19th January 2024

Weekly Prompt: Google’s new ways to search and more

Google introduces two new search features: ‘Circle to Search’ and ‘AI-Multisearch’

Google has introduced two updates aimed at enhancing the search experience for users: ‘Circle to Search’ and ‘AI-Multisearch.’

The first feature, Circle to Search, enables users on premium Android smartphones—such as Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and the new Samsung Galaxy S24 series—to search from anywhere on their phones using gestures like circling, highlighting, scribbling, or tapping on an image.

Circle to Search aims to create a more natural and intuitive way to engage with Google Search in various scenarios, such as watching videos, viewing images, or participating in conversations. Users can circle or tap on elements within videos, images, or text to obtain more information, creating a dynamic and interactive search experience.

Search results vary based on the user's query and their participation in Google Labs products. Simple text searches yield traditional results, while queries combining image and text, referred to as "multisearch" by Google, leverage generative AI. Users engaged in Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) experiment through Google Labs receive AI-powered answers, aligning with the approach used for other SGE queries.

In addition to Circle to Search, Google has introduced AI-powered overviews for multisearch in Lens. Available to users across the United States, this feature enables users to take a photo, upload an image, or share a screenshot, and then ask a question about what they are seeing to receive generative AI-powered results. This feature is an update to the multisearch capabilities in Lens, allowing web users to search using both text and images simultaneously. In the past, such searches directed users to visual matches, but with this recent release, users will get results that offer insights too. Unlike previous features, users are not required to opt into Google Search Labs to access this multisearch experience.

The AI overviews for multisearch in Lens are available now, while the gesture-based Circle to Search is set to launch on January 31st and will be available in all languages and locations where the phones are sold.

Sources:  CNN, Search Engine LandTechCrunch

Additional prompts

Instagram is introducing new nighttime nudges for teen accounts to limit their time on the app. The nudges – “Time for a break?” followed by “It’s getting late. Consider closing Instagram for the night” - will appear after 10pm when teens have spent more than ten minutes on Instagram. Read more

TikTok is testing a generative artificial intelligence (GAI) tool called “AI Song” that allows users to create original music based on text prompts, signifying the app's ongoing investment in music and experimental automation. Read more

YouTube’s thumbnail A/B testing option is coming soon. It will enable creators to upload three thumbnail variations for each video, then run them in a comparative test for up to two weeks, to then be able to choose the best-performing one. Read more

WhatsApp has announced some new features for its increasingly popular Channels broadcast messaging option, including in-stream polls, voice notes, and a new way to share public Channel posts as a personal Status update. Read more

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