Google is reportedly testing a new one mobile search function who wanted to surface TikTok and Instagram videos in their own dedicated carousel – the search giant’s apparent response to a growing appetite for short-form video content.
The new feature will be expanded with a test feature launched by Google earlier this year that nested a “short videos” carousel in the personal Google Discover tab. While the original version of the feature had focused on collecting video from Google-owned platforms such as YouTube and the short-form video project Tangi, Instagram and TikTok content will reportedly be included in the update.
The move is likely designed to help Google maintain usagers who just want to let their eyes glaze over and look at a cat in pajama pants for a few minutes as an excuse to stop feeling something for a while – ie everyone. When a user clicks on a short video in the carousel, they will be directed to an online version of the original platform instead of being transported to the corresponding app – which means users will be more likely to press the back button and return to Google than they will be falling into an endless scroll.
A spokesman for Google confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature is currently being tested on mobile devices, but said that the carousel is still in an early stage and has not yet appeared along with all searches.
The new “Short Videos” carousel is still completely separate from the “Stories” feature that Google introduced for its iOS and Android application in October 2020. Formerly known as “AMP Stories”, the stories consist of content compiled from a short list of Google’s digital publishing partners, which include Forbes, USA Today, Vice, Now This, Bustle, Thrillist and others.