Google Discover feed on Android is a great place to find web articles of your interest. It shows articles sourced from various corners of the internet based on your browsing habit. Last month, it started showing like counts to give you a context on how popular an article is among people with similar interests. This new feature is yet to be available publicly but is now seeing a wider beta rollout.
First spotted by 9to5Google, the experimental like counter in Google Discover is now available for individual articles. Earlier, it was limited to carousels of related articles that revolve around a particular topic. The like counts also didn’t always appear before, even on the same device. The feature now seems to be more consistent for those who have access to it.
Not all articles are getting the like counter just yet though. As the publication notes, there’s seemingly no pattern between articles that show the like counts and those that don’t. Hopefully, Google will share more details on it soon. The company has yet to put out a statement about this feature.
Google adds another purpose to the like button in Discover
Google introduced Discover in September 2018 as an improved and re-branded version of its existing Google feed experience. It is home to various articles and content from the web that are constantly updated based on your interests. Of course, Google uses your browsing history and tons of other data to determine what you may like.
You can also personally curate the feed by upvoting (liking) an article, which will give the company more data about your interests. Should not find an article up to the mark or as interesting, you can downvote it by selecting the “Not interested in this” option from the three-dot menu. This menu also lets you filter out content from specific publications or relating to certain topics.
Google is now adding another purpose for the like button in Discover. By showing like counts, the company is giving more context to users about whether they should read an article. It is also likely hoping this to drive user interaction, with more people chipping in with their feedback (upvote/downvote).
As said earlier, Google has yet to say a word about this new Discover feature. But a wider beta rollout is an indication that the work is going on behind the scene. We will let you know when the like counts roll out publicly in the Discover feed.