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together.

To put in context just how huge this is, Twitter reaches approximately 100 million users every day, while Instagram recently celebrated receiving 300 million daily users.

You can also consider that approximately 3.1 billion people use the internet every day, meaning a third of those people also used Facebook at some point Monday.

While it is likely that Google, who processes around 6 billion searches every day, sees more active daily users than the social media site, it is still remarkable to think that a single site was able to connect so many people around the entire globe on a single day.

The milestone is a great cause for celebration for Facebook, who will almost certainly see even greater milestones in the future.

 Facebook Banner

While Facebook users have been able to share animated GIDs on Facebook since this spring, businesses and other Page owners have been left out in the rain. Now, Facebook is testing the animated image format with a small selection of Pages, suggesting the feature may be available to all Pages in the near future.

As reported by TechCrunch, Wendy’s and Coca-Cola’s Brazilian brand Kuat unveiled the small test by posting GIFs yesterday.

Facebook has since confirmed that a small number of Pages have been given the ability to post GIFs as an experiment, saying in an email:

“GIF’s can be a fun and compelling way to communicate, so we’ve started testing GIF support in posts and boosted posts for a small percentage of Facebook Pages. We will evaluate whether it drives a great experience for people before rolling it out to more Pages.”

As with posting GIFs on personal profiles, GIFs are posted on Facebook by pasting in a link from a third-party source such as Giphy, Imgur, or Tumblr. They will still not be displayed if directly uploaded into the Facebook platform.

 Emojis

It was fun while it lasted, but Google has followed through on their promise to remove emojis from titles in search results.

In April, Expedia became the first major brand to start experimenting using emojis in search results titles. For example, a search listing for beach rentals may have included a wave emoji on Expedia listings.

It wasn’t long until many other major brands followed suit, but Google ultimately decided the trend was not something they wanted to promote. During a Google Hangout in early May, John Mueller, a webmaster trends analyst for Google, announced the search giant would be removing the emojis.

True to Mueller’s word, emojis disappeared from search results early this morning, as first noticed by Jennifer Slegg at The SEM Post.

Notably, Google has only seemed to remove the emojis from titles. Norwegian Airlines, known for creating the very first emoji URL, appears to be unaffected.

While the hearts, waves, and smiley faces are gone from Google, emojis are still currently appearing in Bing searches. Microsoft’s search engine started showing emojis in title tags shortly after they began appearing in Google, but there’s no word if they intend to follow Google in phasing them out now.

yay2

Facebook just added one feature users have been begging for forever. For the longest time, users have been confined to sharing their emotions and experiences through boring old pictures, but finally they are free to express themselves in the true language of the internet. That’s right, Facebook now supports GIFs in the Newsfeed.

Facebook issued the following statement to TechCrunch earlier today:

“We’re rolling out support for animated GIFs in News Feed. This is so you can share more fun, expressive things with your friends on Facebook.”

Until now, Facebook users had to resort to third-party services like Giphy to embed GIFs, but Facebook finally made the step to add GIF support for images from all sites. Sharing a GIF in your Newsfeed is as easy as copy and pasting the URL in your status bar, as you would do with any other link. However, for the moment Facebook still does not allow users to upload GIFs directly.

Here’s an example of how the GIFs will look in your feed:

Facebook-supports-gifs-380x452

 

The GIFs currently autoplay, similar to how videos function in the Newsfeed.

For the moment, GIF support is limited to strictly people on Facebook, not business pages, but it seems likely that Facebook will be expanding support for the popular animated image format in the near future.

Facebook has been slowly but steadily making strides into the domain of local search, and their latest app in testing called “Hello” makes this clearer than ever.

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Hello claims to allow mobile users to search for other people or businesses on Facebook using either specific names or business categories, making Hello Facebook’s answer to the phone book. Once you’ve found the person or business you’re searching for, it just takes a single tap to get directions or make a phone call.

“So if a friend tells you about a new restaurant in your neighborhood, you can use Hello to find their hours, make a reservation, and get directions, all without leaving the app,” explains Facebook in a blog post.

Facebook also says the app will use Facebook profiles information to display relevant info about callers onscreen with incoming calls, including a profile picture, name, and number of contacts in common.

The app will also include a privacy feature which allows users to block commonly blocked numbers or specific numbers. Blocked calls will be automatically directed to voicemail, but still appear in the call log.

The test version of the app is available for Android users in the Play Store.

April Fools’ Day is here yet again, and if you’re reading this chances are you have already encountered at least one of Google’s numerous practical jokes. The company has always been big on the prankster’s holiday, but they have taken it to a whole new level this year, unleashing gag services and webpages and nearly ever platform they have. I’m recapping all the goofs and gags so you can be sure you won’t miss out on any of the fun.

Google Thinks Backwards

Have you been to google.com today? What about com.google? That’s right, Google released a mirror-image version of their site that flips everything on the search engine. Unfortunately it only works for search, not any of Google’s other platforms and domains.

Pac-Man Comes to Town

Google Maps has brought the classic arcade game to your doorstep, by allowing you to play the game using your local streets as the maze. From desktop, you can play Pac-Man anywhere on the map you want. Mobile users however, are only able to play in a few select places. To get in on the action, you’ll have to use the clues to find the special locations.

Ingress Plays Pac-Man Too

While the Pac-Man mode in Google Maps has quickly gained attention, fewer have noted that Google’s augmented reality game, Ingress for Android and iOS, has also added some new Pac-Man features.

#ChromeSelfie

Everyone is already sharing their reactions to news and events across social media, but Chrome on mobile is making it easier than ever to let people know how you feel about what you are browsing. Whether you are excited, angry, sad, or outright confused by the latest story, you can quickly share it by opening the menu on the browser and choosing “Share a reaction.”

Screen-Shot-2015-03-30-at-12.23.29-PM

According to Google, Chrome users are losing up to 6 hours of selfie-taking time every day by having to exit the browser to open the camera app. Thankfully, they’ve streamlined the process so we can finally take selfies with optimal efficiency.

Google Panda

This one might sting for webmasters who have had unpleasant run-ins with Google’s not-so cuddly algorithm. Google Japan announced Google Panda 5 and 6, with a press conference parodying Apple’s over-the-top product releases.

Unlike previous Panda releases, this one is less of an algorithm and more Siri in a stuffed-animal panda. The product itself doesn’t seem to be directly related to the algorithm, but Matt Cutts helped out on the video so it’s safe to say it is a part of the joke.

Smartbox by Inbox

Google has revolutionized email with Gmail, and now they are reshaping how we think about our traditional mail too. Smartbox by Inbox may look like a stylish mailbox, but it has smart folders, filters, and even apps that you can bring with you anywhere you go.

Dial-Up Mode

Google Fiber users are apparently complaining their internet speeds are just too fast, leaving them with no time to take breaks, fix drinks, or take care of other small tasks. To solve this, the service provider is launching a dial-up mode.

“Loading bars used to give people an opportunity to pause and take care of the little things—like making a cup of coffee, taking a bathroom break or playing with the dog.”

The company explains it was able to reduce Fiber speeds up to 376 times “by withholding photons from the fiber strands” so that “the light-based fiber optic technology dims to a flicker of its previous capacity.”

Chromebook Self-browsing

Don’t you wish you could just put your internet browser on auto-pilot and let it take you to your destination?

chromeb00k_self-browsing

“Google’s top research scientists have calculated that the average person burns up to five calories per day by clicking on web links,” Google says. “This is absurd—these calories could be put to much better use for breathing, pranking a co-worker, or cleaning your bathtub.”

The new Chromebook self-browsing extension is already available from the Chrome Web Store.

Google Actual Cloud Platform

Quick question: where is “the cloud” you constantly hear Google and Apple talking about? If you said clouds in the sky you would have been wrong, until now.

Google is moving the cloud to the “actual cloud” with a slew of new features including a new compute zone, actual-cloud machine types, Stormboost, CloudDrops, weather dashboards, and bare-metal container support.

YouTube’s Add Music Feature

darude

YouTube now allows users to add music to any video they wish. Specifically, the video player now includes a button allowing you to override the sound on any video with Darude’s Sandstorm. There’s also an Auto-Darude option so you can easily apply the song to every video you watch. The history of Darude’s Sandstorm is long and relatively obscure, so if this one doesn’t make sense you can learn more here.

Matt Cutts’ Auto-SEO Tool

Matt Cutts got in not one, but two jokes at the expense of SEO professionals this year, which shows he is certainly putting his time on leave from Google to good use. The former head of search spam announced a new tool last night named AutoSEO, available at http://seo.ninja.

AutoSEO

AutoSEO claims to automate all your SEO efforts with an open source free platform, with a beta invite being sent out today. Of course, the joke is the tool doesn’t actually do anything.

bing-predictions-lentucky-ncaa

The first round of March Madness games begin in earnest tomorrow and Bing is helping you get prepared for the big NCAA tournament. The search engine is offering predictions and tournament brackets so you can gauge the best picks for each match-up and even get in on the action by submitting brackets to the official contest on NCAA.com.

Anyone searching for terms such as “NCAA,” “March Madness,” or “college basketball” will immediately see the entire tournament bracket, as well as Bing’s predictions for every one of the 69 games.

The responsive search features are the result of a partnership between Bing and NCAA announced last week, which allowed Bing greater access to stats and data. According to Bing, the wealth of data took over seven hours of data crunching Sunday evening to prepare their predictions this soon.

In a blog post, Bing Predicts chief Dr. Walter Sun claims there are more than 9.2 permutations involved in the tournament bracket, and explains how Bing used over 10 years of data to inform its predictions.

This includes offensive and defensive statistics, conference success in previous tournaments, the proximity of tournaments to each team’s home campus, the style of each team, their individual strengths and weaknesses, and many other factors which might result in them favoring certain match-ups over others. After ingesting these initial data sets, we applied our analysis of web and social sentiment to tune our predictions, resulting in projected outcomes for each of the 67 games of the tournament, including both predicted winner and probability of the team winning. We then present to you the 1 bracket which we think is the most likely to transpire.

Bing has pegged the Kentucky Wildcats as the team who will take the championship this year, which isn’t exactly a daring prediction given the team’s perfect 34-0 record. Bing’s team of statisticians are not the only team thinking the win streak will leak the Wildcats to win it all. The analysts from Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com give Kentucky a 41 percent chance of winning. For comparison, the second most likely team, Villanova, only received an 11 percent chance.

Bing’s special results page for the tournament also includes game schedules as well as team breakdowns similar to what the search engine showed during last year’s World Cup.

Bing’s partnership with the NCAA has most likely given the search engine a lead on preparing this search feature. Currently searching for anything similar doesn’t show anything special on Google, but that will most likely change before the opening games tomorrow.