Google Discover Is Adding Hashtags To Each Of Its Suggested Articles

Google Discover is testing the addition of hashtags to every curated article the feature sends to users.

Discover, previously known as Google Feed, is the tech company’s way of distributing relevant articles, headlines, and videos to its widespread userbase. Relying on Google search results, past history, and location (country, city), the suggested topics will then be specifically tailored to one’s particular interests. Effectively, the end goal here is to provide to users a preemptive collection of search results before users have to go looking out for what’s new on themselves. Who needs to search up reviews about, say, a new episode from their favorite series when Google’s actively delivering the relevant results to you?

Granted, due to a user’s tendency to search up and look for hyper specific details makes it hard for the Discover AI to ever properly analyze and predict what the Google community’s searching for. It is still, however, a nifty feature with its own uses that manages to both be advertisement-friendly, and avoid coming off as overbearing to users. Currently available across all mobile devices via the Chrome app or the Google mobile site, Discover is, along with the likes of Activity cards and adding more visual cues to search results, actively looking to add innovation to the online browser space.

Hashtags, while certainly innovative by any stretch, are Google’s way of identifying with a trend with staying power and simultaneously making it easier for users to find relevant content. This is clearly a trend with the company, considering how much YouTube has actively started pushing hashtags on its interface, from video tags to entire dedicated webpages. In some way, this addition does make sense. Hashtags have become an online mainstay of conveying trends and engaging in discourse. Some, such as #BLM or #SayHerName have actively become representations of entire socio-political movements. The #MeToo movement itself speaks volumes to how much online power the simple icon carries. Google’s incorporation of these to its suggested articles seems like the company’s way of keeping up with the times.

It is, however, rather unnecessary in nature. Although the feature has yet to widely roll out for the Google userbase outside of some minor A/B testing reported by the online tech journal 9to5Google, it’s hard to find a use for hashtags accompanying articles that have already been suggested. Whereas on the likes of Twitter and YouTube hashtags have their entire independent stage that users can delve into to reveal more content, in Discover they come attached to articles, making their presence rather redundant.

At any rate, the feature is still in early access. We as users haven’t encountered it, and the beta testing nature of its current release means that the feature could easily undergo further changes and tweaks before a proper release product is established. Who knows? Perhaps Chrome will now start dedicating entire webpages to hashtags as well.

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