Google is testing aggregating short videos from other social media sites – like TikTok and Instagram – on its Discover service.
This new feature would display a carousel of short video content on Google Discover, the personalised feed found on the Google mobile app or on some Android devices’ home screen.
TechCrunch reported that the carousel would appear among other relevant information when users search for a particular topic.
Noticed Google pulling in Instagram and TikTok videos into this “short videos” carousel this morning. pic.twitter.com/iDr3C8OEAE— Brian Freiesleben (@type_SEO) December 27,2020
If the user clicks on the video, they would be taken to the web version of the social media service, not its native mobile app even if it is installed on the device.
The tech news site speculated that this would make users more likely to stay on the Google app, as pressing the return button would take them back to the app, versus if the user was on Instagram or TikTok’s native app.
Previously the short video carousel displayed videos from Google’s own products like YouTube and Tangi, plus Indian TikTok competitor Trell.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the feature was undergoing limited testing on mobile devices, though they declined to comment further on plans for the feature.
Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, and TikTok have so far not commented if there was a formal collaboration with Google to display their content.