Google Chrome is trying really hard to get users to click on news articles

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Google Chrome is trying really hard to get users to click on news articles


Google Chrome is quite likely the most used browser in the world, but Google being Google, it often likes pushing new features down your throat. One of them is the Discover feed. You can currently find it in a lot of places within the Google ecosystem, mainly on the Google app, but it also shows up in Chrome, particularly when you open up a new tab. It’s been there for a long time, actually—since Chrome 54, to be precise. So you could say that it’s pretty much commonplace already. But Google wants users to really use the feature, and the newest experiment in Chrome 90 shows Google making even more room where Google’s Discover feed will show up.

The feed in the new tab page, in particular, is the one getting improvements. Android Police has been tracking a feature called “Start Surface”, a planned revamp of the new tab page, for some time, and a new version of that feature that’s rolling out to Chrome 90 users shows the Discover feed on it even more prominently than ever before. The new layout has the Google logo and search bar made smaller and moved further to the top. Shortcuts to your most visited websites also get a change from two rows of 4 icons each to one single, scrollable, row, but that it’s now able to fit 12 icons instead of 8.

Chrome 90 NTP Old vs New

The old new tab page (left) versus the one currently being tested (right). Image credits: Android Police

All of these changes come, of course, at the cost of making the Discover feed bigger and more noticeable, as it now takes a big chunk of your phone’s display. There’s a handful of test layouts in this experiment, but most of them follow this same basic idea: smaller everything, bigger Discover feed. Recently, Google has added other new features to Google Chrome: Chrome Canary is currently testing a Google Reader-like RSS feed to keep up to date with your favorite sites.

If you want to try out this experiment by yourself to see whether you’d like it or not when the feature is live for everyone (if it does go live for everyone), you can update to the latest version of Chrome and paste this into your address bar to get to that specific flag:

chrome://flags/#enable-start-surface

What do you think about this?



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