Google News today unveiled a number of changes, including “expandable stories” and more multimedia. As the screenshot above shows, these changes were rolled out just as Donald Trump was dropping out of the presidential race.
Released in the U.S., the newly expandable stories on Google News let you see more content that you use and less of what you don’t use. Among the new features are:
- Click-to-expand: Each story cluster is collapsed down to one headline with the exception of the top story. When something grabs you, click nearby anywhere but the title to expand the story box.
- Labeled diversity: For stories you’ve expanded, you’ll see genre labels for some of the additional articles that explain why they were chosen and how they add value. For example, you might see something labeled as an “Opinion” piece or an indication that an article is “In Depth.”
- Multimedia and more: Within each expanded story box, you’ll find a sliding bar of videos and photos, links to related sections and easier-to-use sharing options, so you can quickly digest the sights and sounds of a news story, dig into different types of publications and share what you find interesting with one click.
- Personalized top stories: The Top Stories section is expanded to six or more stories from three to give you more topic diversity. The first three stories remain unpersonalized and the same as before. The rest may be personalized based on your interests. To personalize your Google News experience you can click on “Edit” under “News for you.” You can choose the “Standard Edition” if you don’t want personalization.
- Less is more: The default view is now the popular “One Column” (formerly “Section”) view. Google News merged List View into Top Stories, as described above. You can still switch to “Two Column” view, which resembles classic Google News.
Earlier today we reported on some other changes to Google News: the News Near You feature and customizable homepage settings.
All these changes come at a time when Google News has been losing its audience. According to Compete, the number of unique visitors to news.google.com was 8,382,687 in April 2001, down 22.97 percent from 10,882,390 for the same month a year ago.
Meanwhile, unique visitors to news.yahoo.com was 46,883,798 in April 2001, up 32.29 percent from 35,401,829 for the same month a year ago.
So, will these latest changes give Google News a boost? Stay tuned. That could become one of the newly expandable stories on the news search engine.