Google Wants to Keep You Reading

If you’ve ever spent any amount of time on Wikipedia, you know how easy it is to lose yourself for hours clicking on embedded links that lead you to related articles. I once started reading up on my favorite cartoonist and found myself learning all about traditional Spanish meals three hours later. Well, if reading is your thing, you’re going to love the new Google Search app feature being released today, according to Google’s blog.

When you open the app and search for a topic, nothing changes. Google will take you to the link you’ve selected and allow you to read the entire article. But once you’re done reading and start scrolling  back up, you will notice, at the bottom of your screen, a bar entitled “People also view” containing related articles, or articles that others have linked to based on the original article you landed on. The bar is interactive and you can first swipe up to display the articles, then horizontally, from right to left, to peruse the various articles offered. From there, you can select one of the articles and continue reading on the subject. I have no doubt that the longer you link to other articles, the farther from the original subject you will be.

Obviously, if your intent was merely to look for the answer to a specific question, you probably don’t need several articles to find the answer. Similarly, if you are interested in reading about, say, the cold war, you might not be interested in suggestions about the Vietnam war or other worldly conflicts. But if, like me, you enjoy expanding your knowledge base and have the time to do so, it’s a neat little feature. Unfortunately, it is currently only available for iOS devices, so if you’re an Android user, this update will not show up on your phone or tablet. There is currently no information as to whether the update will be made available to Android users. Additionally, the feature is only available in the United States (and only in English), but Google states that it “…looks forward to expanding to more languages and locales soon”.

If you don’t already have the Google Search app, you can download it for iOS here.

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