Google is giving Google News a refresh that brings all its news products into one experience, the company announced at its annual developer conference.
The new Google News experience begins with a “For You” section that has a briefing of five top stories Google has pulled for you. This is a mix of global headlines, local news, and new developments on stories you’ve been following. You can then switch over to Headlines to see top stories from around the world. Additional sections here let you dive into different topics like sports, business, or technology.
There’s a new visual format called newscasts, which uses natural language understanding to give you a collection of articles, videos, and quotes on a single topic. This lets you get the basics by browsing different sources so you can decide if you want to look further into a story.
If you want to get deep into a particular topic, Google News’ “Full Coverage” feature lets you see how a story is being reported from a variety of places and in multiple formats, like social commentary, local news sources, and top publishers. Google News will gather how stories are being talked about and published in real time and aggregate them in one place. For example, if you want to look more deeply at the Puerto Rico power outage, Google News will present you with the topic headline, then show you a timeline beneath with key moments and developments. Toward the bottom, there are frequently asked questions about the story, tweets from relevant sources, and fact-checks.
While the topic of fake news wasn’t specifically addressed, the fact-check section is an aware nod to the issue and Google has been making efforts to combat this problem through its Google News Initiative.
Google says that within Google News, everyone will be presented with the same information that is an unfiltered view of events from a range of news sources.
Lastly, Newsstand is formally folded into Google News. A dedicated tab will show you publishers to browse and follow, including over 1,000 that are optimized for mobile format. Should you want to subscribe to a publication, there’s no longer a need for credit card, forms, or passwords. With Google’s new Subscribe with Google platform, you can simply tap on a publisher’s subscribe button and payment is instantly taken care of. You can then access paid content anywhere you’re logged in on any device, like Google search, or on the publisher’s website.
These changes were first hinted at last week by sources who spoke with AdAge. The sources said that Google had been in touch with publishers for several weeks to ready them for the changes, which sees the company folding many Google features into one product. “There are a lot of Google services where you find news,” one publishing executive said, “and what they’re trying to do is bring it all under one brand.”
The new Google News replaces Google Play Newsstand on mobile and desktop as well as the Google News & Weather app on mobile. It is available for Android, iOS, and web starting today, and it will be rolling out to 127 countries by next week.