Google is adding a new carousel in search results to help you see different perspectives on certain search topics. The feature, called “Perspectives,” is a new box showing “insights from a range of journalists, experts, and other relevant voices” that will appear under the “Top Stories” box in results.
In a blog post, the company shared a GIF of what the box looks like for perspectives on this year’s Oscars. It includes tweets from Mark Hamill and Jamie Lee Curtis as well as a few articles. It looks fine, but I’m annoyed that it will be yet another thing cluttering up Google’s search results. (I may just be nostalgic for the good old days.)
The perspectives, in this instance, are fairly inoffensive. But it’s not difficult to imagine how this could surface the types of controversial opinions or inaccurate statements that we’re already subject to every day on Twitter. Google says it’s “committed to bringing you authoritative and trustworthy information” in the box, and here’s what spokesperson Meghann Farnsworth said about how it decides what will be included:
Our systems automatically identify relevant voices across various platforms, depending on the search query. These systems look at a range of signals to determine if a result will be helpful, including relevance to the story, prominence, language, freshness, expertise and trustworthiness for the topic at hand. As with Search and News as a whole, we design our systems to surface high-quality, reliable information in the Perspectives carousel. When we become aware that content may violate our policies we review it and remove it from Search features where appropriate.
You’ll start seeing the Perspectives carousel “soon” in English in the US on desktop and mobile, according to Google. The company is adding a few other updates to search as well. The “About this result” box you can see when you click the three dots next to a link will get an “About this author” section. And that “About this result” box will be expanded to “all languages where Search is available” in the coming days.
Update March 28th, 8:24PM ET: Added statement from Google.