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 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.

Android

Source: Google

Smartphones have revolutionized how we browse the web, but most browsing still happens within the same web browsers we have all grown accustomed to. For the most part, we do our searches and actual browsing from Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, while we limit our apps to games, reading the news, or taking care of business. But, that all could change in the near future.

Google announced late last week that they would begin allowing Android app developers to have their app content indexed. That content will then be able to be opened directly through apps on Android devices. It is a large step towards a more seamless user experience on smartphones and tablets, rather than the disjointed experience we currently enjoy.

Googlebot has been improved to be able to index the content of apps, either through a sitemap file or through Google’s Webmaster Tools, though the feature is currently only in the testing phase. This means the indexing is only currently available to a small selection of developers, and signed-in users won’t begin to see the app content in their result for a few weeks.

The update means that searches will be able to return information from app content, which will then open directly in the intended app. For websites which tend to offer the same content on both their website and their app, such as news sites, it means users will be able to pick their desired experience, whether it be from within the browser or within the app.

Jennifer Slegg reports that app developers can sign up to let Google know they are interested in having their apps indexed by filling out an application of interest. Before you do though, you should know that your app must have deep linking enabled, and you will have to provide Google with information about alternate URLs either within their sitemap or in a link element within the pages of their site.

Indexing is only available for Android apps currently, and Google has yet to comment on when or if they will extend the capability to iPhone or Windows apps.

Instagram LOgoMany considered it only a matter of time before advertising would find its way onto Instagram, since Facebook purchased the app. However it took much longer than most expected. Instagram has remained ad-less until now, but over the next few months you will finally see that change. Instagram announced late last week that advertising would begin rolling out within the Instagram photo stream over the next few months.

This doesn’t mark the first possible attempt to monetize Instagram. Jennifer Slegg reminds us of late last year when Instagram altered its terms to suggest that Instagram would all the rights to all photos posted on it, implicating that Instagram would begin selling those photos to advertisers. The response was massive and overwhelmingly negative, as users began to flee from the service until the terms were reverted.

Since then, the waters have been quiet, but it was heavily expected that Facebook would attempt to turn Instagram into a revenue generating service, seeing as it cost Facebook $1 billion.

This attempt is a little more direct than their change to their terms, but it appears they will be slowly integrating advertisers. They are clearly more cautious this time around – Instagram even emphasized that there would be no changes to how image or video ownership would be viewed.

The company is starting with just a limited number of U.S. advertising firms only showing small and occasional ads. All ads are required to use high-quality images and videos, so they should blend in on the feed.

Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow. We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.

Our aim is to make any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.

Expect the ads to be similar to the sponsored posts you see in Facebook, but designed for Instagram. The company will also be heavily soliciting feedback from users about the types of advertising being tested and shown, including the ability to hide them.