What is Google Instant, Game Center, Ping, Open Street Map?

New things are being released everyday in an attempt to make us love the internet EVEN MORE (if that were even possible.) Here’s an overview of what’s being chatted about now so you can look smart in front of your colleagues:

Google Instant: Before you even finish typing your search query, Google will provide the results. It’s predictive search without needing the return button.  It’s being rolled out now. If you have a site that is tracked by Google Analytics, you  might want to read and forward this post to the person in charge of its implementation on how to track Instant searches

Apple Game Center: If you and your friends have Apple mobile products, such as iPod Touch, iPhone, etc, you can now turn some games in the “app store” into multiplayer challenges. The game plays are tracked with leaderboards and you can unlock achievements. You can also play against strangers in “auto match,” which will pair you up with someone else looking for a partner in a game. Apple suggests it’s a new social media tool for multiplayer gaming – sure. It’ll be interesting to see if all games currently in the Apple App store upgrade to be Game Center compatible, and if by doing so, they  make more money/achieve more downloads.

Apple Ping: Another Apple product, this turns the iTunes app into a social device. Friends you follow get updates on what you’ve purchased, and there’s a Ping chart to show the top songs purchased by the people I know. It’s a way to recommend music without needing to talk to your friends. You can send 30 second clips of tunes you think your friends would like. Like Game Center, it’s main ROI will be more music downloads.

Open Street Map: People around the world can build up content that should appear on a map. The world map is editable – meaning you can sign up and fix names of streets, redraw roads, add landmarks, a bike path, construction notices…  Remember when Wikipedia started? This type of collaboration tool, where everyone combines forces to create something, is really the base from which social media was built upon – and many have declared love for this site. I can’t wait to see how it develops.

So there you go – four things that have popped up in just the last few days.