Google aims to make GIFs more shareable and public transport more predictable in cities around the world


Google Images makes it easier to share GIFs, to help create a world with moving images in favour of words.

If a photo is worth a thousand words, it stands to reason GIFs are an even more superior method of communication. In support of this, Google has introduced a Share GIFs section that helps users spread the good work, or moving image. 

Tenor product manager Kyler Blue said Google Images now has a Share GIFs section that lets users share GIFs directly into different apps including Gmail, Hangouts, Android Messages and WhatsApp. Tenor is a GIF search engine and database best known for its GIF Keyboard, that is now part of Google Keyboard following its acquisition by the search giant.

"GIFs have become an essential part of communicating with friends and family. Whether we’re texting, emailing, or posting online, we’re always on the hunt for that perfect GIF. Over the past five years, GIF search interest on Google Images has nearly tripled, as people search for the GIF that speaks most to them," he said, on Google's Keyword blog.

Blue explained that shareable GIFs are made available by content creators, "including our partners from streaming services, movie studios, and the YouTube community". Any content provider, GIF creator or GIF platform can submit GIFs to the new section on Google Images by either uploading GIFs to Tenor.com, or connecting with Google’s partnership team via this form.

He added that the GIFs appear based on how likely they are to be shared. This feature is available immediately on the Google app for iOS and Android, plus Chrome on Android. It will be rolled out to more platforms and browsers later.

Meanwhile, Google has also rolled out two new features on its Maps app to help those using public transportation plan their transit ride and stay more comfortable along the way, from US cities like Atlanta to Zagreb to Istanbul to Manila.

Google Maps product manager Taylah Hasaballah said the two features are live traffic delay reporting for buses, and crowdedness predictions.

The live traffic delay reporting for buses kicks in when Google Maps doesn’t already have real-time information direct from local transit agencies.

It will inform users if their bus will be late, how long the delay will be, and offer more accurate travel times based on live traffic conditions along the route. Users will also see exactly where the delays are on the map.

The crowdedness prediction feature guesses how crowded a bus, train or subway is likely to be based on past rides.

Google Research scientist Alex Fabrikant revealed the fact predictions were based on Machine Learning models rather than transit agency data, was inspired by how users were using Google Maps driving directions meant for cars to estimate traffic conditions and apply it to buses on the road too.

While Google has introduced better integration with public transport for Malaysian Google map users, it is not clear when the two newest features will be rolled out for local users.


   

Across The Star Online


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