Google refreshes itself
The Future. Google has given itself a major update, changing the way people search, the way search results are presented, and how people can interact with the world around them using Google products. But the biggest change may be the company’s underlying theory about what the end goal of a Google search is… which could raise concerns that the tech giant is overstepping its bounds in curating information on the internet.
The Verge and TechCrunch break down some of Google’s many new features.
- A more visual Search, which includes more mosaics of images and informational widgets instead of just links.
- A “Multisearch” tool, which allows users to search for something by inputting a picture and then modifying it with text (like posting a photo of black shoes and then typing “in brown”).
- New features for Google Maps include a neighborhood “vibe” check, the ability to search in Live View through the phone’s camera, and an expansion of the 3D aerial view function called “Immersive View.”
- A stronger automatic Google translate tool when viewing text through the phone’s camera view.
- Revamped shopping features, including the ability to access Google’s shop algorithm by just typing “shop” in the search bar before a query and the ability for Google to provide “complimentary” clothing suggestions when looking at an item.
- The ability for users to request that their personal information be removed from Search results.
Most of the updates will first be available on Google’s family of apps for both iOS and Android.
Search & Discover
The goal of the suite of new features is to bring Google into the TikTok age. That’s no surprise, considering almost half of Gen Z now uses TikTok and Instagram for search as opposed to Google, according to none other than Google itself. The tech giant wants its throne back.
But the other big vibe shift at Google is how it changed its thinking, from there being one answer to a query to queries being opportunities for exploration. So, instead of putting the onus on users to come up with the perfect query, Google’s algorithm is prioritizing discovery.
The punchline? Google wants you to go down the rabbit hole.