Google News Experiments with Twitter Integration
Google News is currently testing a new feature that allows users to integrate their Twitter accounts with the news aggregator.
Search Engine Land reports that the experiment appears in a “Friends” section that some users can see on the bottom right-hand column of Google News. If you enter your Twitter username into the open text box and hit “save,” a list of updates featuring news articles by those you follow will appear. Google says only articles found in Google News will be shown.
Though we’ve yet to see if and when Google will make this feature more widely available, this test run seems pretty consistent with recent attempts to make Google News more customizable. A few months ago, Google News began featuring a “News For You” section based on users’ specific interests. At this time, the site was also overhauled to highlight location-specific, breaking news alongside less time-sensitive pieces.
Google News’s experiment with the Friends section also comes at a time when news consumption is beginning to see a shift to personalized social news streams. A March 2010 Pew Internet study revealed that 75% of those who get their news online receive information via forwarded e-mails or posts on social networking sites. About 52% wind up sharing news with others via those very means. It will be interesting to see if this new social layer will catch on in Google News.
Are you among the Google News users who has access to this latest feature? What are your thoughts?