Today marks the end of Google Now and the beginning of Google's personalized news stream known as the Feed.
Google is optimistic that the Feed will provide users with a means of keeping up with stories that interest them and become as much of a part of the average person's daily routine as checking Facebook or Twitter.
A Personal News Feed
Google's data collecting is, understandably, a problem for many consumers and privacy advocates. After all, no one is really comfortable with the idea of one of the world's largest companies collecting so much information about their habits, interests, and general lives. We certainly won't defend the rise of big data or Google's use of targeted ads, but, in this case, it does have the benefit of helping the company create a more personal take on the traditonal news feed.
The Feed will make use of a user's location and Google history in order to build a snapshot of interests and create a news feed that is personalized to the individual who is using it. Google said that the Feed will grow and evolve alongside the users so that it always reflects their interests.
"As the world and your interests change, your feed will continue to grow and evolve along with you," says Google. "You'll notice that your feed will also reflect your interest level for various topics-for example, if you're a photography enthusiast but just casually interested in fitness, your feed will show that."
One of the other benefits to being able to leverage Google's data and search history is by providing users with evergreen content. The example Google gave to The Verge is a 10-month old story about a musician the Google employee recently saw in concert. In most news feeds, old content is deemed irrelevant, but, in this case, Google is promoting it as a strength. By leveraging the power of its search services, Google is able to provide users with articles relevant to their interests even if they are older. This is a boon to both content creators, who stand to gain new readers, and the content consumers who are able to more easily find quality content.
Feed On Android And iOS
As of this writing, Google Feed is available on Android and iOS mobile devices through the Google app. It is currently only accessible by U.S. users but Google plans to begin an international rollout within the next few weeks.