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Hard Questions: Should I Be Afraid of Face Recognition Technology?

By Rob Sherman, Deputy Chief Privacy Officer

The words “face recognition” can make some people feel uneasy, conjuring dystopian scenes from science fiction. Can someone use it to identify strangers on the street? Are institutions gathering mass databases of images that can be used to invade someone’s privacy or rights?

As government and non-government agencies, companies and others use face recognition technology in new ways, people want to understand how their privacy is being protected and what choices they have over how this technology is used.

Like many tools, face recognition can be used for good purposes — like helping people securely unlock their mobile devices, log into their bank accounts and make digital payments. It can help people organize their photos and share them with friends. It’s even being used to find missing and kidnapped children and to help officials confirm whether travelers have authentic passports.

But it can also be used in concerning ways. Some have raised concerns about how law enforcement uses the technology. Others have called attention to the potential for racial bias, arguing that facial recognition systems are more likely either to misidentify or fail to identify African Americans than people of other races. And while there have been proposals to regulate face recognition, there’s no consensus on whether or how to do so, and some approaches have been criticized for failing to focus on the most harmful potential uses.

This tension isn’t new. Society often welcomes the benefit of a new innovation while struggling to harness its potential. “Beware the Kodak,” one newspaper intoned in 1888 as inexpensive equipment came onto the market making photography available to the masses. They called it a “new terror for the picnic.” Confronting amateur photography for the first time, society could have restricted this technology – and fundamentally changed the way history was documented for more than a century. Instead, regulators took action on uses that raised concerns — for example, by prohibiting stalking or letting people sue for invasion of privacy — rather than requiring licenses to use “camera technology” or written consent forms before a person could appear in a photo. As a result, people became familiar with these early cameras, social norms evolved, and the world decided that the benefits of personal photography far outweighed the risks.

 Face Recognition and Facebook

On Facebook, face recognition helps people tag photos with the names of their friends. When you have face recognition enabled, our technology analyzes the pixels in photos you’re already tagged in and generates a string of numbers we call a template. When photos and videos are uploaded to our systems, we compare those images to the template. Here’s a video explaining how it works:

When we first introduced this feature in 2010, there was no industry standard for how people should be able to control face recognition.We decided to notify people on Facebook and provide a way to disable it in their account settings at any time.

We recently announced new features that use face recognition technology. People can now find photos of themselves even when they aren’t tagged in them, making it possible for people to manage their privacy in new ways. They may also know when someone is using their image as a profile photo — which can help stop impersonation. In addition, those with vision impairments can now hear aloud who’s in the photos they come across on Facebook. Just as in 2010, we had to evaluate how we’d inform people and give them choice over these new uses of the technology.

Our Responsibility

When it comes to face recognition, control matters. We listen carefully to feedback from people who use Facebook, as well as from experts in the field. We believe we have a responsibility to build these features in ways that deliver on the technology’s promise, while avoiding harmful ways that some might use it.

Our team has been working for more than a year to collect and respond to feedback on how people want to see us use this technology — and how we can do it most responsibly. People asked us to explain how face recognition works more clearly, and to provide more prominent information about how we might use it on Facebook. To address this feedback, we’re informing people about updates to face recognition in News Feed – the doorstep of Facebook.

We also decided to update Facebook’s settings. Concerns about updated settings are as old as Facebook, so we didn’t take the decision lightly. But we learned in our research that people want a way to completely turn off face recognition technology rather than on a feature-by-feature basis. We knew that as we introduced more features using this technology, most people would find it easier to manage one master setting rather than navigate a long list of products deciding what they want and what they don’t. Our new setting is an on/off switch. Some may criticize this as an “all or nothing” approach, but we believe this will prevent people from having to make additional decisions among potentially confusing options.

Finally, we aren’t introducing, and have no plans to introduce, features that tell strangers who you are. This was a common concern we heard from people when we researched new features that rely on face recognition technology.

 Moving Forward

As people use features on Facebook that use face recognition technology, we’ll learn more about what our community thinks of them — good, bad or in between. And we’ll learn what they think of our updated controls. We’ll build on these lessons and keep people informed about the work we’re doing to innovate and responsibly use this technology on Facebook.

Of course, it’s too early to know if face recognition will follow the path of the personal camera. But we look forward to the public’s feedback and to working with other companies and organizations as we continue to listen and learn.

Read more about our blog series Hard Questions. We want your input on what other topics we should address — and what we could be doing better. Please send suggestions to hardquestions@fb.com.

Samsung Introduces the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) with Dual Front Camera, Large Infinity Display and Added Everyday Features

 

Samsung Electronics today announced the latest additions to the Galaxy A series: the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018).

 

The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) feature a Dual Front Camera, a large Infinity Display and stunning ergonomic design that draws on Samsung’s flagship design heritage and experience. With additional everyday features, the Galaxy A series is more stylish, practical and convenient than ever before.

 

“With the release of the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018), we’re bringing our customers’ favorite features from our flagship smartphones, such as the Infinity Display and our first Dual Front Camera with Live Focus, to our Galaxy A series, which is already known for its premium design,” said Junho Park, Vice President of Global Product Planning, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) exemplify our continued dedication to meeting the needs of our consumers by providing them with greater choice and convenience.”

 

Snap bright, clear selfies with the 16MP F1.7 rear camera and 16MP+8MP F1.9 Dual Front Camera, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. The Dual Front Camera is made up of two separate cameras so you can switch between the two to take the type of selfie you want – from close-ups with the background to portrait shots with a clear and crisp background. And with the advanced Live Focus feature, you can easily adjust the bokeh effect before or after you take the picture to create high-quality images.

 

From day to night, the advanced camera makes sure you capture sharp images, even in low-light conditions. The new devices also allow you to customize your photos with fun options, from adding stickers to your selfie or highlighting a culinary extravaganza with Food Mode.

 

Shaky video footage will be a thing of the past with video digital image stabilisation (VDis) technology, and with an added hyperlapse feature, you can now create time-lapse videos that let you record, tell and share even longer stories.

 

When watching movies or playing games, the latest Galaxy A devices set a new standard for uninterrupted, immersive viewing experiences. The Infinity Display goes beyond the bezel with an immersive 18.5:9 display ratio1, so that you can view the whole scene across your screen for the ultimate cinematic experience. The large screen is supported with ergonomic curved glass on the back and front. Its sleek glass and metal frame, smooth curves and comfortable grip make it even easier to watch or interact with content on your phone. The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) are available in four colors including black, orchid grey, gold and blue to suit your personal style2.

 

Both devices will continually keep you informed with the Always On Display, meaning you can get information at a glance without unlocking your phone. With Samsung Pay3, there’s no need to bring your wallet with you every time you go out. Supporting Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC), the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) can be used virtually anywhere you can tap or swipe your card. Every transaction via Samsung Pay is secure, yet very simple. All it takes is one swipe and one fingerprint scan.

 

Offering IP68 water and dust resistance4, the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) can withstand the elements, including sweat, rain, sand and dust, making it suitable for nearly any activity or situation. The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) support microSD cards so you can expand your storage capacity by as much as 256GB, and are the first in the A series to support Samsung’s Gear VR.

 

The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) will be available in early January 2018.

 

 

 

Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8+ Product Specifications:

 

Galaxy A8

Galaxy A8+

Display 5.6-inchFHD+ Super AMOLED,1080×2220 6.0-inchFHD+ SuperAMOLED,1080×2220
*Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners
Camera Front: Dual Camera 16MP FF (F1.9) + 8MP (F1.9)                                                    Rear: 16MP PDAF (F1.7)
Dimension 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4 mm, 172g 159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm, 191g
 AP Octa Core (2.2GHz Dual + 1.6GHz Hexa)
Memory 4GB RAM, 32/64GB 4/6GB RAM, 32/64GB
Battery 3,000mAh 3,500mAh
Fast Charging / USB Type-C
OS Android 7.1.1
Network LTE Cat. 11
Payment NFC, MST
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80, 256QAM, Bluetooth® v 5.0                   (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location                                                 (GPS, Glonass, BeiDou*)                                                                                        * BeiDou coverage may be limited.
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
Audio MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
Video MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

 

* Features and functions will vary by market and mobile operator

* All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document

including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability,

and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

 

1 Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners

2 Color availability may vary by country

3 Availability of service may vary by country

4 Carrying an IP68 dust and water resistance rating. Based on test conditions of submersion in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes

Reinforcing Our Commitment to Transparency

By Chris Sonderby, Deputy General Counsel

Today we are releasing our Transparency Report, previously called the Government Requests Report, for the first half of 2017. For the first time, we are expanding the report beyond government requests to provide data regarding reports from rights holders related to intellectual property (IP) — covering copyright, trademark, and counterfeit. The report also includes the same categories of information we’ve disclosed in the past, with updates on government requests for account data, content restrictions, and internet disruptions.

We believe that sharing information about IP reports we receive from rights holders is an important step toward being more open and clear about how we protect the people and businesses that use our services. Our Transparency Report describes these policies and procedures in more detail, along with the steps we’ve taken to safeguard the people who use Facebook and keep them informed about IP. It also includes data covering the volume and nature of copyright, trademark, and counterfeit reports we’ve received and the amount of content affected by those reports. For example, in the first half of 2017, we received 224,464 copyright reports about content on Facebook, 41,854 trademark reports, and 14,279 counterfeit reports.

In addition to our new section on intellectual property, we are also providing our usual twice-a-year update on government requests for account data, content restrictions based on local law, and information about internet disruptions in the first half of this year.

Requests for account data increased by 21% globally compared to the second half of 2016, from 64,279 to 78,890. Fifty-seven percent of the data requests we received from law enforcement in the U.S. contained a non-disclosure order that prohibited us from notifying the user, up from 50% in our last report. Additionally, as a result of transparency reforms introduced in 2016 by the USA Freedom Act, the U.S. government notified us that it was lifting the non-disclosure order on five National Security Letters (NSLs) we previously received between 2012 and 2015. Copies of the NSLs, as well as the government’s authorization letters are available for download below.

We continue to carefully scrutinize each request we receive for account data — whether from an authority in the U.S., Europe, or elsewhere — to make sure it is legally sufficient. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary. We’ll also keep working with partners in industry and civil society to encourage governments around the world to reform surveillance in a way that protects their citizens’ safety and security while respecting their rights and freedoms.

Overall, the number of content restrictions for violating local law increased by 304% globally, compared to the second half of 2016, from 6,944 to 28,036. This increase was primarily driven by a request from Mexican law enforcement to remove instances of a video depicting a school shooting in Monterrey in January. We restricted access in Mexico to 20,506 instances of the video in the first half of 2017.

Meanwhile, there were 52 disruptions of Facebook services in nine countries in the first half of 2017, compared to 43 disruptions in 20 countries in the second half of 2016. We continue to be deeply concerned by internet disruptions, which can create barriers for businesses and prevent people from sharing and communicating with their family and friends.

Publishing this report reinforces our important commitment to transparency as we build community and bring the world closer together.

Please see the full report for more information.

Quick Boot & the Top Features in the Android Emulator

Posted by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

Today, we are excited to announce Quick Boot for the Android Emulator. With Quick Boot, you can launch the Android Emulator in under 6 seconds. Quick Boot works by snapshotting an emulator session so you can reload in seconds. Quick Boot was first released with Android Studio 3.0 in the canary update channel and we are excited to release the feature as a stable update today.

In addition to this new feature, we also wanted to highlight some of the top features from recent releases. Since the complete revamp of the Android Emulator two years ago, we continue to focus on improving speed, stability and adding a rich set of features that accelerate your app development and testing. With all the recent changes, it is definitely worth updating to the latest version of the Android Emulator to use it today.

Top 5 Features

  • Quick Boot - Released as a stable feature today, Quick Boot allows you to resume your Android Emulator session in under 6 seconds. The first time you start an Android Virtual Device (AVD) with the Android Emulator, it must perform a cold boot (just like powering on a device), but subsequent starts are fast and the system is restored to the state at which you closed the emulator last (similar to waking a device). We accomplished this by completely re-engineering the legacy emulator snapshot architecture to work with virtual sensors and GPU acceleration. No additional setup is required because Quick Boot is enabled by default starting with Android Emulator v27.0.2.

Quick Boot in the Android Emulator

  • Android CTS Compatibility - With each release of the Android SDK, we ensure that the Android Emulator is ready for your app development needs, from testing backwards compatibility with Android KitKat to integrating the latest APIs of the developer preview. To increase product quality and reliability of emulator system images, we now qualify final Android System Image builds from Android Nougat (API 24) and higher against the Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS)—the same testing suite that official Android physical devices must pass.
  • Google Play Support - We know that many app developers use Google Play Services, and it can be difficult to keep the service up to date in the Android Emulator system images. To solve this problem, we now offer versions of Android System Images that include the Play Store app. The Google Play images are available starting with Android Nougat (API 24). With these new emulator images, you can update Google Play Services via the Play Store app in your emulator just as you would on a physical Android device. Plus, you can now test end-to-end install, update, and purchase flows with the Google Play Store.
  • Performance Improvements - Making the emulator fast and performant is an on-going goal for our team. We continuously look at the performance impact of running the emulator on your development machine, especially RAM usage. With the latest versions of the Android Emulator, we now allocate RAM on demand, instead of allocating and pinning the memory to the max RAM size defined in your AVD. We do this by tapping into the native hypervisors for Linux (KVM) and macOS® (Hypervisor.Framework), and an enhanced Intel® HAXM (v6.2.1 and higher) for Microsoft® Windows®, which uses the new on-demand memory allocation.
  • Additionally, over the last several releases, we have improved CPU and I/O performance while enhancing GPU performance, including OpenGL ES 3.0 support. Looking at a common task such as ADB push highlights the improvements in the Android CPU and I/O pipelines:

    ADB Push Speed Comparison with Android Emulator

    For GPU performance, we created a sample GPU emulation stress test app to gauge improvements over time. We found that the latest emulator can render higher frame rates than before, and it is one of the few emulators that can render OpenGL ES 3.0 accurately per the Android specification.

GPU Emulation Stress Test - Android App

GPU Emulation Stress Test with Android Emulator

More Features

In addition to these major features, there are a whole host of additional features that we have added to the Android Emulator over the last year that you may not be aware of:

  • Wi-Fi support - Starting with API 24 system images, you can create an AVD that both connects to a virtual cellular network and a virtual Wi-Fi Access Point.
  • Google Cast support - When using a Google Play system image, you can cast screen and audio content to Chromecast devices on the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Drag and drop APKs & files - Simply drag an APK onto the Android Emulator window to trigger an app install. Also you can drag any other data file and find it in the /Downloads folder in your Android Virtual Device.
  • Host copy & paste - You can copy & paste text between the Android Emulator and your development machine.
  • Virtual 2-finger pinch & zoom - When interacting with apps like Google Maps, hold down the Ctrl Key (on Microsoft® Windows® or Linux) or ⌘ (on macOS® ) , and a finger overlay appears on screen to aid with pinch & zoom actions.
  • GPS location - Manually select a GPS point or set of GPS points under the Location tab of the Android Emulator.
  • Virtual sensors - There is a dedicated page in the extended controls panel that has supported sensors in the Android Emulator including acceleration, rotation, proximity and many more.
  • WebCam support - You can use a webcam or your laptop built-in webcam as a virtual camera in the AVD. Validate your AVD camera settings in the Advanced Settings page in the AVD Manager.
  • Host machine keyboard - You can use your real keyboard to enter text into the Android Virtual Device.
  • Virtual SMS and phone calls - In the extended controls panel, you can trigger a virtual SMS or phone call to test apps with telephony dependencies.
  • Screen zooming - On the main toolbar, click on the magnify glass icon to enter zoom mode, and then select a region of the screen you want to inspect.
  • Window resizing - Simply drag a corner of the Android Emulator window to change to the desired size.
  • Network proxy support - Add a custom HTTP proxy for your Android Emulator session by going to the Settings page under the Proxy tab.
  • Bug reporting - You can quickly generate a bug report for your app by using the Bug Report section in the extended controls panel to share with your team or to send feedback to Google.

Learn more about the Android Emulator in the Emulator documentation.

Getting Started

All of these features and improvements are available to download and use now with Android Emulator v27.0.2+, which you can get via the SDK Manager in Android Studio. For a fast experience, we recommend creating and running the x86 version of emulator system images, with the latest Android Emulator, Intel® HAXM (if applicable) and graphics drivers installed.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues or features you would like to see. If you find a bug, issue, or have a feature request feel free to file an issue. We are definitely not done, but we hope you are excited about the improvements so far.

Digital Coaches help Black and Latino businesses grow online

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post comes from JinJa Birkenbeuel, the CEO of Birk Creative, a creative marketing and branding agency.

For the last six months, I’ve been one of eight minority small business owners around the U.S. piloting Google’s Digital Coach program, which offers free workshops for small businesses on how to use Google’s tools for digital marketing. We’re focusing this pilot in cities with historically large communities of Black and Latino small business owners: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Washington, D.C.

IMG_5866.JPG

I run a creative agency in Chicago called Birk Creative, which I founded in 1997 as a graphic design and print shop–and a way to promote the country/hip-hop band, Utah Carol, that I formed with my husband, Grant. Over the last 20 years, I’ve grown the business to advise other small businesses–and now large corporate clients—on all forms of digital marketing, from designing web sites and online ads to writing social media posts to IT support. With the help of AdWords and Google Analytics in particular, I've expanded from a local shop to a full-service agency.

I’ve long wanted to share what I’ve learned over the years with other minority and women business owners. As a Digital Coach, I offer free, open-to-the-public digital marketing lessons (including tutorials from Google’s Get Your Business Online program) and share my own experience on how AdWords, Analytics and other Google tools have helped me solve business challenges.  


Data shows that the total number of Black, Latino, and other minority-owned businesses is growing, and that U.S. Latino small businesses are growing at higher rates than any other U.S. small businesses. Yet Black and Latino-owned businesses are less likely to have websites and less likely to be online than other groups. Our goal with these pilot workshops is to help small businesses like mine participate more fully in the digital economy as they grow.


Since Google launched the pilot in late May, we’ve welcomed more than 5,000 business founders and owners to our Digital Coach workshops around the U.S. We host these events at locations that are familiar to our communities, from the Watts Public Library in Los Angeles to beauty salons in Detroit.


I’ve coached a variety of business owners, including a nail artist, a life coach, a children’s book author and a photo-booth rental company. And there's one thing they have in common: They’re small, independent businesses or sole proprietorships in Black and Latino communities, all at the point in their growth when they know they can be doing more.


As my Los Angeles Digital Coaches colleague Roberto Martinez says, “Working as a Coach has been transformational. We’re not just presenting or teaching; we are working in tandem with the business owners to better understand how to get ahead of the market.” 

After six months of meeting so many business owners from a variety of backgrounds (beyond Black and Latino) at my Digital Coach workshops, I’m inspired by them. Though they come to the Digital Coaching workshops to learn from us, our communities across the U.S. are benefiting from their contributions and expertise. As a Digital Coach, I’m honored to be playing a small part to help their businesses grow, so that all of our vibrant neighborhoods can grow, too.


If you’re interested in finding a workshop near you and to participate in our ongoing pilot in 2018, please visit https://accelerate.withgoogle.com/coaches


(Photo credit for image at top: Steve Capers Photography)

Samsung’s QLED Gaming Monitor Industry’s First to Achieve VESA DisplayHDR™ Certification

 

Since its launch in August, Samsung’s CHG90 – the world’s largest QLED gaming monitor – has emerged as an industry innovator and pioneer. The monitor’s leadership position recently received further validation from the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), who, following a rigorous testing procedure, confirmed that the CHG90 (along with the CHG70) exemplifies its DisplayHDR™ 600 performance standards and is the industry’s first display to be certified as DisplayHDR™ compliant.

 

Up until recently, there had been no standard specification for the HDR performance of PC monitors and laptop computer displays. But earlier this year, VESA, an international non-profit that sets and supports industry-wide interface standards for displays, established the DisplayHDR™ standard. The fully open standard specifies HDR quality, including luminance, color gamut, bit depth and rise time. It consists of three levels (DisplayHDR™ 400, 600, 1000); specifically, the DisplayHDR™ 600 tier indicates that HDR content can be enjoyed in bright indoor lighting conditions.

 

When granting DisplayHDR™ 600 certification to the CHG90, VESA cited the monitor’s use of HDR to elevate contrast ratio (3,000:1), color accuracy and overall presentation vibrancy as an industry standard-setter. The certification further validates the CHG90’s ability to provide the optimal gaming and entertainment viewing environment, but is just the latest in a series of recent accolades for the monitor.

 

Several global technology media outlets and organizations have commemorated the display’s performance and presentation. Among them include Trusted Reviews’ Best Monitor of 2017 Award, which recognizes the “year’s best technologies, gadgets and innovations”; TechRadar’s Five-Star Review, which describes the CHG90 as “one of the most functionally distinct and visually impressive monitors” ever tested by the publication; and a CES 2018 Innovation Award for its outstanding design and engineering, immersive presentation and gamer-friendly features.

 

With an eye-catching yet practical design, exceptional image quality and flexible multi-program presentation capabilities, Samsung’s CHG90 continues to raise the bar for HDR monitors.

 

Introducing Cisco LaunchPad Startup Cohort 3

Cisco LaunchPad’s startup cohort #2 graduated with resounding success. All eight startups received an enthusiastic response from investors, partners, and the Cisco Community. Currently, Cisco LaunchPad has 16 startup alums, of which seven are actively engaged with Cisco on technology and Go-to-Market collaboration. Through Cisco LaunchPad, we are building engagement with highly relevant startup communities […]

IDEALondon “Scales Up”

Innovation was on display for a packed house of startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprise innovators at IDEALondon’s festive fourth birthday celebration.

Collaborating with NCSU to promote lightweight crypto validation and assessment

Cryptography is very important in today’s world. Improper or maliciously altered crypto implementations have been a concern for the industry in recent years. To alleviate the risk, Cisco has been working with the industry, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other international organizations on finding ways to validate crypto implementations and speed […]

Six Contact Center Predictions for 2018

Cisco's contact center business has held number-one market share in North America for four straight quarters. Here are six things we foresee for the customer care industry in 2018.

News Feed FYI: Fighting Engagement Bait on Facebook

By Henry Silverman, Operations Integrity Specialist and Lin Huang, Engineer

People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” This tactic, known as “engagement bait,” seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. So, starting this week, we will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.

To help us foster more authentic engagement, teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait. Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.

Additionally, over the coming weeks, we will begin implementing stricter demotions for Pages that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed. We will roll out this Page-level demotion over the course of several weeks to give publishers time to adapt and avoid inadvertently using engagement bait in their posts. Moving forward, we will continue to find ways to improve and scale our efforts to reduce engagement bait.

Posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be adversely impacted by this update.

Instead, we will demote posts that go against one of our key News Feed values — authenticity. Similar to our other recent efforts to demote clickbait headlines and links to low-quality web page experiences, we want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, sensational, or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook.

How will this impact Pages?
Publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease. Meanwhile, Pages that repeatedly share engagement bait posts will see more significant drops in reach. Page Admins should continue to focus on posting relevant and meaningful stories that do not use engagement bait tactics. Learn more about engagement bait and how to avoid using it here.

The Momentum of Cisco’s Software Defined-Access Continues

As networks grow, so does the complexity that comes with adding new applications and on-boarding new devices—including IoT—all while delivering a more secure network. Add to that challenge the drive to transform the network to deliver new innovative services and applications while providing the best experience for your customers. Read on, because Cisco has the […]

News Lab in 2017: the year in review

In the news and technology communities, the collective sense of urgency about the future of journalism reached new heights this year. Never before has the press been so important—or so under threat. Technology and platforms like the ones Google has built present extraordinary opportunities to strengthen journalism, but they require newsrooms and tech companies working closely together to get it right. That’s why the Google News Lab exists.


In a Keyword series this week, we’ve shared the work the News Lab is doing around the world to address industry challenges and take advantage of new technologies. Today, in our final post in this series, we’re stepping back to give a holistic view of 10 major developments in our work this last year. We’re looking forward to an even bigger 2018 and would love your feedback on how we can partner with the industry to build a stronger future for news.

1. Combating misinformation in European elections

The spread of misinformation is a growing problem for open societies everywhere. So, helping news organizations confront that challenge—especially during elections—was a key focus for us. We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UK, French, and German elections.


1

2. Helping users identify trustworthy news content on Google

We worked closely with the news industry to better highlight accurate, quality content on our platforms with new product features and partnerships. Along with the Trust Project, we produced eight indicators of trust that newsrooms can add to their content to help users distinguish between quality content and misinformation. We also partnered with the International Fact-Checking Network and The Poynter Institute to increase the number of verified fact checkers across the world.  

12_2017_YIR_gnl_trustworthy.png

3. Empowering underrepresented voices

Bringing underrepresented voices into newsrooms can help uncover important stories that are left out of mainstream news coverage. We supported ASNE’s survey to get a better sense of diversity in newsrooms across the U.S. We also partnered with organizations in the U.S., Brazil, France and Germany to provide journalists from diverse backgrounds with in-depth programs to develop their careers.

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4. Strengthening local news

With revenue pressures challenging the creation of quality local news content, we began investing in projects to strengthen local newsrooms across the U.S. We partnered with the Society for Professional Journalists to train more than 9,000 local reporters in digital skills. We’re also supporting Report for America, an initiative that will use a Teach for America model to place a thousand journalists in local newsrooms over the next five years.

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5. Researching key challenges in journalism

To better understand key challenges facing the news industry, we produced studies on the state of data journalism in 2017 and how audiences experience VR and what it means for journalists. We also supported the ICFJ’s newsroom study on the usage of technology in newsrooms.

12_2017_YIR_gnl_research.png

6. Working with newsrooms to experiment on new technology

From drones to virtual reality, we helped news organizations understand and use emerging technologies to shape their reporting and engage audiences in new ways. And we experimented with machine learning, too—we partnered with ProPublica to launch Documenting Hate, a project which uses AI to help build a national database for hate crime and bias incidents.   

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7. Building tools for data journalism

Our research into the state of data journalism found that while half of newsrooms have a dedicated data journalist, many lack the tools and resources to be successful. So we built a number of tools—Flourish, Tilegrams, Data Gif Maker, Election Databot— to make data journalism more accessible to newsrooms and journalists across the world.

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8. Training journalists across the world in digital skills

With our online training center, advanced online learning partnerships, and in-person trainings, we helped train more than 500,000  journalists across the world in digital tools and skills for storytelling and reporting. To develop the next generation of digital journalists, we offered more than 50 News Lab Fellowships with major news organizations across 12 countries.

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9. Helping newsrooms use Google Trends data to support elections coverage

Google Trends data offers news organizations a look at the candidates and issues that voters are interested in during election season. In Germany, we created a Google Trends Hub to show users’ search interest in key candidates and built a visualization tool to bring the data to life. In France, we launched a data driven web app that showed search interest in the candidates over time.
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10. Expanding the News Lab to Brazil and Asia

This year we launched the News Lab in two new markets: Brazil and in Asia. To kick things off we held inaugural News Lab Summits in both regions—convening journalists from 15 states in Brazil and journalists from 15 countries in Singapore. Since then, we’ve trained more than 8,000 journalists in Brazil and 12,000 journalists in Asia.
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It’s an exciting time for journalism. There are many challenges, but we are eager to work with the news industry to build a more informed world. Tell us where you think we should put our efforts—we’d love to hear feedback and new ideas.

“The Best Possible Representation” ARRI’s Executive Board Members Discuss Samsung Cinema LED Screen

On November 20, two special guests visited Samsung’s Cinema LED screen at the Super-S Theater in Lotte World Tower, Seoul. On a short visit to Korea, Franz Kraus and Dr. Joerg Pohlman came from Germany to acquaint themselves with Samsung’s new cinema screen technology first-hand. The pair make up the Executive Board of Arnold & Richter Cine Technik (ARRI Group) – a leading designer and manufacturer of camera systems and lights for the motion picture media industry. Founded in 1917 in Germany, ARRI now has subsidiaries across the globe, and every year several hundred feature films are shot with ARRI cameras.

 

Samsung Newsroom sat down with Kraus and Pohlman to discuss their initial reactions to the screen.

 

ARRI’s Executive Board, Franz Kraus and Dr. Joerg Pohlman, in front of the Samsung LED Screen

 

 

“I have waited for four months to see the Cinema LED screen”

The Cinema LED screen is the world’s first LED screen designed to replace conventional projectors in cinemas. The new screen, which has overcome limits in brightness and a light-to-shade ratio, supports 4K resolution and high dynamic range (HDR), thus producing clear and vivid color. In addition, directly beamed LED light sources prevent color distortions, giving fuller realization to what directors originally intended to express. The innovative screen installed with JBL sound systems of Harmon Kardon provides viewers with a whole new level of audio experience.

 

Film technology is constantly developing in the digital era. However, film screening is still based on projection, which has served as an obstacle in realizing true and lifelike high-quality resolution. Against this backdrop, the arrival of a Cinema LED screen was a breath of fresh air for the ARRI Executive Board.

 

ARRI’s Executive Board member, Franz Kraus, recalled the moment when he first heard the news about the Cinema LED screen, saying, “I read the news and I thought: I must go to see it.” At last, four months later, he arrived in Seoul to witness the effects of Cinema LED for himself.

 

Before the lights were turned off and the Cinema LED screen was turned on, Kraus expressed high expectations for the LED screen, saying, “I expect to see images superior to the best projection system available today in respect to contrast, color rendition, peak brightness, and reproduction of fine detail. I am curious about the local audio resolution as the LED screen doesn’t allow for the usual setup of three or five speakers behind the screen.”

 

 

Reviews of the Satisfaction with New Cinema Technology

 

The pair watched an ARRI show reel which had been remastered for the Cinema LED Screen. Pohlman, Executive Board member at ARRI, admired Samsung’s technology, saying: “Samsung is a pioneer with this technology. For us, it’s always about bringing technology one step further.”

 

“When you look at movie theaters, I think one of the challenges for them will be to keep up with the development of TV screens. With the advent of HDR, there’s a lot more that can be seen and, in the future, our visual impressions are going to be different from now. It’s about taking time to make sure that theaters in the future will be of a very high quality, so that people will want to watch movies in them.”

 

“I think LED is showing the right way and certainly you can see a lot more on an LED screen. There’s a lot of detail, it’s very rich in color. Of course, with the blacks there’s the contrast, so it’s a very interesting technology. It’s great that Samsung is moving technology forward.”

 

The Cinema LED screen boasts an advantage that viewers experience no distortion in images and sound, wherever in the theater they choose to sit. After confirming this for himself by moving from seat to seat in the theater, Kraus expressed full satisfaction with the technology.

 

 

Leading Desirable Change in the Film Industry

Since the people of ARRI are creators themselves, this new way to display has certainly piqued the Executive Board’s interest. The two also gave their opinion about the future impact of the Cinema LED screen on the film industry, and on cameras and lighting specifically.

 

“One of the very simple things that we were looking for was if you would be able to see the seams or any fixed pattern structure from the individual panels,” Joerg Pohlman remarked. “And you really could not see them. I thought it was extremely impressive. The interesting question is whether and how the creatives in our industry will manage to create images that utilize the full capabilities of the LED screen, delivering life-like images in the cinema.”

 

Franz Kraus added: “Of the images from the ARRI demo reel we watched, some of them worked very well. What I really liked was that the images looked very good, both in SDR as well as in HDR (with ten times the peak brightness). The amount of detail in the darker parts of the image was just marvelous. Even when I strained my eyes, I could not see any trace of technical evidence and the images looked very cinematic.”

 

Throughout their history, conventional projection systems have been faced with limitations in fully expressing clear and lifelike images. These limits have now been overcome with the emergence of the Cinema LED screen. The Cinema LED screen has become a “must see” for film makers and moviegoers who are seeking a whole new experience in image and sound.

 

Google and Gallup’s computer science education research: six things to know

Maru Ahues Bouza, an Engineering Manager at Google, wouldn’t be where she is today without her father’s encouragement to learn computer science (CS). Growing up in Venezuela, there were no CS classes for children, so when Maru was just 10 years old, her father enrolled her and her sister in an adult CS class. At first, the girls showed little interest, but with steady support from their father, Maru and her sister became the top performers in the class. Maru continued with CS, graduating from Universidad Simón Bolívar with a Computer Engineering degree. Maru says that she couldn’t have learned CS without her father’s confidence: “if you’re taught from a young age that you can definitely do it, you’re going to grow up knowing you can be successful.”

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Maru, on the left, as a child with her sister and father.

Our latest research confirms that this type of support and encouragement is indeed critical. In partnership with Gallup, today we are releasing a new research brief, Encouraging Students Toward Computer Science Learning, and a set of CS education reports for 43 U.S. states. Here are the top six things you should know about the research:

  1. Students who have been encouraged by a teacher or parent are three times more likely to be interested in learning CS.
  2. Boys are nearly two times as likely as girls to report that a parent has told them they would be good at CS.
  3. At age 12, there is no difference in interest in CS between boys and girls. However, the gap widens from age 12 to 14, when 47% of boys are very interested, but only 12% of girls express interest.
  4. Across Black, Hispanic, and White students, girls are less likely to be interested in learning CS compared to boys, with the biggest gap between Black girls (15% interested) and Black boys (44% interested). 
  5. Students are more likely to learn CS in suburban areas (61%) than in rural areas (53%). Regionally, CS is most prevalent in the South or Northeast, where 57% of students are likely to learn CS.
  6. Principals perceive mixed parent and school board support for CS, and top barriers to offering CS include minimal budget for teachers and lack of trained teachers, as well as competing priorities for standardized testing and college requirements.
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Simple words of support can help more kids like Maru learn CS, no matter who they are or where they live. It's not hard to encourage students, but we often don't do so unless a student shows explicit interest. So this winter break, read the research about CS education and take a few minutes to encourage a student to create something using computer science, like coding their own Google logo. This encouragement could spark a student’s lifelong interest in computer science, just like it did for Maru.

ARCore Developer Preview 2

Augmented reality is a powerful way to bring the physical and digital worlds together. AR places digital objects and useful information into the real world around us, which creates a huge opportunity to make our phones more intuitive, more helpful and a whole lot more fun.

We’ve been working on augmented reality since 2014, with our earliest investments in Project Tango. We’ve taken everything we learned from that to build ARCore, which launched in preview earlier this year. Whereas Tango required special hardware, ARCore is a fast, performant, Android-scale SDK that enables high-quality augmented reality across millions of qualified mobile devices.

Developers can experiment with ARCore now, and we’ve seen some amazing creations from the community. ARCore also powers AR Stickers on the Pixel camera, which launched earlier this week and lets you add interactive AR characters and playful emojis directly into photos and videos to bring your favorite stories to life.

Today, we’re releasing an update to our ARCore Developer Preview with several technical improvements to the SDK, including:

  • A new C API for use with the Android NDK that complements our existing Java, Unity, and Unreal SDKs;

  • Functionality that lets AR apps pause and resume AR sessions, for example to let a user return to an AR app after taking a phone call;

  • Improved accuracy and runtime efficiency across our anchor, plane finding, and point cloud APIs.

To learn more about the SDK updates, check out the Android, Unity, and Unreal Github pages.

As we focus on bringing augmented reality to the entire Android ecosystem with ARCore, we’re turning down support of Tango. Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore.

If you’re a developer interested in AR, now's the time to start experimenting. In the coming months, we’ll launch ARCore v1.0, with support for over 100 million devices. And soon, many augmented reality experiences will be available in the Play Store. We can’t wait to see what you create.

How the Notebook 9 Pen Blends Powerful Performance with Premium Design

Featuring a thoughtfully refined design that allows users to do so much more using the built-in S Pen, Samsung’s new Notebook 9 Pen was built for those who are always exploring, always creating, and never content to simply stand still.

 

The 2-in-1 PC’s cutting-edge specs, including a powerful 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, and exceptional portability make it incredibly versatile, and perfect for those who are always on the move. Let’s explore how Samsung optimized the premium device to feature some truly amazing moves of its own.

 

 

Designed for Function and Flexibility

The Notebook 9 Pen’s slim, single-shell body is as seamless and refined as ever, and now even more portable thanks to Samsung’s use of Metal12™. This ultralight magnesium-aluminum alloy allows the notebook to weigh in at just 995 grams (2.2 pounds), which makes it one of the lightest in its class. In addition, the alloy itself has been treated with an advanced Micro Arc Oxidation (MAO) process that provides its surface with a tough oxide coating, enhancing durability.

 

 

The S Pen seamlessly slots into the bottom of the notebook, so it’s always there when you need it. And when inspiration strikes, the 360-degree convertible hinge lets you instantly transform the device from a notebook into a tablet, allowing you to comfortably access the vibrant, 13-inch RealView display from any angle.

 

Content depicted on the premium display is bright and accurate, thanks to the device’s peak brightness of 450 nits and ability to display 95 percent of the sRGB color space. This allows the notebook to produce lifelike colors and picture quality, which makes it a perfect fit for graphic designers, and makes everything from viewing a video to reading or browsing the web more immersive and engaging.

 

The display also features a wide, 178-degree viewing angle that allows it to be seen clearly when users adjust their position, or when they are viewing or collaborating on content with friends or colleagues.

 

 

Because the Notebook 9 Pen was designed for mobility, it also supports a variety of convenient charging methods that make it easy for users to power up on the go – even without the device’s compact adaptor. The notebook may be easily charged via a compatible smartphone charger or an external battery pack, and even supports fast charging.* So you won’t have to worry about a misplaced adaptor impeding your productivity.

 

 

 

S Pen Optimization

The Notebook 9 Pen’s S Pen is impeccably precise, featuring a 0.7mm tip and capable of recognizing up to 4,096 levels of pressure. This level of precision, along with the implement’s ability to detect when it’s been tilted, evokes an incredibly natural writing experience and allows artists to express fine details with ease.

 

 

The notebook automatically detects when the S Pen has been pulled out and springs into action, instantly launching the Air Command menu that houses convenient shortcuts for a wide array of S Pen features. These features, which will be familiar to users of Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphones, include Smart Select, which lets you conveniently crop and capture a desired portion of your screen, and Screen Write, which allows you to easily mark up screen-captured images. And because the S Pen is – as always – battery-free, it’s always ready to help you express yourself and be productive.

 

Speaking of which, the Notebook 9 Pen also features several built-in tools, including versatile apps like Autodesk SketchBook and the Samsung Notes app, designed to help users express themselves and work more effectively. These apps add comfort and convenience to everything from doodling to writing, sketching, painting and more, and make each task that much more enjoyable.

 

 

 

Boost Productivity with Voice Notes and teamPL

The Notebook 9 Pen’s Voice Note function offers users an innovative way to record their – and others’ – brilliant ideas.

 

 

The software allows you to record crystal clear audio via the Notebook 9 Pen’s ‘far-field’ microphone, which utilizes advanced hardware, algorithms and noise suppression technology to isolate and record sounds even from distant sources. The function makes it easy to locate specific points in a recorded audio file – so finding a key highlight won’t require you to listen to the recording all over again – while also allowing you to mark and take notes within the file itself.

 

Another Notebook 9 Pen feature designed to help students and professionals work and study more efficiently is teamPL, a software solution that allows you to easily share what’s displayed on your screen with up to five friends or colleagues connected to the same network. Utilizing this feature will allow you to instantly show others what you’re working on or looking at, and help your team collaborate more effectively.

 

 

Seamlessly Sync Your Smartphone

The Notebook 9 Pen also boasts support for a variety of Samsung apps designed to streamline how users share files, capture memories, and communicate.

 

Support for the Samsung Link Sharing app makes it simple for users to share files stored on their PC – including photos, videos and documents – with their family, friends and colleagues. Transfers may be facilitated to virtually anyone with another PC or a smart device. **

 

The device’s Samsung Gallery integration, meanwhile, offers simple tools to streamline how users manage their most precious files: their photos and videos. Each time you use your phone*** to capture a memorable moment, Samsung Gallery will automatically sync the photo or video via Samsung Cloud so that it appears in the Notebook 9 Pen’s version of the app. This provides you with more freedom – and space – to manage and share your content.

 

 

Finally, the notebook’s Samsung Messages app allows you to instantly reply to incoming texts and message any of your contacts without ever reaching for your phone. You can even use the app to drag and drop large files (up to 1GB) saved on the Notebook 9 Pen to share them with contacts saved on your phone. ****

 

 

Seriously Secure

Along with packing a slew of seriously fun features, the Notebook 9 Pen comes preinstalled with Samsung Security, a seriously stout security solution designed to enhance users’ privacy and safeguard sensitive data.

 

 

The software’s Privacy Folder feature allows users to add an extra layer of protection to sensitive files; the Secret Screen function obscures the notebook’s screen so that it’s visible only to the user; and Block Recording ensures that your webcam is protected from unauthorized access and recording.

 

 

The Notebook 9 Pen’s Windows Hello support adds enterprise-grade biometric security to logins to streamline how users access their device and protect their data. The IR front-facing camera’s facial-recognition technology allows you to unlock your notebook with a glance, while the built-in fingerprint sensor lets you securely log in to your device, websites, and other services with a simple swipe – no password typing required.

 

The Notebook 9 Pen is currently available to preorder in Korea, and will launch in select markets in the first quarter of 2018.

 

 

* Requires either an AFC type Samsung battery pack, or a QX2.0 (Qualcomm) type battery.

** Size limit for each file is 1GB, and up to 2GB of content may be shared within a 48-hour span.

*** Compatible with Samsung Galaxy smartphones running Android 7.0 and above, as well as select devices running Android 6.0, including the Galaxy Note4, Note5, S6 edge, S7 and S7 edge.

**** Compatible with Samsung Galaxy smartphones running Android 7.0 and above, as well as select devices running Android 6.0, including the Galaxy Note5, S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, S7 and S7 edge. Availability may vary by region. This feature utilizes SMS, and carriers may charge for usage depending on the user’s data plan.

Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?

By David Ginsberg, Director of Research, and Moira Burke, Research Scientist at Facebook

With people spending more time on social media, many rightly wonder whether that time is good for us. Do people connect in meaningful ways online? Or are they simply consuming trivial updates and polarizing memes at the expense of time with loved ones?

These are critical questions for Silicon Valley — and for both of us. Moira is a social psychologist who has studied the impact of the internet on people’s lives for more than a decade, and I lead the research team for the Facebook app. As parents, each of us worries about our kids’ screen time and what “connection” will mean in 15 years. We also worry about spending too much time on our phones when we should be paying attention to our families. One of the ways we combat our inner struggles is with research — reviewing what others have found, conducting our own, and asking questions when we need to learn more.

A lot of smart people are looking at different aspects of this important issue. Psychologist Sherry Turkle asserts that mobile phones redefine modern relationships, making us “alone together.” In her generational analyses of teens, psychologist Jean Twenge notes an increase in teen depression corresponding with technology use. Both offer compelling research.

But it’s not the whole story. Sociologist Claude Fischer argues that claims that technology drives us apart are largely supported by anecdotes and ignore the benefits. Sociologist Keith Hampton’s study of public spaces suggests that people spend more time in public now — and that cell phones in public are more often used by people passing time on their own, rather than ignoring friends in person.

We want Facebook to be a place for meaningful interactions with your friends and family — enhancing your relationships offline, not detracting from them. After all, that’s what Facebook has always been about. This is important as we know that a person’s health and happiness relies heavily on the strength of their relationships.

In this post, we want to give you some insights into how the research team at Facebook works with our product teams to incorporate well-being principles, and review some of the top scientific research on well-being and social media that informs our work. Of course, this isn’t just a Facebook issue — it’s an internet issue — so we collaborate with leading experts and publish in the top peer-reviewed journals. We work with scientists like Robert Kraut at Carnegie Mellon; Sonja Lyubomirsky at UC Riverside; Dacher Keltner, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, and Matt Killingsworth from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and have partnered closely with mental health clinicians and organizations like Save.org and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

What Do Academics Say? Is Social Media Good or Bad for Well-Being?

According to the research, it really comes down to how you use the technology. For example, on social media, you can passively scroll through posts, much like watching TV, or actively interact with friends — messaging and commenting on each other’s posts. Just like in person, interacting with people you care about can be beneficial, while simply watching others from the sidelines may make you feel worse.

The bad: In general, when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterward. In one experiment, University of Michigan students randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10 minutes were in a worse mood at the end of the day than students assigned to post or talk to friends on Facebook. A study from UC San Diego and Yale found that people who clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than average in a survey. Though the causes aren’t clear, researchers hypothesize that reading about others online might lead to negative social comparison — and perhaps even more so than offline, since people’s posts are often more curated and flattering. Another theory is that the internet takes people away from social engagement in person.

The good: On the other hand, actively interacting with people — especially sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions — is linked to improvements in well-being. This ability to connect with relatives, classmates, and colleagues is what drew many of us to Facebook in the first place, and it’s no surprise that staying in touch with these friends and loved ones brings us joy and strengthens our sense of community.

A study we conducted with Robert Kraut at Carnegie Mellon University found that people who sent or received more messages, comments and Timeline posts reported improvements in social support, depression and loneliness. The positive effects were even stronger when people talked with their close friends online. Simply broadcasting status updates wasn’t enough; people had to interact one-on-one with others in their network. Other peer-reviewed longitudinal research and experiments have found similar positive benefits between well-being and active engagement on Facebook.

In an experiment at Cornell, stressed college students randomly assigned to scroll through their own Facebook profiles for five minutes experienced boosts in self-affirmation compared to students who looked at a stranger’s Facebook profile. The researchers believe self-affirmation comes from reminiscing on past meaningful interactions — seeing photos they had been tagged in and comments their friends had left — as well as reflecting on one’s own past posts, where a person chooses how to present themselves to the world.

In a follow-up study, the Cornell researchers put other students under stress by giving them negative feedback on a test and then gave them a choice of websites to visit afterward, including Facebook, YouTube, online music and online video games. They found that stressed students were twice as likely to choose Facebook to make themselves feel better as compared with students who hadn’t been put under stress.

In sum, our research and other academic literature suggests that it’s about how you use social media that matters when it comes to your well-being.

So what are we doing about it?

We’re working to make Facebook more about social interaction and less about spending time. As our CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions.” Facebook has always been about bringing people together — from the early days when we started reminding people about their friends’ birthdays, to showing people their memories with friends using the feature we call “On This Day.” We’re also a place for people to come together in times of need, from fundraisers for disaster relief to groups where people can find an organ donor. We’re always working to expand these communities and find new ways to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

We employ social psychologists, social scientists and sociologists, and we collaborate with top scholars to better understand well-being and work to make Facebook a place that contributes in a positive way. Here are a few things we’ve worked on recently to help support people’s well-being.

News Feed quality: We’ve made several changes to News Feed to provide more opportunities for meaningful interactions and reduce passive consumption of low-quality content — even if it decreases some of our engagement metrics in the short term. We demote things like clickbait headlines and false news, even though people often click on those links at a high rate. We optimize ranking so posts from the friends you care about most are more likely to appear at the top of your feed because that’s what people tell us in surveys that they want to see. Similarly, our ranking promotes posts that are personally informative. We also recently redesigned the comments feature to foster better conversations.

Snooze: People often tell us they want more say over what they see in News Feed. Today, we launched Snooze, which gives people the option to hide a person, Page or group for 30 days, without having to permanently unfollow or unfriend them. This will give people more control over their feed and hopefully make their experience more positive.

Take a Break: Millions of people break up on Facebook each week, changing their relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single.” Research on peoples’ experiences after breakups suggests that offline and online contact, including seeing an ex-partner’s activities, can make emotional recovery more difficult. To help make this experience easier, we built a tool called Take a Break, which gives people more centralized control over when they see their ex on Facebook, what their ex can see, and who can see their past posts.

Suicide prevention tools: Research shows that social support can help prevent suicide. Facebook is in a unique position to connect people in distress with resources that can help. We work with people and organizations around the world to develop support options for people posting about suicide on Facebook, including reaching out to a friend, contacting help lines and reading tips about things they can do in that moment. We recently released suicide prevention support on Facebook Live and introduced artificial intelligence to detect suicidal posts even before they are reported. We also connect people more broadly with mental health resources, including support groups on Facebook.

What About Related Areas Like Digital Distraction and the Impact of Technology on Kids?

We know that people are concerned about how technology affects our attention spans and relationships, as well as how it affects children in the long run. We agree these are critically important questions, and we all have a lot more to learn.

That’s why we recently pledged $1 million toward research to better understand the relationship between media technologies, youth development and well-being. We’re teaming up with experts in the field to look at the impact of mobile technology and social media on kids and teens, as well as how to better support them as they transition through different stages of life.

We’re also making investments to better understand digital distraction and the factors that can pull people away from important face-to-face interactions. Is multitasking hurting our personal relationships? How about our ability to focus? Next year we’ll host a summit with academics and other industry leaders to tackle these issues together.

We don’t have all the answers, but given the prominent role social media now plays in many people’s lives, we want to help elevate the conversation. In the years ahead we’ll be doing more to dig into these questions, share our findings and improve our products. At the end of the day, we’re committed to bringing people together and supporting well-being through meaningful interactions on Facebook.

News Feed FYI: Introducing Snooze to Give You More Control Of Your News Feed

By Shruthi Muraleedharan, Product Manager

One of our core News Feed values is giving people more control. Over the next week, we’re launching Snooze, which will give you the option to temporarily unfollow a person, Page or group for 30 days. By selecting Snooze in the top-right drop-down menu of a post, you won’t see content from those people, Pages or groups in your News Feed for that time period.

Seeing too many photos of your uncle’s new cat? Is your friend tempting you with endless photos of ramen on her Japan trip? It turns out, you’re not alone. We’ve heard from people that they want more options to determine what they see in News Feed and when they see it. With Snooze, you don’t have to unfollow or unfriend permanently, rather just stop seeing someone’s posts for a short period of time. The people, Pages, and groups you snooze will not be notified. You will be notified before the Snooze period is about to end and the setting can also be reversed at any time.

Controls for your News Feed aren’t new. With features like Unfollow, Hide, Report and See First, we’ve consistently worked toward helping people tailor their News Feed experience, so the time they spend on Facebook is time well spent. As News Feed evolves, we’ll continue to provide easy-to-use tools to give you the most personalized experience possible every time you visit Facebook.

“We’ve Only Been Using CrowdTangle a Month and Our Referrals Are Up 26%”

Just weeks after getting access to CrowdTangle, La Gaceta Salta — a three-year old Argentine local news outlet with accelerating growth and a burgeoning online audience — was seeing value in their newsroom.

The La Gaceta Salta team had a problem on their hands: They wanted to increase engagement on Facebook and the reach of their publications to build an active community of readers, and hadn’t found a good solutionThey began using CrowdTangle to help track what was working among their content, what wasn’t, and to track their competitors.

After just a couple weeks using the CrowdTangle platform, digital editor Pablo Hamada summed it up: “We started to see the increase that we were looking for immediately, more likes, comments, and shares within the community.”

With higher engagement also came higher reach and more traffic.

“We’ve only been using the product a month and our referrals are up 26%,” Hamada says. “We’re getting more engagement from our readers, as well as more fans. In August, we had 154,000 likes and in the end of September 200,000 likes, all organic.”

CrowdTangle gives the La Gaceta Salta clear daily and weekly indicators of what’s resonating with their readers. The team is able to evaluate what’s working on both the content level and the page level. More crucially, they’re able to get this same analysis for their competitors.

“We are growing because of what we’re seeing and using to strategize within CrowdTangle and hope to continue that growth on Facebook,” Hamada says.

La Gaceta Salta’s success has been a simple recipe of customizing CrowdTangle’s core features to fit their needs. Hamada summed up the process they took in their first month into three simple steps:

Step. 1: Customize your lists

Build a local list of competitors, as well as politicians and national media … (here’s how to do that). Make sure to track the verticals and benchmarks that are important to you, asLa Gaceta Salta did.

Step. 2: Tie it to a viral alert

Hamada says he has connected this CrowdTangle list of politicians and local media to CrowdTangle alerts via Slack and is comparing his organization’s growth to competitors. La Gaceta Salta implemented this action during elections. In October, the outlet had a record number of visits for election day, quadrupling the previous record.

The La Gaceta Salta viral alert.

Step. 3: Get the rest of the team involved in the action

Hamada says that opening CrowdTangle up to the rest of the newsroom was clutch. The team had the single mission of collaborating to best their competitors. La Gaceta Salta started at 4th [in the CrowdTangle leaderboard] and are now 2nd in interactions in a little over a month.

A look at La Gaceta Salta’s follower growth over the last half of 2017, via CrowdTangle’s Intelligence tool.

Results:

“We were able to track what politicians and national media were saying, and localize that content to the La Gaceta Salta community. The elections generated a lot of debate on Facebook. We were interested in locating these discussions for our readers. We generated native content for Facebook that ended up being both highly shared and commented. We believe that readers found a space for debate in our publications, and that is very valuable for us.” — Digital Editor Pablo Hamada

5 ways to improve your hiring process in 2018

Editor’s note: Senior Product Manager Berit Hoffmann leads Hire, a recruiting application Google launched earlier this year. In this post, she shares five ways businesses can improve their hiring process and secure great talent.

With 2018 quickly approaching, businesses are evaluating their hiring needs for the new year.

According to a recent survey of 2,200 hiring managers, 46 percent of U.S. companies need to hire more people but have issues filling open positions with the right candidates. If your company lacks great hiring processes and tools, it can be easy to make sub-optimal hiring decisions, which can have negative repercussions.

We built Hire to help businesses hire the right talent more efficiently, and integrated it with G Suite to help teams collaborate more effectively throughout the process. As your business looks to invest in talent next year, here are five ways to positively impact your hiring outcomes.

1. Define the hiring process for each role.

Take time to define each stage of the hiring process, and think about if and how the process may need to differ. This will help you better tailor your evaluation of each candidate to company expectations, as well as the qualifications of a particular role.

Mobility best practice in connected workspaces: tiered access at Google

Earlier this year, Google reviewed a subset of its own interview data to discover the optimal number of interviews needed in the hiring process to evaluate whether a candidate is right for Google. Statistical analysis showed that four interviews was enough to predict with 86 percent confidence whether someone should be hired. Of course, every company’s hiring process varies according to size, role or industry—some businesses require double that number of interviews, whereas others may only need one interview.

Using Hire to manage your recruiting activities allows you to configure as many hiring process “templates” as you’d like, as well as use different ones for different roles. For example, you might vary the number of interview rounds based on department. Whatever process you define, you can bring all candidate activity and interactions together within Hire. Plus, Hire integrates with G Suite apps, like Gmail and Calendar, to help you coordinate the process.

2. Make jobs discoverable on Google Search.

For many businesses, sourcing candidates is one of the most time-consuming parts of the hiring process, so Google launched Job Search to help employers better showcase job opportunities in search. Since launching, 60 percent more employers show jobs in search in the United States.

Making your open positions discoverable where people are searching is an important part of attracting the best talent. If you use Hire to post a job, the app automatically formats your public job posting so it is discoverable by job seekers in Google search.

3. Make sure you get timely feedback from interviewers.

The sooner an interviewer provides feedback, the faster your hiring team can reach a decision, which improves the candidate’s experience. To help speed up feedback submissions, some companies like Genius.com use a “silent process” approach. This means interviewers are not allowed to discuss a candidate until they submit written feedback first.

Hire supports this “silent process” approach by hiding other people’s feedback from interviewers until they submit their own. We’ve found that this can incentivize employees to submit feedback faster because they want to see what their colleagues said. 63 percent of Hire interviewers leave feedback within 24 hours of an interview and 75 percent do so within 48 hours.

4. Make sure their feedback is thoughtful, too.

Beyond speedy feedback delivery, it’s perhaps more important to receive quality evaluations. Make sure your interviewers know how to write clear feedback and try to avoid common mistakes such as:

  1. Writing vague statements or summarizing a candidate’s resume.
  2. Restating information from rubrics or questionnaires rather than giving specific  examples.
  3. Getting distracted by personality or evaluating attributes unrelated to the job.

One way you can encourage employees to stay focused when they interview a candidate. is to assign them a specific topic to cover in the interview. In Hire, topics are included in each interviewer’s Google Calendar invitation for easy reference without having to log into the app.

Maintaining a high standard for written feedback helps your team not only make hiring decisions today, but also helps you track candidates for future consideration. Even if you don’t hire someone for a particular role, the person might be a better fit for another position down the road. In Hire, you can find candidates easily with Google’s powerful search technology. Plus, Hire takes past interview feedback into account and ranks previous candidates higher if they’ve had positive feedback.

5. Stop letting internal processes slow you down.

If you don’t manage your hiring process effectively, it can be a huge time sink, especially as employers take longer and longer to hire talent. If your business lags on making a decision, it can mean losing a great candidate.

Implementing a solution like Hire can make it a lot easier for companies to move quickly through the hiring process. Native integrations with the G Suite apps you’re already using can help you cut down on copy-pasting or having to jump between multiple tabs. If you email a candidate in Gmail, it’s automatically synced in Hire so the rest of the hiring team can follow the conversation. And if you need to schedule a multi-slot interview, you can do so easily in Hire which lets you access interviewer availability or even book conference rooms. Since launching in July, we’ve seen the average time between posting a position and hiring a candidate decrease from 128 days to just 21 days (3 weeks!).

Hiring doesn’t have to be hard. Request a demo of Hire to see how you can speed up talent acquisition. Or learn more about how G Suite can help your teams transform the way they work.

LoWPAN on Android Things

Posted by Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for IoT

Creating robust connections between IoT devices can be difficult. WiFi and Bluetooth are ubiquitous and work well in many scenarios, but suffer limitations when power is constrained or large numbers of devices are required on a single network. In response to this, new communications technologies have arisen to address the power and scalability requirements for IoT.

Low-power Wireless Personal Area Network (LoWPAN) technologies are specifically designed for peer-to-peer usage on constrained battery-powered devices. Devices on the same LoWPAN can communicate with each other using familiar IP networking, allowing developers to use standard application protocols like HTTP and CoAP. The specific LoWPAN technology that we are most excited about is Thread: a secure, fault-tolerant, low-power mesh-networking technology that is quickly becoming an industry standard.

Today we are announcing API support for configuring and managing LoWPAN as a part of Android Things Developer Preview 6.1, including first-class networking support for Thread. By adding an 802.15.4 radio module to one of our developer kits, Android Things devices can communicate directly with other peer devices on a Thread network. These types of low-power connectivity solutions enable Android Things devices to perform edge computing tasks, aggregating data locally from nearby devices to make critical decisions without a constant connection to cloud services. See the LoWPAN API guide for more details on building apps to create and join local mesh networks.

Getting Started

OpenThread makes getting started with LoWPAN on Android Things easy. Choose a supported radio platform, such as the Nordic nRF52840, and download pre-built firmware to enable it as a Network Co-Processor (NCP). Integrate the radio into Android Things using the LoWPAN NCP user driver. You can also expand support to other radio hardware by building your own user drivers. See the LoWPAN user driver API guide for more details.

To get started with DP6.1, use the Android Things Console to download system images and flash existing devices. Then download the LoWPAN sample app to try it out for yourself! LoWPAN isn't the only exciting thing happening in the latest release. See the release notes for the full set of fixes and updates included in DP6.1.

Feedback

Please send us your feedback by filing bug reports and feature requests, as well as asking any questions on Stack Overflow. You can also join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss ideas. Also, we have our new hackster.io community, where everyone can share the amazing projects they have built. We look forward to seeing what you build with Android Things!

Earth to exoplanet: Hunting for planets with machine learning

For thousands of years, people have looked up at the stars, recorded observations, and noticed patterns. Some of the first objects early astronomers identified were planets, which the Greeks called “planētai,” or “wanderers,” for their seemingly irregular movement through the night sky. Centuries of study helped people understand that the Earth and other planets in our solar system orbit the sun—a star like many others.

Today, with the help of technologies like telescope optics, space flight, digital cameras, and computers, it’s possible for us to extend our understanding beyond our own sun and detect planets around other stars. Studying these planets—called exoplanets—helps us explore some of our deepest human inquiries about the universe. What else is out there? Are there other planets and solar systems like our own?

Though technology has aided the hunt, finding exoplanets isn’t easy. Compared to their host stars, exoplanets are cold, small and dark—about as tricky to spot as a firefly flying next to a searchlight … from thousands of miles away. But with the help of machine learning, we’ve recently made some progress.

One of the main ways astrophysicists search for exoplanets is by analyzing large amounts of data from NASA’s Kepler mission with both automated software and manual analysis. Kepler observed about 200,000 stars for four years, taking a picture every 30 minutes, creating about 14 billion data points. Those 14 billion data points translate to about 2 quadrillion possible planet orbits! It’s a huge amount of information for even the most powerful computers to analyze, creating a laborious, time-intensive process. To make this process faster and more effective, we turned to machine learning.

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The measured brightness of a star decreases ever so slightly when an orbiting planet blocks some of the light. The Kepler space telescope observed the brightness of 200,000 stars for 4 years to hunt for these characteristic signals caused by transiting planets.

Machine learning is a way of teaching computers to recognize patterns, and it’s particularly useful in making sense of large amounts of data. The key idea is to let a computer learn by example instead of programming it with specific rules.

I'm a Google AI researcher with an interest in space, and started this work as a 20 percent project (an opportunity at Google to work on something that interests you for 20 percent of your time). In the process, I reached out to Andrew, an astrophysicist from UT Austin, to collaborate. Together, we took this technique to the skies and taught a machine learning system how to identify planets around faraway stars.

Using a dataset of more than 15,000 labeled Kepler signals, we created a TensorFlow model to distinguish planets from non-planets. To do this, it had to recognize patterns caused by actual planets, versus patterns caused by other objects like starspots and binary stars. When we tested our model on signals it had never seen before, it correctly identified which signals were planets and which signals were not planets 96 percent of the time. So we knew it worked!

Kepler 90i is the eighth planet discovered orbiting the Kepler 90 star, making it the first known 8-planet system outside of our own.

Armed with our working model, we shot for the stars, using it to hunt for new planets in Kepler data. To narrow the search, we looked at the 670 stars that were already known to host two or more exoplanets. In doing so, we discovered two new planets: Kepler 80g and Kepler 90i. Significantly, Kepler 90i is the eighth planet discovered orbiting the Kepler 90 star, making it the first known 8-planet system outside of our own.

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We used 15,000 labeled Kepler signals to train our machine learning model to identify planet signals. We used this model to hunt for new planets in data from 670 stars, and discovered two planets missed in previous searches.

Some fun facts about our newly discovered planet: it’s 30 percent larger than Earth, and with a surface temperature of approximately 800°F—not ideal for your next vacation. It also orbits its star every 14 days, meaning you’d have a birthday there just about every two weeks.

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Kepler 90 is the first known 8-planet system outside of our own. In this system, planets orbit closer to their star, and Kepler 90i orbits once every 14 days. (Note that planet sizes and distances from stars are not to scale.)

The sky is the limit (so to speak) when it comes to the possibilities of this technology. So far, we’ve only used our model to search 670 stars out of 200,000. There may be many exoplanets still unfound in Kepler data, and new ideas and techniques like machine learning will help fuel celestial discoveries for many years to come. To infinity, and beyond!

Local businesses bring in new customers with Posts on Google

Seven out of ten customers visit a business or make a purchase based on info they found online1. With Posts on Google, businesses can share these timely updates right where people find your business on Search and Maps.

Creative posts help a new restaurant become a local hit

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Igor Chang founded HAO Restaurant and Bar to bring Asian dishes to his beachside neighborhood in João Pessoa, Brazil. HAO keeps its doors open until 3AM, drawing customers for dinner and a night on the town.

Igor uses Posts on Google to get more reservations by sharing discounts on sushi, photos of cocktail specials, and links to videos of HAO’s live jazz band.

In just three months, Igor's posts received more than 5,000 views. He’s noticed an increase in reservations and often hears customers mention his latest posts.

Mobile-friendly Posts bring visitors to a thrilling destination

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Ramoji Film City is the backdrop for some of India’s biggest films, but it's also a destination itself, where tourists can explore film sets, stay in luxury hotels, and see live performances.

When T Prasad joined the team at Ramoji Film City, he discovered that 80% of their customers found their business info on mobile devices. So he started sharing mobile-friendly posts with photos of Ramoji’s amusement park and other attractions.

After one month of posting on Google, Prasad saw a 20% increase in website pageviews. He also noticed a jump in calls from people who are excited to visit Ramoji Film City.

A candy shop satisfies their community’s sweet tooth

Raul Vega discovered that Mexican families in his Los Angeles neighborhood wanted to share the candies they loved as kids with their own children in the U.S. So he opened Dulceria Dulfi Mexican Candy Store, which carries sweets from De La Rosa triple-layer marzipan and peanut butter candies to Vero Manitas hand-shaped lollipops.

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Raul uses Posts to share popular candies, seasonal specials and new arrivals with his customers online.

Since he started posting this summer, Raul has seen an average of seven  new customers each week. Those customers make a big difference for his business. Posts also help him track which candies get the most attention, so he can update future orders for his shop.

Posting on Google is a way to share relevant, fresh content with people who search for businesses like yours online. Start posting and reach new customers through your Google listing today.

1Google/Ipsos Connect, “Benefits of a Complete Google My Business Listing,” October 2016. A total of N=15,904 adults 18-64, Google search or maps users, recent category purchasers (Bakery/Sweet shop, Auto, Spa/Hairdresser, Clothing, Bookstore/Logistics) in India, Australia, Germany, Turkey and the U.S.

News Lab in 2017: Our work around the world

This week we’re looking at how the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. So far, we shared how the News Lab works with newsrooms to address industry challenges and use emerging technologies. Today, we’ll take a look at the News Lab’s global footprint and its efforts to fuel innovation in newsrooms across the world.


Technology continues to change how journalists across the world report and tell stories. But how technology shapes journalism varies from region to region. This past year our team, the Google News Lab, conducted in-person trainings for journalists across 52 countries. Today, we take a look at the unique challenges of newsrooms in the regions we serve and how we’ve adapted our mission for each region to help build the future of journalism.

Europe

In Europe, it’s been another big year for politics with major general elections taking place in the Netherlands, France, UK, Germany and Norway. We wanted to ensure we were helping newsrooms cover these critical moments with the accuracy and depth they required. So, our efforts across these countries focused on helping newsrooms verify digital content in a timely fashion and providing training in digital skills for journalists.

  • We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UKFrench, and German elections. In France, we supported First Draft's launch of CrossCheck; a collaboration among 37 newsrooms to verify or debunk online stories during the election. In the build up to the elections in the UK and Germany, we also supported fact-checking organizations Full Fact and Correctiv to help newsrooms identify new sources of information. These initiatives helped more than 500 European journalists verify content online and debunk 267 inaccurate stories shared on social during the French and German elections. 
  • Journalists across Europe used Google Trends to help visualize big political stories—here’s a peek at what they did. 
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Journalists attending the European Journalism Centre News Impact Summit in Manchester, UK.

  • We continued to ramp up our efforts to train European journalists digital skills. We worked with The European Journalism Centre on the latest series of the News Impact Summit, providing large-scale training events on news gathering and storytelling, combined with design-thinking workshops for journalists in Rome, Hamburg, Budapest, Manchester and Brussels. And our partnership with Netzwerk Medien-Trainer has provided over a thousand journalists across northern Europe with expert training on data journalism, verification and mapping.

Asia Pacific

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Journalists from across Asia attend a session at our first News Lab Summit in APAC.

This year, we expanded our training and programs to the  Asia Pacific, where we’ve tailored our approach to meet the specific needs of journalists across this diverse landscape. In a part of the world that is largely mobile-first (or mobile-only) and chat apps are the norm, there are a unique set of opportunities and challenges for newsrooms.

  • In July, our first News Lab APAC Summit welcomed 180 guests from 150 news organizations across 15 countries to our offices in Singapore. Product specialists and experts from newsrooms across the region came together to share best practices, learn about emerging technologies, and engage in open dialogue on challenges critical to the news industry.
  • In India, our Teaching Fellow has provided training and support to around 4K journalists and journalism students across the country. Our partnership with the Digital Identities team helped journalists in New Delhi experiment and engage new audiences with their stories.
  • Working in partnership with News Lab, the South China Morning Post released an immersive virtual reality project to depict the changing landscape of Hong Kong over 170 years of history.
  • We’re working to support research projects that tackle industry challenges - working with Media Diversity Australia to quantify issues of diversity and representation in the Australian news organizations, while in South Korea we’re supporting a study about the use of chat apps and their role in the news ecosystem.

Latin America

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Journalists from across Brazil gathered for an open conversation on the future of news at our first News Lab Summit in Brazil.

Working with journalists across Latin America, we elevated new voices beyond traditional newsrooms, and helped established journalists experiment with new technology and research. In Brazil alone there are an estimated 139 million Internet users, providing a huge opportunity for news organizations to experiment and test new formats.

  • We hosted the first Google News Lab Summit in LatAm Google’s HQ in São Paulo, which convened 115 journalists from across Brazil. Attendees from 71 organizations heard from product managers and industry experts about data journalism, immersive storytelling and verification.
  • Impacto.jo, an experimental project in Brazil supported by the News Lab, helps journalists track the social impact of their reporting. As a part of the project, six organizations including Nexo JornalFolha de S. PauloVejaGazeta do PovoNova Escola and Projor will each track the public response and social reaction to their stories. 
  • In Brazil, we brought 300 journalists to a first-of-its-kind independent journalism festival in Rio de Janeiro to share ideas on how to engage audiences online with original journalism.
  • Our Teaching Fellows based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City have travelled beyond Argentina and Mexico to provide 75 workshops in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay

Middle East & Africa

We are focused on the growing number of mobile phone users, providing trainings for journalists on digital integration, as it remains a challenge in this part of the world.

  • We’re working with Code for Africa and the World Bank to provide training to six thousand journalists across 12 major African cities. Their online learning course will provide self-paced lessons for journalists across Africa. They’re also working to support local Hacks/Hackers meetings to bring journalists and developers together to share new ideas.
  • In South Africa, we held a GEN Editors Lab hackathon, in association with Code for Africa, that brought together 35 developers and journalists to tackle a range of topics including misinformation. This builds on our support for previous events in Nigeria and further afield in Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Taiwan.
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Journalists in Africa going through digital skills training.

A bulk of our in-person training work has been made possible by the Google News Lab Teaching Fellowship, which launched this year and enlists industry professionals, academic experts and experienced journalists to help us provide practical, in-person workshops and presentations across the world. In total, we hosted workshops, hackathons, and in-person trainings for 48K journalists across 52 countries.


Since we can’t be everywhere in-person, our online training center offers a round-the-clock service in 13 languages including Arabic, Polish, Hebrew and Hindi. We’re continuing to collaborate with training organizations around the world, and our growing Training Network now includes expert trainers in Europe, the U.S. and parts of Asia Pacific. There’s plenty more to do in 2018 and we’re looking forward to working with journalists and newsrooms across the world.


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