by Lauren Fisher
Google are currently testing a new feature on Google News , that adds a new social layer into their news function. By adding your Twitter details, Google News stories will be populated with stories that your friends have tweeted out, in the sidebar. This is in a testing phase and you’ll see if you’re part of it, if you’re presented with a box that asks you to put your Twitter name in and click save. This is one of many forays they’ve made into social and it is one experiment from them that I like!
What Google have done is to get right to the bottom of what Twitter is all about – news. Niall wrote recently on the blog about Twitter being more of a news source than a traffic driver and if this experiment from Google takes off, it will be one of the most elegant and smart uses of Twitter I’ve seen in a while. With this they have provided a much needed product, that combines news sources with social and in a sense, has completely socialised news. And it’s certainly refreshing to see Google make a step into the social realm that you can really see working, and providing real benefit to the user. Until now there hasn’t really been an easy or credible way to just find the news content shared by your Twitter friends, but Google have their existing news asset that makes this work. The tweets on the side will only contain links to stories that are on Google News. And since Google manually check each site as a source before adding it to the Google News database, they can ensure that it’s credible.
This is an interesting step in the socialisation, or democratisation of news. I don’t doubt that when/if this feature is rolled out, users will be drawn more to what stories their friends are linking to, than what Google News decides you should see. This dramatically shifts the power of the news agenda and I don’t think this introduction by Google should be underestimated. It’s almost like moving ‘letters to the editor’ to the front page of a newspaper! Though there are many experiments in the socialisation of news, to date these are mostly projects that explore how social news content can be the main focus or news source. This is different as it puts your friends’ news interests and links, right beside the main news stories. This is your personalised news homepage. Leer más “Google add new Twitter feature – reinvent social news”