29 December 2020
Google found testing a “Short Videos” carousel in its Google Discover feed in August. It was found that this section pulls the videos from Google’s own video project Tangi, Indian TikTok competitor Trell, as well as Google’s own video platform YouTube. Later in December, we also saw the carousel pulling videos from Firework as well.
Now, it appears this feature is expanding even further and aggregating the videos from other existing platforms, including Facebook’s Instagram and TikTok. This feature was first spotted by Search Engine Roundtable (via Brian Freiesleben’s tweet) in the Google app.
Noticed Google pulling in Instagram and TikTok videos into this “short videos” carousel this morning. pic.twitter.com/iDr3C8OEAE— Brian Freiesleben (@type_SEO) December 27, 2020
The feature is not visible to everyone but the publication was able to see this in action when it searched with the keyword “packers” inside the Google app. This means the feature is expanded to the ‘Search’ tab in the Google app. Previously, it was spotted inside the ‘Discover’ tab.
As reported earlier, these short video open in the web version of their respective social platform and a mere back button takes back to the Google app. This means the user will remain in the Google app only.
The inclusion of Instagram and TikTok videos inside Google’s ‘Short Videos’ does not come as a surprise. The feature would have missed out on a lot of things if Google had not allowed the videos from two topmost short videos platform. Trell, Tangi, and Firework like platforms are not as popular as Instagram and TikTok, so fetching the video results from them makes more sense.
As Techcrunch points out, Google has been indexing video content for years. It partnered with Twitter in 2015 to index search results. Looks like Google has now Facebook and TikTok as well. But we are yet to know about it.