February 16, 2018

Weekly Wins: Google Stories Are Here

WRITTEN BY: Ivana Atlija

Google is copying Facebook who copied Instagram who copied Snapchat who brought us Stories. The copycat game continues, and the world of digital gets a little weird this week. 

Google introduces AMP Stories, people unite over their hatred for Snapchat’s latest update, McDonald’s offers a $12,500 Big-Mac-shaped ring, robots are getting (scary) smart, and Facebook thinks they can make to-do lists fun. Really?

It’s Friday! Toss away your to-do list, grab a drink, and jump into relaxation-mode with some Weekly Wins.

A visually rich way of storytelling

1. Stories for Search

Ah, Stories. The popular full-screen format we use to create, share, and consume social content. It was introduced by Snapchat way back in 2013, then copied by Instagram, Facebook, and now Google.

Google is testing a Stories format that will appear when people search for publications like People or CNN. News snippets and celebrity updates will be served as a slideshow, top 10 list, or some other “visually rich way of storytelling.” They’re calling them AMP Stories, so they’ll be fast loading, pre-renderable, and optimized for mobile.

2. The People Have Spoken

Snapchat was finally doing well, but things have quickly taken a turn for the worse. There has been public outrage ever since Snapchat reorganized the way we find our friend’s stories within the app. Celebrities have taken to Twitter and unhappy customers have began a petition which already has over 1 million signatures.

Snapchat has no plans to reconsider the design, though, with one spokeswoman stating, “Updates as big as this one can take a little getting used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in.” So, is this just about taking time to adjust? Or is it just bad UX design?

Who will be the lucky winner?

3. McDonald’s Wants To Put A Ring On It

Valentine’s Day took place this week, and while most of us regular folk were giving out boring chocolate and flowers, McDonald’s was one-upping everyone with a lavish “Bling Mac” ring. The 18k gold, gem studded, diamond encrusted ring resembles a Big Mac and is worth $12,500.

McDonald’s is giving the ring to one lucky person who tweeted their love for Big Macs using the hashtag #BlingMacContest The contest ended on Valentine’s Day, so if you didn’t tweet in time, you’re out of luck and will have to stick to edible Big Macs instead.

4. They’re Coming For Us

Boston Dynamics is at it again. The robotics company uploaded a video that shows the new SpotMini locate, recognize, then operate a door handle. Some people think it’s cool and are excited about the future possibilities of their technology. Others think it’s terrifying and reminiscent of Black Mirror’s Metalhead episode. What do you think?

Since when are to-do lists fun?

5. Facebook’s New List Feature

Facebook is introducing a new way to bring back status updates called Lists. Lists is exactly what it sounds like. It lets people create lists of things like places they’ve been or things they have to do. It’s part of Facebook’s attempt to encourage users to share more about themselves and post more updates, but who wants to hear about you needing to get groceries or having a dentist appointment, anyway?

Besides, most people are using Facebook for entertainment rather than engagement. In fact, here’s a list of things Facebook should give us instead of this new Lists update: 1. More memes 2. More cute animals 3. A dislike button