In a bid to keep people inside its ecosystem as long as possible, Google is testing a mobile feature that surfaces TikTok and Instagram videos in a dedicated carousel.
According to TechCrunch, the “Short Videos” carousel also aggregates clips from other platforms, namely Tangi, Indian TikTok competitor Trell, and YouTube.
Basically, users can search for certain terms on your phone and they’ll see easy-to-tap thumbnails for a host or relevant videos that play in their browser.
I am seeing “Short Videos” carousel on mobile. But not for every query. It’s rare I guess.
Query was: Biryani
— Saad AK (@SaadAlikhan1994) November 2, 2020
Google said the pilot was an early, limited feature that won’t pop up for every search query. It’s available through either your browser or the Google search app on Android and iOS. The company didn’t say if or when the carousel would expand to more searches and users.
The search engine giant has been indexing videos for years, but it has typically focused on dedicate (and often desktop-oriented) video sites like YouTube. This test caters expressly to the social media crowd.
The new “Short Videos” carousel is still entirely separate from the “Stories” feature that Google unveiled for its Search app for iOS and Android in October 2020. Previously known as “AMP Stories,” the Stories are comprised of content compiled by a short list of Google’s digital publishing partners, which includes Forbes, USA Today, Vice, Now This, Bustle, Thrillist, and others.