What you need to know
- Google is experimenting with a likes counter for news stories shown in Discover feeds.
- Some users can now see how many other people have liked an article shown on their feed.
- It remains to be seen if the "feature" can make people interact more with the like button.
Google regularly keeps tinkering with its Discover feed to fine-tune recommendations for users. Last month, it began rolling out a heart button that allows users to "like" content that matches their tastes. Unsurprisingly, Google has now added a likes counter next to the button, so users can see how many others have liked the same story.
The Discover feed, which was first known as Google Now and then Google Feed, appears in the Google Home app, on Google.com on your browser, and can also be accessed by swiping right from the home screen on some devices. It provides updates based on your interests, without you having to search for them yourself. The stories that are shown to you are based on things like your web and app activity, location history, and location settings. Now, however, it looks like Google will also factor in "likes" to decide what it shows you in your Discover feed.
As reported by the folks at Android Police, the new likes counter is currently showing up only for a limited number of users. Depending on the response it receives from users, Google could introduce the likes counter in Discover feed for all Android users in the near future. Seeing how it took Google nearly six months to roll out the like button to everyone, the likes counter could see a wider rollout sometime in the first half of 2021.
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