Google app gets new newsfeed experience

MANILA, Philippines – Google announced Wednesday, July 19, it was coming out with a new newsfeed experience for users of its Google application on Android and iOS. 

The service, which launches on Wednesday in the United States and an international rollout to follow in the coming weeks, uses Google's machine learning algorithms to anticipate what information you'd like to receive, from news, to videos, as well as music and feature stories.

According to a company blog post, a user's feed "will not only be based on your interactions with Google, but also factor in what’s trending in your area and around the world. The more you use Google, the better your feed will be."

The Google feed is said to be one that grows along with an individual's use of it, but can also be trimmed to your liking. Users will be able to unfollow topics or adjust their settings. 

GOOGLE FEED. Search results on the Google app can be followed to provide information you want on your Google feed. Screen shot from Google blog post.

GOOGLE FEED. Search results on the Google app can be followed to provide information you want on your Google feed. Screen shot from Google blog post.

The feed system will also be adding a slight tweak to the search function within the app. Users will be able to follow topics they are interested in using a new "Follow" button next to specific search result types. Tapping the follow button will indicate that you want to know more about that topic and get more information related to it.

Google also appears to be trying to steer clear of the echo chamber effect of having only news whose views support in search results. They wrote, "To provide information from diverse perspectives, news stories may have multiple viewpoints from a variety of sources, as well as other related information and articles. And when available, you’ll be able to fact check and see other relevant information to help get a more holistic understanding about the topics in your feed."

Whether or not Google's new feed gets traction will likely depend on whether it can draw away users from Facebook and Twitter, which may be a tough prospect.

The Verge, in its examination of the system, said the new experience isn't quite there yet when compared to other stalwart feed types like Facebook or Twitter.

It wrote: "Part of what makes Facebook and Twitter’s feeds compelling is the social endorsement that links there carry: you read because your friends tell you to, and you trust your friends. They also give you commentary and analysis around what you’re reading. In short, they feel lively – and the Google feed can feel stale by comparison."  

It remains to be seen whether Google's new feed makes the cut, and provides a competitor to the leading aggregators of information online now.

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.