April 22, 2018

Google launches a Facebook-style news feed for your interests

20 July 2017, 01:01 | Francis Delgado

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Launching today in the USA, and internationally in the coming weeks, the Google app for iOS now includes a personalized feed filled with things like news stories, live sports highlights, and suggested videos, all of which are merged in the feed with other data we've come to expect from the Google app such as local weather, relevant travel info, and more.

If you don't like the topic of a card Google posted to your feed, you can simply press the three vertical dots in the top right corner and select "Not interested". "The key issue here is this feed is really about your interests", said Ben Gomes, vice president of engineering for Google search.

The Google app on Android and iOS already greeted users with weather and news updates, but now it is getting more advanced with personalized content and the ability to pick and choose the topics that are shown there. With a feed, Google could command more user time inside search.

Machine learning is a pretty big draw, but obviously, it's not going to be able to gauge your interests and disinterests accurately 100% of the time, especially at first. Just open the Google app and scroll up to get started. Unlike Google Now, the feed pulls a lot of its information from things you've followed, but it does still use your Google Search history and Chrome browsing history to improve its results and customize them for you.

Building off the feed feature launched in December, Google is now giving searchers the option to follow specific topics of interest.

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The difference: Where Facebook's news feed relies largely on links posted by users' friends, Google feed is powered by the company's all-powerful algorithm - and all the data it's collected on individual users. If a topic appears in search that seems interesting, a user can follow that topic, or at least certain ones-some search topics are now accompanied by a "Follow" button.

"People have long turned to Google to get answers, learn about the world and dig deeper on topics they're passionate about". If you're into a particular band, an old interview from years before might surface on your feed.

The feed's primary focus is on content, including news articles and videos that line up with topics you care about.

What's happening to the information previously found in Google Now?

Although Google will initially offer feed through its smartphone apps, it plans to eventually offer a web version of the service for PC users.

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