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YouTube might be getting a lot more social and conversational in the near future.

TechCrunch reports the Google-owned video platform is currently testing a new in-app messaging feature on iOS and Android that will allow users to exchange clips, texts and links without ever having to leave the app.

But there’s one catch: The functionality is solely available in Canada for the time being. Google product manager Shimrit Ben Yair told Canada’s Financial Post the decision to run trials on Canadian soil has to do with the fact that it’s the country that shares videos more than anyone else in the world.

The messaging platform is pretty straightforward and has no specific video-centric features. Still, the move towards in-app messaging could have much larger implications for the future of YouTube.

A few months back, Google toyed around with the idea of giving certain channels the option to send direct messages to their audience. It also briefly tested with in-app messaging last year in May.

As our own Justin Pot remarked back then, the move was likely aimed at encouraging creators and fans to interact more on YouTube itself, rather than resorting to other platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

While it’s unclear whether Google has any plans to roll out the feature to all users in the future, the experiment is a strong indication that the company hasn’t quite given up on turning YouTube into more of a social network.

In case you want to sneak a peek at YouTube’s new messaging feature, get one of your Canadian friends to add you to a conversation – that should give you an early preview.

 

Check out the video below to get a better idea of how the messaging platform looks like.

Source : thenextweb.com

 

Categorized in Social

Google has been consistent with its updates for its Allo messaging app since its release last year and the search giant has now added another interesting feature to the app in the form of a new chatbot called "Lucky". While the name might remind you of Google's search engine's "I'm feeling lucky" option, the chatbot has an entirely different functionality - finding GIF images.

Google Allo's new chat bot essentially provides users with GIF images based on their requirements and works similar to Giphy support from Slack, as pointed out in a Google Plus post by Phandroid's Derek Ross. In order to get help from the chat bot, users need to simply type @lucky in the app followed by whatever phrase they want.

 

For example, if you type @lucky I love you, the chat bot will suggest you with a GIF filled with hearts, as can be seen from the image shared by Derek Ross (below).

allo lucky googleplus derekross Allo

Photo Credit: Image via Google+/DerekRoss

It is unclear if the latest version of Allo is necessarily required for the chatbot but you can either wait for the update to roll out or choose to grab the APK file from APKMirror over here, shared by 9to5Google in its report. The feature has reportedly shown up only for select users as of now.

In another piece of news from the search giant, Google has tweaked the way contacts are displayed inside its Hangouts app on Android. With version 16.0 update, the dedicated contacts list inside the app is not available anymore. The contact list has essentially been divided into those who are available on Hangouts and those who are not. The company claims that the update makes it "easier to find the right contacts quickly." Apart from this, the update also carries bug fixes and improvements.

Hangouts version 16.0 update is already available and can be downloaded from Google Play.

Author : Shekhar Thakran

Source : http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/google-allos-lucky-chatbot-suggests-gif-images-based-on-keywords-1653157

Categorized in Search Engine

Amnesty International ranked well-known services, with Apple coming second on the list with its iMessage and FaceTime apps.

"We are already in an age where incredible amounts of people's personal data is online and that is rapidly increasing," says Joe Westby, a technology researcher for the human rights group.

Snapchat and Skype were much lower down the list and Westby warns that "there won't be any privacy in the future".

Part of the research looked at how open companies are to requests for data from governments.

"To date, Snapchat has not received any formal government demands for a 'backdoor' but if the day was to come then we would oppose it, just like any other measure that would compromise [user] security," the firm told Newsbeat.

Researchers also looked at whether "end-to-end" security comes as standard on the most used platforms.

End-to-end refers to a type of secure communication that prevents anyone else from accessing your data while it's transferred from one system or device to another.

 

"Only 10 years ago nobody had smartphones and in 10 years time everything will be online - from your kettle to your house," Joe Westby says.

"So we need to put in place these privacy protections now otherwise there won't be any privacy in the future."

A Syrian woman speaks on her mobile phone
Image caption A Syrian woman speaks on her mobile phone before the civil war

Your data and your human rights

"Online threats are growing, from cyber criminals who may be seeking to steal people's identity to massive government snooping that we have seen exposed recently.

Most 'secure' app providers, according to Amnesty International

    • Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp
    • Apple
    • Telegram
    • Google
    • Line
    • Viber
    • Kakao Inc
    • Skype
    • Snapchat
    • Blackberry
    • Tencent
 

"That is where government agencies hoover up loads of data about people and we argue that's a breach of everybody's human rights."

End-to-end encryption helps ensure that nobody can read your content or see your pictures except for the people in the conversation.

Amnesty is putting pressure on companies to "protect everybody using these apps".

But it's not all about encryption

The study also looked at how well each company recognises online threats to users' privacy and freedom of expression.

The campaign group thinks tech firms should disclose details of government requests for user data.

No app is being named 'completely secure' but...

The Signal app is "often seen as the gold standard in security" and "it is a service which a lot of cyber security experts, like Edward Snowden, have endorsed as a particularly secure tool" according to the research.

But they didn't include it in the rankings as it's not considered a mainstream platform.

Source : bbc.co.uk

Categorized in Market Research

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