Keeping up to date with the latest news in a dynamic and ever-changing industry can be tough work, but fear not, our Digital Roundup listicles curate the need-to-know information from across the month.
Let’s take a look at the key events in March 2023.
- Google introduces BARD
- Google rolls out March 2023 core update
- Grammarly introduces AI-generated text
- Microsoft launches local search ads for Bing
- UK bans TikTok from government phones
- Microsoft to launch mobile app store
- Open AI releases GPT-4
- Google Workspace AI-Powered features announced
- Google brings mobile search results design to desktop
- Spotify gets major redesign
Google introduces BARD
This month, Google officially launched its AI-powered chatbot, Bard, to compete with OpenAI and Microsoft’s already-established products
Google describes Bard as an “early AI experiment to enhance productivity, accelerate ideas, and foster curiosity”. The chatbot can be used to assist creative writing, or you can ask it for explanations or tips on specific topics.
The chatbot is currently available in the UK and US with plans to roll it out to other countries worldwide. Sign up to try it out.
Google rolls out March 2023 core update
Website owners and online businesses may have noticed changes in their website’s performance and rankings this month, and it could have been due to Google’s March 2023 core update.
This was the first broad core update of 2023, and the first one we’ve had since September 2022.
Whilst little information is known about what exactly the update entails, we do know that it targets all types of content so it’s important to closely monitor your current rankings and assess the impact of it, if any, on your website.
Grammarly introduces AI-generated text
One of the world’s most popular assistive writing tools is getting an upgrade. Grammarly is an incredibly useful tool that helps to correct spelling mistakes, grammar and punctuation – and it can now help to level up your writing that bit more.
GrammarlyGO is an AI-generated text addition that will be rolled out in beta form to users in April, even for those with free accounts. The AI-powered addition promises to “unblock your ideas and enable accelerated productivity for teams and individuals”, with tools for suggesting writing improvements and even tweaking the tone of the content.
Similar to ChatGPT, users will also be able to ask for prompts, ideas and entire content structures all within a Google Doc. Learn more.
Microsoft launches local search ads for Bing
Advertising on Bing? You’ll soon be able to set up local search ads to better target a nearby audience and stand out from the competition.
Microsoft has announced the arrival of local search ads for Bing to be rolled out over the next few months, which will run on the local results entity on the SERP, and Bing Maps on desktop. The ads listing will provide essential business information such as location, phone number and opening hours to help customers find them quickly and easily.
UK bans TikTok from government phones
The UK government officially announced that they will ban the popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok from the work phones of ministers and civil servants.
Cabinet Office minister, Oliver Dowden said “This is a proportionate move based on a specific risk with government devices,” and declared that the ban would come into effect immediately.
This brings the UK in line with the US government and the European Commission, both of which recently announced similar bans and highlights the current deterioration of relations with China.
Microsoft to launch mobile app store
Tech giant Microsoft announced that it intends to compete with Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store, by launching its own app store.
Microsoft’s Xbox head Phil Spencer told Financial Times:
“We want to be in a position to offer Xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play. Today, we can’t do that on mobile devices but we want to build towards a world that we think will be coming where those devices are opened up.”
OpenAI releases GPT-4
OpenAI launched its most powerful AI model this month, GPT-4. The update to GPT means it can now generate text outputs based on image inputs, and is said to have made improvements in the reliability, creativity and handling of instructions.
GPT-4 “exhibits human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks,” but is still undergoing further improvements.
Google Workspace AI-Powered features announced
Another announcement in the AI world comes as Google announced it will be incorporating AI in its Workspace apps, including Docs and Gmail.
Its AI-powered features hope to streamline the writing process by quickly creating content drafts for an inputted topic for users to then refine and edit to their liking.
Google brings mobile search results design to desktop
Google desktop SERPs have adopted a similar design to mobile, now displaying favicon and site names next to search listings.
The update coincides with a clearer labelling of ads, to help users distinguish between ads and organic search results, all while making the organic listings easier to identify.
Spotify gets major redesign
Music-streaming app Spotify unveiled its biggest UI redesign in 10 years. Not too dissimilar from the likes of Instagram and TikTok, the redesign places greater emphasis on visuals and scrolling with an image and video-heavy look.
The old style static image album covers have been swapped out for more interactive styles of video clips and audio previews, and the homepage adopts a feed-style design which encourages a “more active experience” for users to explore and discover new music and podcasts.
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