Strange things are happening in Google search results. The company has announced “an experimental new podium” called Google Posts, where the tech giant can directly add curated content in a post-Google+ world.
These posts are embed directly into the search results, offering a home to orphaned Google+ posts as the social platform has been recently stripped out in various apps and standalone features. This is one of them, and the reactions are mixed.
If you access Google.com/posts – the page Google has created for this feature – you’ll see the company describes the experiment as a way to “hear directly from the US presidential candidates in real time on Google.”
That might make some sense until you see that Andrew Jewelers from Buffalo, New York, has a profile on Google Posts, and you realize you haven’t heard of him in relation to any presidential campaign.
According to Google’s landing page, this “experiment” has only been made available to the 2016 US presidential candidates, but those of us who don’t run for office are offered the possibility of joining a waitlist. Sometime in the future, Google hopes to make the platform available to “other prominent figures and organizations.”
In spite of the company’s careful wording (avoiding any “social” and “network” terms), this Google Posts thing feels and looks a lot like a Google+ reboot – but just for brands. The comment section was stripped out, and you don’t have the possibility to search for of follow brands that have Google Posts.
After you take out all of the old Google+ features, you’re left with profiles, posts, and sharing pictures and videos – all of which will only be visible to you and me if we search for something relevant on Google.
These posts can show up in two forms; either as a horizontal carousel right in the middle of search results, or like a collapsed answer box. All the posts are labeled with “On Google” and feature a blue “verified” checkmark, which means they are directly from the subject.
Used by presidential candidates or by brands, Google Posts seems to be ultimately a place where Google can directly host its content. Hopefully for the search giant, it will feature more “evergreen” content, not just the latest social media posts.
We imagine brands – celebrities, companies, etc. – are thrilled about the “no comments” part; it’s like a one-way social network allowing them to feed us their latest news. So far, Google Posts is just an experiment; things might look differently once the waitlist starts being fulfilled.
Image Source: The Next Web