Social Media Tech

Google launches search feature that aggregates short-form videos from TikTok and Instagram

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Google is now testing a new feature that will show Instagram and TikTok videos in their own carousel in the Google app for mobile devices. This step has been taken by the company to retain the user base in search of social video entertainment from fully leaving Google’s platform. Google had first introduced a set of Short Videos within Google Discover, the personalized feed found in the Google mobile app and to the left of the home screen on some Android devices.

This Short Videos carousel is completely different from the initial Google’s Stories, which was rolled out in October 2020 to the Google Search app for iOS and Android. Those Stories previously were known as AMP Stories and consist of short-form video content created by Google’s online publishing partners like Forbes, Vice, USA Today, Now This, Thrillist Bustle, and others.

Meanwhile, the Short Videos carousel is aiming at aggregating social video from other platforms, including Google’s short-form video project Tangi, Indian competitor Trell, as well as Google’s video platform, YouTube, which experiments with short-form content.

The feature to add Instagram and TikTok content in this carousel was first reported by Search Engine Roundtable via a tweet. Users could access the feature by searching in the Google app and then scrolling down the page.

Google said that we were able to replicate this, as well. The short video carousel appears when users scroll over the Google Knowledge Base box for the Green Bay Packers, followed by the results, top stories, twitter results, Images, videos, top results, and other content, like a listing of the players, standings.

TikTok and Instagram videos were available in the Short Videos row. When clicked on, users are taken to the web version of the social platform, even if it’s installed on their device. The final result is that Google users are more certainly to remain on Google, as it is simple by taking a tap on the back arrow to return to the search results after watching the video.

Google has been indexing video content for many years and tied up with Twitter in 2015 to index search results. It’s not clear to what extent is the relationship with Facebook/Instagram or TikTok.

Google declined to formally and officially comment or further detail its plans, but a company spokesperson confirmed that the feature was currently being piloted on mobile devices. In other words, users will not find the video carousel on every search query. But as Google scales the product, it will likely turn into an interesting tool for indexing and surfacing top video content from social media.

The new feature is currently only available in a limited way on the Google app for mobile devices and on the mobile web, the company said.

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