Google Introduces Feed, a Feed of Information About Your Changing Interests TechCrunch
More than four years after Google Now launched, the company has completely dissolved its AI assistant into the DNA of many of its core product offerings. Nowhere is this impact more evident than in search, where Google has dramatically shaken up its philosophy on what a term like “search” means even when you know so much about users and their interests.
Today, Google delivers an update to the feed introduced to its Google app last year, putting more emphasis on presenting the insights its Knowledge Graph has built on users while allowing them to “follow” certain topics and people to also shape what they see in the flow.
For now, the new and improved feed will live in the Google app on Android and iOS (as well as the Pixel Launcher), but soon mobile and desktop web users will start seeing elements of the newsfeed on the newsfeed page. ‘welcome.
Yes, Google.com’s homepage will soon receive a radical facelift, although there are no details on exactly when this particular rollout will occur. While the homepage has long been missing much more than the company logo and a blank text box begging you to search the web endlessly, bringing the feed to the homepage on mobile and desktop, the company’s “there when you need it” approach to search can be changed to give users something to explore.
When “news feed” is spoken, Facebook’s efforts in this area are an immediate afterthought, but this feature is not another effort by Google to bring its social networking aspirations into the search box – the feed is to take your actions on Alphabet properties and condense them into a stream of what you think while providing suggestions on how to leverage those interests.
A Google calendar event for a flight to London can trigger a map with travel tips or local restaurant recommendations. Sustained YouTube searches for a particular band may bring up a link to their concert schedule the next time they’re in town. Plus, if there’s an author you like and want to stay up to date on their work, you can hit a follow button in search results and get Google Alerts updates in your feed on the road. You will be able to follow topics such as movies, sports teams, bands and more.
Users will be able to unfollow topics to narrow down what they see, and Google makes it clear that some topics will never appear, so your frantic searches for the cause of this strange flare won’t result in a new area of interest.
Also worth noting is how Google will use the feed to shape how people absorb news. Instead of just launching a news article into the feed as a standalone entity, the feed will highlight multiple news sources and fact checks that put the truthfulness of the news at the forefront of the mind of the user.
The new and improved News Feed is coming to all US users of the Google app today and will roll out globally over the next two weeks.