Google app’s Personalised Feed is a refreshing change
Google wants users to spend more time on the Google app, instead of using it only when they have a query. To make that happen, the company has redesigned the home page and replaced the Google Now Cards with a more dynamic Personalised Feeds, also known as Google Feeds. The feature was released first in the US in July, but is now available on both Android and iOS versions of Google app in other countries, including India.
Personalised Feed shows right on the home page now. Updates based on the user’s calendar, email, reminders and travel time will now show in a separate page called Upcoming. This reduces clutter on the home page.
What makes Personalised Feeds different from Google Now Cards is the more dynamic layout. It shows a stream of cards arranged in both vertical and horizontal scroll involving videos, music and content from other Google apps too.
Also, you can’t remove a card you are not interested in by swiping left to right. Now you get a bevy of options such as “Hide the story”, “Not interested in stories from the website”, “Customise stories” or “Send feedback”. One can access them, by tapping on the three dots icon at the top of every feed.
It looks a lot like the News Feed on Facebook. However, unlike Facebook, which relies on content shared by friends and other users to populate feed, Personalised Feeds uses machine learning algorithm to show feeds based on users’ interests and search history in Google app and other Google services, such as Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Maps and Calendar.
Also, it has more variety than Facebook’s News Feed, which is limited to news and videos.
The more you use these Google apps, the better the Personalized Feeds will get, claims Google. Personalised Feeds will also shows feeds based on what is trending in your area and the world.
One of the advantages of using search results is that it gets a better grasp of users’ interest levels. So if a user is more into football but has a passing interest in cricket, Personalised Feed will adjust itself to show more content on football and less on cricket.
It allows users to highlight their interests by following the topic in the app Menu->Customise->Follow Topics.
Users can follow a topic from the feed itself by tapping on the three dots icon->Follow and start getting more updates and stories about that topic in the feeds. The topics can be anything from England cricket team, to one’s favourite music band, movies, TV series and even an electronics company such as Apple.
To help users understand an event better, Personalised Feeds will show news stories with multiple viewpoints from a variety of sources.
These will show beneath the most tending story in a separate horizontal scroll. Users can also fact check a story before reading or sharing it on social media.
Videos in feed are customised to auto play. For users worried about the data bandwidth, the app provides the option to disable auto playback of videos in Menu->Settings->Video.
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