You use search every day. How has it changed you? And how is it changing?
At the end of September, Google – you know, that corporation worth US$1.3 trillion, which probably hosts much of your personal interaction, photographs and work files – announced some changes. Specifically, the changes were to its search engine, one of those rarefied products so ubiquitous that its use has become a verb. According to tech publication The Verge, there are now (or will soon be) options to search with voice notes or photographs, more videos and images are appearing in search results, and Google Maps search functions are making it easier to see what events or locations are trending in a neighbourhood.
Google’s search executive Prabhakar Raghavan has said that younger internet users tend to use searches on social media – where Google has no major foothold – rather than Google search, especially for topics related to travel, fashion and food. A bevy of articles back this up, asking whether Google is dying, talking to young people who have ditched Google search for TikTok, or getting journalists to try using TikTok as their exclusive search engine.
The changes steer Google in a more visual and vibes-based direction and are designed to make it more attractive to that younger generation. As little as a year ago Google search may have seemed indomitable, but the rise and rise of TikTok is changing how people expect to access information; the ability to retrieve highly specific information...
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