Google Redesigns News Feed To Personalize Search In Mobile App

Google on Wednesday began rolling out a news feed that personalizes a stream of articles, videos and other content in its search app for Android and iOS based on the mobile phone user's preferences.

The feature launches first in the U.S. and will roll out internationally in the next couple of weeks.

Google Feed, initially launched as a basic version in December, integrates machine-learning algorithms to better anticipate the content that is important to each individual. Cards highlight not only people's interactions with Google, but also what is trending in the world around them. As people's interests change, so does the content in the feed.

Google also added a "Follow" button. Soon the app will allow users to follow specific topics, customizing the feed by clicking on the button next to certain types of content in the search results such as movies, sports teams, bands and artists. Shashi Thakur, vp of engineering at Google, wrote in a post that the feed also will provide content with different types of perspectives.

At the top of each card a header will identify the topics, allowing users to quickly search on the ones that are of interest. "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," he wrote.

The insights gained to customize the News Feed come at a time when machine-learning algorithms pull data from across Google's network to better learn and anticipate a user's preferences. The data could come from search to calendar entries on the phone to places visited and logged into Maps.

And while Google makes no mention in the post of how it will use the data from the news feed preference, the nuggets will surely become one more signal for Google to trigger ads within its network of sites.


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