The Internet Google Left Behind [Content Made Simple]
Issue #274: Meta settles lawsuit, Twitter Shopping, and more!
Hey there! I am on vacation next week, and then I am going to take the month of July off from this newsletter. So a Tuesday piece will go out next week, this will be the last Content Made Simple until August. I’ve never taken more than a couple of weeks off from this newsletter! So I am now. :-) Thanks a bunch.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
The evolution of Google mirrors the evolution of the internet in general. It follows, then, that some of our anxieties about Google Search may be tied to broader feelings and frustrations with the internet in general. For a specific type of internet user—one who can still remember analog and early digital life, but who was an early, eager, and savvy adopter of the technology—there is a deep frustration with the commercialization of the web, which appears to violate the radical, open spirit of the early promise of the internet.
Great thought from Charlie as usual on Google and the effects of it on our lives.
HITTING THE LINKS
This is interesting!
Microsoft, Epic Games, Meta, and 33 other companies and organizations have formed a standards group for “metaverse” tech. The Metaverse Standards Forum is supposed to foster open, interoperable standards for augmented and virtual reality, geospatial, and 3D tech.
According to a press release, the Metaverse Standards Forum will focus on “pragmatic, action-based projects” like hackathons and prototyping tools for supporting common standards. It’s also interested in developing “consistent terminology” for the space — where many players can’t even agree on what a “metaverse” is. In addition to the companies above, the group’s founding members include major pre-metaverse entities like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Nvidia, Qualcomm, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Unity, in addition to newer ones like Lamina1, a blockchain payments startup co-founded by Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson.
I am loving Twitter’s experimentation this past year or so.
As part of its ongoing efforts to expand into e-commerce, Twitter today announced a new partnership with Shopify. The deal will see Twitter launching a sales channel app that will be made available to all of Shopify’s U.S. merchants through its app store. The app allows merchants to onboard themselves to Twitter’s Shopping Manager, the dashboard offered by the social media company where sellers can access product catalog tools and enable other shopping features for their profiles.
If you weren’t aware, Facebook advertisers were able to effectively discriminate in housing advertisements on Facebook. “Move fast and break things,” or whatever!
The case, which was originally brought under then-HUD secretary Ben Carson in 2018, accused Facebook of allowing advertisers to discriminate on the basis of race and other protected characteristics when they were targeting housing ads. It also accused Facebook itself of discriminating through the actual delivery ads. Research has found that even when housing and employment ads are targeted in a neutral way, Facebook's algorithms can wind up skewing which demographics actually get to see the ads.
THE FUNNY PART
You can subscribe to The Funnies here. (It is and will always be free.)