Google Lens, which is available via an app and works by pointing a smartphone at an object or image, allows readers to interact with the magazine in a few ways, including accessing additional content when a smartphone camera is pointed at the cover and on pages throughout the magazine.
The interactive covers, featuring Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and Megan Thee Stallion, offer a behind-the-scenes look at their creation through a new video series.
The majority of the ads in this weekend’s annual music issue also feature customized Google Lens experiences, including interactive ads from companies like Volvo and New Orleans Tourism.
“We’re excited to explore the many ways visual search can enhance our journalism and help readers engage with The Times more deeply,” Monica Drake, assistant managing editor, The New York Times, stated. “Visual search has the potential to become a powerful journalistic tool, and we’ve only just begun to experiment with how this technology can bring our print products to life.”
The tool allows readers to further interact with an issue by digitally saving and sharing print articles.
This Sunday’s issue features other interactive elements, such as mmersive videos and animation, in addition to offering readers a playlist of music featured in the issue through Google Lens.
The interactive features enhance stories like the “25 Songs that Matter Right Now,” in which each song is accompanied by a short essay.
“Visual search creates an exciting set of options for how to do that by seamlessly fusing the print reading experience with all the digital innovation we're able to pursue online. We know that many print readers already read with their phones in hand or nearby, so this is a logical next step,” stated Jake Silverstein, editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine.