In a move intended to provide people with information on positive solutions, Google is testing a new feature that delivers only good news when asked, as well as a feature in google.com to serve quick links to information the user might need.
“Tell me something good,” a new experiment for Google Assistant, delivers “a dose of good news,” writes Ryan Burke, creative producer, Creative Lab at Google, in a blog post. It aims to reduce anxiety by being overly focused on a problem rather than trying to find a solution.
During the trial phase, the information serves up on any device with Google Assistant installed, such as Google Home, Android phones or iPhones.
The stories highlight positive news with real solutions. They focus on real people trying to solve significant problems like the opioid addition problems sweeping the United States or ways to prevent teen drinking problems.
The results are curated from the Solutions Journalism Network, a group that aggregates positive and feel-good stories from publishers worldwide. The results link directly to stories on publishers like The New York Times, and NPR.
The search feature, which filters out bad news to reduce negative news fatigue, allows people who use the Google Assistant to say “Okay, Google, tell me something good,” and the feature returns only good news. Burke wrote that Google enabled the feature because it sometimes feels as if there are only problems out there," and it wants readers to have a balance.
Another search feature that recently appeared in google.com serves up a quick link to suggested information based on the search history of the user in that specific browser.
In one instance a prior search on “cruises” or even the “Crystal Cruise Line” in google.com several weeks later served up suggestions in the browser window even before typing in a keyword or term to query.
"This is a feature we've been rolling out over the past couple of months to help people pick up where they left off and explore related topics of interest on Search," wrote a Google spokesperson in an email to MediaPost. "It's currently limited to a small set of topics and tasks, and we'll continue to look for ways to refine and expand this experience for users."
The feature applies to a narrow set of tasks and topics, and will only serve up if a logged-in Google search user has shown interest in these tasks and topics.