Google Wants to Deliver News That’s Close to Home… Literally
Google is potentially devising a plan to attract more attention to its existing news product, and plans to do so by delivering news content to you that is most geographically relevant. In short, Google is going to provide you the relevant news that’s close, when it’s close.
What is being referred to currently as a local news “card” in the company’s Google Now service, which is built into newer Android phones and through Google’s Search app on iOS, is a logical service that will provide news that’s “contextually relevant” to you, your location, your interests, and much more. Such a service could exist on current generation smartphones and even Google’s exciting Google Glass product.
This news comes out of QZ.com, who learned about the strictly internal beta test of the program from Johanna Wright, vice president of search and assist at Google.
“One thing we’re testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card,” mentioned Wright.
“Which is really useful—it teaches me things about my neighborhood. For example, I found out Miss Mexico came to my son’s school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was stabbed in the park near my house. It’s very, very targeted to you and your interests.”
Wright added that this new service is currently an “experimental version,” and that Google tests these sorts of projects all the time, typically to “get feedback from people in the market.” This experiment is not indicative of an actual product that may see the light of day, but it’s certainly one that consumers could find interesting and useful. And Google is likely very aware of that.
And like most of Google’s services (which are free), monetization (and most importantly, profit) can be a serious obstacle in getting a service to market. Local news products in particular have proven difficult to get off the ground and maintain over the years, due to issues such as monetization and editorial priority, so seeing a company like Google potentially handle it correctly would be a welcome change of pace.
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