TikTok and Instagram’s Reels are growing more than ever. Now, Google is also taking the growth into consideration as it will surface Instagram Reels and TikTok videos in the Google App for mobile devices. These will appear in their dedicated carousel. The move is said to help Google retain users in search of social video entertainment from fully leaving its platform.
The new update was first reported by Search Engine Roundtable(via Brian Freiesleben’s tweet). It is an expansion of a feature introduced earlier this year that introduced a carousel of “Short Videos” within Google Discover. It appears in the personalized feed in the Google mobile app, which is found to the left of the home screen on some Android devices.
Notably, the introduction of TikTok’s and Reels in the Google App is different from Google Stories, which was rolled out in October 2020. It is part of the Google Search app for iOS and Android. The Stories carousel is now available in India, the United States, and Brazil. To browse Web Stories in Discover you need to open the feed, and you’ll be greeted by the new feature. You can tap to move forward to the next page, or swipe to an entirely different Story in the carousel. Essentially, Google Stories consists of the content created by the company’s online publishing partners like Forbes, USA Today, Vice, Now This, and more.
On the other hand, the new “Short Videos” feature focuses on aggregating social video from other platforms, including Google’s own short-form video project Tangi. Plus, it will bring videos from Trell and YouTube alongside TikTok and Reels. We replicated the feature with the search for “Packers” and found it located below the Google Knowledge Base box for the Green Bay Packers, which is followed by the scores, Top Stories, Twitter results, Top Results, Images, Videos, and other content.
When clicked, it takes you to the web version of the social platform, and not the native mobile app, even if you have it installed. As a result, users stay on Google instead of leaving their environment. A Google spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch the feature was currently being piloted on mobile devices.