Google has confirmed that it is testing a new personalized Discover feed for Google.com users. The Discover feed, which was introduced to mobile phones years ago, is a feature that populates content based on users’ interests, assessed from their web and app activity.
The new feature, currently being tested on a select number of users, brings the Discover feed to the Google.com desktop experience. It will suggest news recommendations, display share prices, offer weather forecasts, and showcase sports scores.
Google had previously experimented with a Discover-like UI for the desktop version. Last August, they rolled out an interface that displayed information in horizontally stacked cards. However, this new test seems to be more focused on a feed format.
It is worth noting that Bing, one of Google’s rivals, also has a homepage feed that populates top stories, weather, advertisements, and more. Unlike Google, Bing allows its users to customize their homepage and choose whether or not to enable the news feed.
While some users may find the new Discover feed useful, others, like myself, prefer the current clean and minimalist interface of Google.com. The experimental Discover feeds appear too busy and visually cluttered. As someone who easily gets distracted, I can see myself being sidetracked by news headlines or share prices when I intended to simply input a search query.
Fortunately, the desktop Discover feed is still in testing, and it remains to be seen if Google will decide to roll it out to all users. Considering that Google.com continues to be the world’s most visited website, any significant changes to its interface will undoubtedly have a major impact.