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Google will display trending topic news tweets in your mobile search results


Google has integrated tweets into its search results on smartphones, reports The Verge. However, the terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Verge report adds that Google will get broader access to tweets every minute for this feature, which Google has used to start displaying relevant tweets when users search for certain trending topics. This feature is currently running on a trial basis. It does not seem to be live in India yet.

The tweets in the mobile search results are grouped into a carousel which users can swipe through to display more tweets. The report adds that only a select number of users are seeing these tweets, suggesting that these users might be in test buckets. Twitter had mentioned in its earnings call last week that web users would begin seeing integration this month.

Google had reportedly signed a deal with Twitter in February this year, which would give Google access to Twitter’s tweets. They also apparently had a similar deal four years ago, which ended in 2011.

Last week, Twitter, which claims to have over 302 million monthly active users globally, reflecting 18% year-on-year growth, introduced Highlights, a feature which would push rich notifications to its users to catch up on stuff relevant to its users. This is possible for Twitter by checking the user’s following accounts, popular conversations among following users, tweets from people “the user is closely tied to”, topics and events trending in the user’s area or network and popular or trending people from accounts the user follows.

In October last year, Twitter began showing tweets from people and brands that users didn’t follow, on their timeline. Twitter ran experiments that showed different types of content in a user’s timeline including recommended tweets, accounts and topics and noted that it will continue to show suggested tweets to users, indicating that the feature is no longer an experiment, rather a standard feature on the site.

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Last week, Google began displaying info on Google Now cards from third party apps like RunKeeper, Jawbone, Feedly and 67 other apps. After Google started adding third party Android apps to Google Now cards in January, it has expanded the number of apps, which now totals to 110. It is unclear how much personal information is being accessed by Google through the new feature, since Google Now can access and analyse users’ third party info too.

In the same week, Google introduced a tool to mark-down websites that weren’t mobile friendly in search rankings and mark-up websites that were mobile friendly. It would also look at individual pages for a particular domain based on this new parameter. Note that this change in ranking will only reflect in searches made through mobile phones and not for searches made on a tablet or desktop. However, companies that depend heavily on search traffic might still get affected, which essentially translates to loss of revenue, because of this change.

Image Credit: Flickr user Duncan Hull

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I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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