Google is testing a new feature that will bring TikTok and Instagram videos into a carousel at the top of the Google app on mobile.
Google is looking for ways to keep users on its app after searching, instead of leaving and viewing content elsewhere. Its latest idea to do this? A new feature to surface Instagram and TikTok videos in search – within their own dedicated carousel – at the top of the Google app.
Currently being tested only on mobile, the feature is an extension of a previous test from earlier in the year – a “Short Videos” carousel in Google Discover. The carousel can be found in the Google mobile app on Android – to the left of the home screen.
“Short Videos” is not Google’s Stories – a feature that rolled out on the Google Search app for iOS and Android two months ago. Google Stories – known previously as “AMP Stories,” consists of short-form video content created by a range of publishing partners, such as Bustle, Thrillist, Forbes, USA Today, Vice, Now This, and several others.
Instead, the “Short Videos” seems to be about aggregating short social media videos from other platforms, like Tangi, Trell, YouTube – and now Instagram and TikTok.
The inclusion of Instagram and TikTok content was spotted earlier this week by Brian Freiesleben, who tweeted about it.
Noticed Google pulling in Instagram and TikTok videos into this “short videos” carousel this morning. pic.twitter.com/iDr3C8OEAE
— Brian Freiesleben (@type_SEO) December 27, 2020
Tapping on either an Instagram video or TikTok video takes users to the platform’s web version, not the native app, whether it’s installed on their device or not.
This makes it incredibly easy to find and consume content from both platforms without ever opening their app.
Google has clarified that the feature is in a limited testing phase; therefore, it will only appear for some searches for the time being.
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