Skip to main content

The feed in your Google app is about to get a whole lot more personalized

The personalized feed from Google is now available worldwide

google feed personalization update
Image used with permission by copyright holder
These days, Google is responsible for countless projects spanning the entire tech industry, from self-driving cars to floating balloons that offer internet connectivity. But it hasn’t forgotten its humble beginnings in Search. The company has now launched an update that should make searching on Google a much more personalized experience.

The update was initially announced in July, whereupon it was only made available to U.S. users. But now, it’s available to everyone around the world. At the core of the update is the “feed,” or the stream of information you’ll get when you head to the Google app or the formerly named “Google Now” section on your Google Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone. You won’t see the changes when you head to the Google website on your desktop just yet — though the company says that it’s working on bringing the update to browsers at some point in the near future.

The feed itself was first introduced back in December as a part of the Google app, and the company has slowly been increasing the types of content you see. So what exactly is changing? Well, the feed is about to become more personalized, and you’ll be in the driver’s seat for that personalization. You’ll now be able to follow or unfollow individual topics, and the feed will pull in information based on those interests.

Dive deeper

First up is the ability to “dive deeper.” In other words, the feed will help users explore topics they’re interested in, beyond simply reading an article Google presents in the feed. You can tap the header of the card in the Google app to search the relevant topic on Google. From there, as with any search result, you’ll be able to see things like recent news about the topic, related articles, and so on.

Google is also attempting to helping people find multiple different perspectives on a particular topic. How? Well, when you’re presented with a news article, you might see a small carousel section underneath showing other related articles from other publications.

New to you

Google will now present content that it calls “new-to-you.” In other words, that content might not be new on the web, but it might be related to a new interest of yours. If, for example, you start learning the guitar and search about the instrument on the web, Google might pick up on that new interest and present a guide on “how to string your guitar” that was written two years ago. Not new content — but newly important to you.


The changes so far have been about Google picking up on your interests — but you can also explicitly tell Google about an interest of yours with a new “Follow” button that will show up on topic cards in Google Search. The button is located in an easy-to-find spot on the top left of the card, and once you tap it you’ll immediately start seeing related content in the feed. For example, you might watch Christopher Nolan’s latest film Dunkirk, and find you’re interested in Harry Styles, who’s in the film. Simply search Harry Styles, and you’ll then find the “Follow” button, which you can tap on. It’s as easy to unfollow him if you find too many articles related to One Direction in your feed.

“While we’ve been getting better at understanding your interests, it hasn’t always been easy for you to choose new topics for your feed,” said Google in a blog post. “To help you keep up with exactly what you care about, you’ll now be able to follow topics, right from Search results. Look out for a new “FOLLOW” button next to certain types of search results—including movies, sports teams, your favorite bands or music artists, famous people, and more.”

All this might sound a little familiar. Google Now has been personal to you for years now. But Google sees this as more of a natural evolution of Now rather than anything groundbreakingly new.

“We’re fine-tuning and improving all of those interest signals,” Emily Moxley, product manager for Search, told Digital Trends. “So we’ve worked a fair amount on ensuring that those algorithms work really really well. Plus, if you see an article that interests you can deep dive into that entire topic.”

If successful, the system could one day be used for advertising — though the company says that it has “nothing to share” about advertising in the feed at this point.

The update to the feed is available in both the Android and iOS version of the Google app, and Google Pixel owners will be able to experience the updated feed by swiping left on their home screen. The company is also working on extending the features to both the Google homepage and to mobile web.

Update: Google Feed updates are now available to everyone around the world. 

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
AI is about to make Google Translate a whole lot smarter
In app translation on the new Google Pixel 6.

Google today announced updates to its Translate app for iOS, Android, and the web. The company will be bringing in additional context to translations to help you understand more about your target language, and it'll also be using a lot more AI power for Translate to make that happen.

First, Google is using AI to add more context to transitions, as well as better translate images. The first is aimed at helping people properly grasp words that have multiple meanings.

Read more
App subscription fatigue is quickly ruining my smartphone
App Store displayed on an iPhone 14 Pro against a pink background

When I first got an iPhone in 2008, I remember checking out web apps, which were basically websites that I would keep bookmarked on the home screen. Every time I opened them up, they somehow didn’t look like I just launched mobile Safari. Eventually, Apple launched the App Store in July 2008, mostly eliminating the need for antiquated web apps.

Since the App Store opened up, we've gotten to see innovative new apps and games that took our iPhones to a completely new level — showing us what our devices were capable of. I was excited to see and hear about new apps for a variety of things, from task managers to camera replacement apps to photo editors to journals and so much more. Games were also making use of the iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, so it wasn’t just always about touchscreen controls.

Read more
Google’s Android monopoly finds its biggest challenge, and Apple might be next
Apps screen on the Google Pixel 7.

The Competition Commission of India slapped Google with two hefty fines over anti-competitive strategies that have allowed it to dominate the mobile ecosystem in India. Totaling over $250 million, the penalties reprimand Google for forcing smartphone makers to avoid Android forks, prefer Google’s web search service, and pre-install popular cash cows like YouTube on phones.

Google was also disciplined for forcing its own billing system on developers that allowed the giant to take up to a 30% share of all in-app purchases for applications listed on the app store. Google is not really a stranger to titanic penalties; The EU handed Google a record-breaking fine of approximately $5 billion in 2018 for abusing its dominant market position — a penalty that was upheld in September this year following Google’s appeal.

Read more