“The Google search box is great when you’re looking for a specific answer, but there are also moments when you just want to catch up on the latest for topics of interest.“ (Tamar Yehoshua, VP of Product Management).
And there you have it! The NEED that you might or might not have been entirely aware of! And the fact that Google enhances its search app with a personalized news feed comes to satisfy precisely this need: to enjoy a perfectly tailored, highly customizable experience when searching for content on mobile!
To explore up-to-the-minute info precisely from your own areas of interest!
“How does Google incorporate this personalized news feed section into the search?” Via tappable shortcuts placed right on top of the Google search app or right underneath the search bar (in case of the site's mobile variant).
And now enough with the “teasing”! Let's delve into details:
Tappable Shortcuts Now Accompany Google's Mobile Search
“Starting today in the U.S., we’re introducing tappable shortcuts on the Google app for Android and iOS and Google.com on the mobile web that give you easy access to great tools and the ability to explore deeper within topics you care about.” (excerpt taken from Google's announcement on its mobile search redesign)
Practically from now on when you're using Google's search app or Google.com on mobile, you're presented with tappable shortcuts. It's them that enable you to explore Google's personalized news feed.
Once clicked on, they're your free ticket to “steamy-fresh” news in areas such as sports, weather, entertainment, food and drink!
Expect a news feed perfectly tailored to your own topics of interest and preferences (reflected in your previous interactions with Google)! A feed “seasoned” with content related to what's trending in your own area and around the world at that moment, as well.
Need to know whether to take your umbrella with you today? Didn't manage to watch last evening's baseball match and you're dying to find out the score? Are you new in town and you need guidance for finding the best place to eat? It's all there, at a finger tap's distance! All the needed information and the freshest news “stacked” in your handy Google feed!
Moreover: expect your collection of shortcuts to get enriched with new ones standing for all the big events (let's say the Olympic Games for instance) shaping the given present time.
Also, Android users get “spoiled” with a collection of “extra” shortcuts: flights, currency converter, internet speed test, translate, nearby attractions, hotel!
Nothing new under the sun, we could easily say! This so called “new” functionality wearing Google's signature isn't new at all if we come to think of it. Convenience is, in fact, the “novelty” factor here: you get your tappable icons nicely structured into categories such as Tools, Fun, Weather, Lifestyle, Nearby, My Stuff. An organized, tappable interface!
Is there any need to add which is Google's own gain (if you, on your hand, gain loads of convenience)? The company's main objective is to retain its users on its search app!
How Will This “Move” Impact The Google vs Facebook Rivalry?
This is the question!
The fact that Google enhanced its search app with a personalized news feed not only that aligns the giant search company with the “portals' revival trend”, but it puts it in direct competition with another giant: Facebook.
It was Facebook itself that seized the opportunity of “reviving” the concept of portal-style content! And of launching the concept of portal-like apps where users could find and consume their sports, local, news, weather-related content in the same place.
And yet, Google's social media-style news feed differs! It's the very personalization factor itself that sets it apart from Facebook's!
Google's personalized news feed is custom-fit so that its should reflect users' areas of interests and search histories entirely!
Whereas Facebook presents its own users with a news feed section displaying content defined by the people they know, by their very own social graph and by that news' popularity itself!
See the difference?
The Editorialized Content Issue
Along with this whole redesign of Google's mobile search comes a legitimate concern: will Google editorialize the content delivered to its users in its news feed section?
Will it manage to entirely avoid the “risk” of editorializing content?
Most unlikely! Reaching and maintaining a level of “pure” objectivity in Google's personalized news feed section will be as likely as an AI making decisions “outside” its coded-in bias.
How Will This Personalized News Feed-Powered Search Impact Us?
“The way we explore and consume content online will never be the same again”. This is our team's here, in our Toronto web development agency, answer to your valid question!
And it's quite obvious in what way! Since now we're presented with Google's personalized news feed before we even get to enter a text search query, we're no longer “constrained” to look only for specific answers to our questions.
We can also just catch up with the latest news from our areas of interest. And we can just dive deeper into the topics that we're interested in.
The END! We're more than curious to hear your own thoughts about this shift: how do you feel about being now “greeted” (or better said “tempted”?) with a set of tappable shortcuts, an integrated part of your whole search experience, instead of that timeless, ultra-minimal design emblematic for Google?