2018 was a remarkable year for Google. In addition to completing 20 years of existence, the company has experienced ups and downs in the past 12 months. At the same time that it launched innovative services, such as automated calls by Artificial Intelligence, the giant also decreed the end of others.
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Gmail, the company's email platform that is successful worldwide, has undergone a complete redesign and now brings new features and a renewed interface. J Google+, the social network created to compete directly with Facebook, had its end announced after a case of data leakage. To find out what 2018 provided Google and its users, TechTudo follows a retrospective of the main facts of this year.
Google went through ups and downs in 2018; check it out in retrospect Photo: Marvin Costa / TechTudo
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On September 27, Google turned 20. To celebrate the date, the company allowed users to take a virtual tour of the company's first headquarters through Street View, a service integrated with Google Maps.
In 1996, when they were students at Stanford University (USA), Larry Page and Sergey Brin created an academic project capable of indexing web pages. It was from there that the basis for the Google search engine emerged in the format in which it is known today.
On September 27th, Google celebrated its 20th anniversary Photo: Divulgao / Google
The google.com domain was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company Google Inc. was founded on September 4, 1998. Google's birthday is celebrated on the 27th because that was when the search site appeared.
Despite being a relatively new company, Google has become one of the largest in the world and its market value is estimated at almost $ 1 track. For this, it invested in different types of services, such as the Chrome browser, which is currently the most used browser on both computers and mobile phones.
In 2018, Google launched new products and redesigned older services already established, as was the case with Gmail. In addition to a new design, the company's email platform now has more resources. Among them is the confidential mode, which prevents certain messages from being forwarded or forwarded to unauthorized persons.
It is now also possible to determine how long an email will be available to the recipient. With the changes in Gmail, the user also gained the possibility to set a time to receive an email that has already arrived before.
YouTube Music, YouTube's new music app, wants to compete with Spotify and Deezer Photo: Divulgao / YouTube
There are also news for music fans: YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. The streaming service offers a vast collection of songs, with singles and official albums, in addition to video clips, remixes, live performances and covers. The idea is that users can find even the rarest versions of music by their favorite artists.
Google also announced this year the Google Duplex feature, which uses Artificial Intelligence to perform different functions such as telephone calls on behalf of the user. It is possible to book a table in a restaurant or to schedule a time at the hairdresser, for example. But the Duplex is being released gradually to users, as it is still in the testing phase.
Google+ had its end announced after data leakage Photo: Divulgao / Google
In September, Google's social network called Google+ ended. As of April 2019, the service will cease to exist, according to a statement issued by the company itself. Initially, Google+ would be discontinued in August, as, among other reasons, the number of people who joined the service was well below expectations. But in October of this year, Google confirmed that there was a data leak that impacted 52.5 million social network accounts.
The error in the Google+ Application Program Interfaces (APIs) allowed applications connected to the service to have access to restricted user data, exposing personal information such as name, email, age and profession, even from non-public profiles. This fact was decisive in anticipating the end of the social network to April of next year.
This year, Google also had to pay a million dollar fine imposed by the European Union, where there is specific legislation for companies linked to the technology sector. The commission fined Google 4.3 billion (about R $ 19 billion), for understanding that the company took advantage of the leadership of Android to force the distribution of its search application and Chrome on the phones of different manufacturers, preventing the fair competition.
Google tried to appeal the fine, but failed. Therefore, today, in all countries that are part of the European Union, the company has started to charge a license fee to include its applications on smartphones. The amount can reach $ 40 per device.
Google experienced legal problems after the GDPR health Photo: Reproduo / Google
In December, a Google intern published, during a training, an offer to buy ads with a value 10 times higher than the standard of the company's program. For 45 minutes, users from Australia and the United States could see a yellow block in place of conventional advertising banners.
Google had to pay for the display of this yellow block to all sites that displayed it. The loss was estimated at US $ 10 million, about R $ 40 million in direct conversion. The company ensured, after the mistake, that it has already implemented new controls in its system to prevent problems of this type from happening again.
Google would be developing a special search engine for China in 2018 Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / TechTudo
6. Entry into China (or not)
Since 2010, all Google services are blocked in China by government decision. In 2018, a return of the company to the Asian country was considered through the launch of a search engine called Dragonfly. In fact, the platform was already being developed and tested by the company.
However, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai confirmed that, for now, the return will not happen. The announcement was made at a congress that took place in December at the Justice Committee of the US Chamber of Deputies. On the occasion, Pichai added that the idea is no longer on the agenda because it has not even been discussed with the Chinese government.
In addition to the difficulty in obtaining authorization from China, Google sees as an obstacle the fact of having to submit to the country's strict legislation, which includes censorship in some types of content posted on the Internet. Thus, the possible return of Google to the Asian country has been neglected, at least for the time being.
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