Google has made changes to its news feed, which it first introduced in December, by improving its machine learning algorithms, enabling users to follow favourites, and offering wider context.
As part of the changes, Google says its machine learning algorithms better anticipate what’s interesting and important to the user. The feed will now not only be based on the user’s interactions with Google, but also include what’s trending in their area and around the world. If the user isn’t happy with a topic given to them by Google, they can tap on the card or visit the Google app settings to unfollow it.
In addition, Google will now enable users to follow topics right from within Search results. A follow button will appear next to certain types of results – including movies, sports teams, music artists or bands, famous people, and more. By tapping the button, the user is able to follow all updates and stories about their favourited topic.
Google will also offer users the opportunity to explore news stories further by presenting different perspectives from different sources, along with other related information, articles and, when available, fact checking. Furthermore, users can now tap topic headers to delve deeper into them and search everything related to their topic of choice.
“With these updates to the feed, it’s easier than ever to stay in the know about exactly the things you care about and see more content to inform, inspire and entertain you,” said Shashi Thakur, VP of engineering at Google, in a blog post. “You’ll spend less time and energy trying to keep up with your interests and more time enjoying and cultivating them. Whether you’re a pet-loving, Nietzsche-reading, sports fanatic; a hip-hop head and burgeoning brewmaster; or anything in between, your feed should fit your fancy.”
The new feed is available in the Google app in the US for both Android and iOS. It will roll out internationally in the next few weeks.