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Google Channels Facebook With New ‘Feed Experience’

Step aside, Facebook. Google on Wednesday announced it's launching a "new feed experience" in its mobile app designed to help you "discover, explore, and stay connected to what matters to you."

The Web giant in December first introduced a feed inside the Google app showing things such as sports highlights, news, videos you might like, new music, and stories to read. Since then, the company improved its machine learning algorithms to "better anticipate what's interesting and important to you," Shashi Thakur, vice president of Google search engineering, wrote in a blog post.

"Now, your feed will not only be based on your interactions with Google, but also factor in what's trending in your area and around the world," he wrote.

Your feed will also evolve with you, and show more or less information about specific topics based on how much Google thinks you care about them. "If you're a photography enthusiast but just casually interested in fitness, your feed will show that," Thakur wrote.

You can also follow some topics you're interested in right from Search results. Google will start adding a "Follow" button next to certain types of search results (such as movies, sports teams, bands and music artists, celebrities, and more); tap that button to get updates and stories about that topic in your feed.

Google is also making it super easy to learn more about specific topics you see in your feed. At the top of every card, you'll see a header; tap that to search for the topic on Google.

If Google gets it wrong and shows you something you're not into, you can easily unfollow that topic. To do that, just tap the card in your feed, or visit your Google app settings.

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The new feed experience is available in the Google app for iOS and Android in the US, and rolling out internationally "in the next couple of weeks."

Search Engine Land said Google, with the launch of this new feed experience, is bidding adieu to its Google Now brand, which launched in 2012. And while this new feed experience seems a lot like Facebook News Feed, Google, naturally, said the two are different.

"At a briefing Tuesday in San Francisco, the Google Team, lead by Ben Gomes, was asked several times about how these changes compared to the Facebook News Feed," Search Engine Land reported. "The answer was: this is about you and your interests, not topics your friends are engaged with."

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