Google made an announcement about the changes introduced to its search apps on mobile phones on Wednesday. The changes include customized feed of links about sports, travel, hobbies and other highlights – a step that makes Google a clear competitor with some social networks like Facebook.
The unit of Alphabet and the world’s biggest search engine disclosed that the changes will start in the U.S. by Wednesday, and will spread to other countries in the future weeks. This feature is called Google Feed
The name of this new offering sounds similar to Facebook’s News Feed – a Facebook feature that lets user view, like, comment and share updates from family, friends and other sources. However, Google cleared the air that the move was never in a bid to copy Facebook, rather create a new place to see a seamless flow of relevant search results.
A Google vice president for engineering, Ben Gomes said the feed is about the user’s interest and not what your friends have interest in. Possible updates on the feed may include a link to a website with hints about a new vacation spot, cycling page or other hobbies.
Google and Facebook are jockeying for online attention. And according to a research firm eMarketer, the companies are anticipated to bag about 50 percent of the online spending on ad by 2018. However, Gomes said that plans to add advertising to the new Google Feed are not yet on.
Google said that the new feature will suggest links to its users based on their Google search history and data mined from other Google services like Gmail, YouTube, and Gmail calendar. While Google Feed will be on mobile apps, the company will also attach it to web browsers somewhat – second Google vice president for engineering, Shashi Thakur revealed during the briefing.