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Google Tests 'Short Video' Carousel of Instagram, TikTok Clips



(Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In a bid to keep people inside its ecosystem as long as possible, Google is testing a mobile feature that surfaces TikTok and Instagram videos in a dedicated carousel, according to TechCrunch.

The “Short Videos” carousel aggregates clips from other platforms, namely Tangi, Indian TikTok competitor Trell, and YouTube. (OK, that last one is a Google subsidiary.) It’s reportedly different from the Google Discover feed and Web Stories function—the latter of which launched in October and focuses more on content created by Google’s online publishing partners.

The addition of Instagram and TikTok posts was first spotted over the weekend by Brian Freiesleben, who was searching for the Green Bay Packers. TechCrunch replicated the experience, finding the Short Videos carousel below the Google Knowledge Base box.

“When clicked, you’re taken to the web version of the social platform—not the native mobile app, even if it’s installed on your device,” TC writer Sarah Perez explains. “The end result is that Google users are more likely to remain on Google, as all it takes is a tap on the back arrow to return to the search results after watching a video.”

Google did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment. But a company spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the function is currently being piloted on mobile devices. Still in its early stages, the video carousel does not appear on every search, but will likely roll out to more users as Google scales the product.

There is no word from Instagram or TikTok on whether they will continue allowing content to be pinched by Google or block the search giant’s access. Neither firm responded to a request for comment.



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