Why Google is getting personal with its new feed
With most queries these days being answered with ‘I’ll Google it’, it’s fair to say that search giant, Google, is pretty much engrained in most people’s brains.
However, not content with being the go-to source of information, Google has stepped things up a gear by improving its current feed so that it’s based on people’s interests.
This update is no surprise, given the fact the tech giant knows a surprising lot about us, given all of the ‘Googling’ we do and all. From our current hobbies and the latest videos or podcasts we checked out, to our last train or car journey, Google has plenty on each and every one of us. Just think about all of those searches you’ve carried out over the years, makes you think, doesn’t it?!…
Introducing – Google’s new personalised feed
Widely reported as Google’s answer to Facebook’s news feed, the feed will provide us with links to content that Google thinks is of most interest to us.
An upgraded version of Google Now, the feed will contain links to a wealth of content, ranging from YouTube footage and recipes, to blogs and news stories – all based on what people like and are interested in.
Bye, bye old search bar page
At the moment, the feed can be found within the Google app on Android and iOS, but over the coming months, it’s envisaged that mobile and desktop users will start to see aspects of the feed popping up on their homepages too.
That’s right, the good old Google homepage, with the search bar in the middle and pretty much nothing else, that we’ve all gotten used to, will start to look different, as the feed will be introduced to both mobile and desktop homepages.
How the new feed will work
While Google tries to provide users with content that’s relevant to them, it can be difficult for it to 100 per cent know for sure what we’re really into. We may just be Googling getaways in Cornwall, cat baskets or suitcases for a family member or a friend, for instance.
The new feed aims to cut any uncertainty out the equation by asking users to click on ‘Follow’ buttons. So, if I’m crazy about The Royal Family, then I can click the button next to my search results and get news and stories relating to Prince Charles et al. every time I check my Google feed.
Plans are also reportedly in the pipeline for a ‘New-to-you’ feature that will be added at some point further down the line. This function is designed to provide users with both new and old stories based on your specific interests in your personal feed. That way, your main feed, doesn’t get cluttered up with old posts, but they’re still there for you to access when you do want to take a look at them.
And just to make sure you are provided with highly-personalised updates, Google has also made sure you can customise your options too. For example, you can log into your preferences and then select the topics that you do and don’t want to be reading about. According to a statement released by Google, it won’t show any ‘potentially upsetting or sensitive content that you haven’t asked for…’ either.
The future…is personal
The future is undoubtedly digital. You only have to look at the stats that exist out there (I’ve listed some examples below) that show the direction we’re heading in:
- 82% of smartphone users say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store. (Google, 2016)
- Google gets over 100 billion searches a month. (Mashable)
- 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. (Retailing Today)
- There are 2.6 billion smartphone users globally. By 2020, there will be 6.1 billion. (TechCrunch)
The future of content and search is set to get a whole lot more personal too. In fact, it’s predicted that, one day, content will be so highly-tailored to our preferences that, as unimaginable as it sounds, we won’t be ‘Googling’ things as often as we do now. Personalised feeds, like Google’s, will mean that we’ll automatically receive what we need, before we even realise we need it.