Not Another Social Media Network
By Kelly Short
Who likes the idea of image-based searches? (cautiously raises hand)
You snap a picture of an item and a new browser window appears that allows you to make an immediate purchase.
Or what about when you’re not sure what to make for dinner but you know you want it to have potatoes in it? Take a picture and Google will show you a slew of pictures of top rate recipes with potatoes.
I mean… if the buyer journey has become that easy, count me in.
With that capability, I no longer have to search – which just fuels my growing consumer hedonism.
Social networks have capitalized on this phenomenon – making the journey easily accessible. And, in all honesty, it gives me more and more reason to not lift a finger.
Google’s Update of the “static list of blue links”
If you’re an avid Pinterest-user or Instagram shopper like I am, Google’s new search updates will more than pique your interest.
Google is in the process of revamping the “static list of blue links” they offer after a search. Some may not realize it’s “old school”, but I just find it more like a pile of dirty laundry to sort through.
With the new Google update, we’ll be able to view newsfeeds (Stories), tap through photos, and gather bite-sized visual information without having to dig for the facts.
Younger generations don’t know a life without social media. So, it seems to make perfect sense for Google if they are trying to target that demographic.
In my case, I genuinely enjoy browsing Pinterest and finding DIY content, recipes, and related products. Pinterest has made it easy to use by providing filters to choose from. Google has adopted this same idea by recommending content that directly relates to my search.
The merge of social and search
Considering American adults spend more than 11 hours per day interacting with social media platforms, we are absorbing tons of advertising from the brands that matter to us on a daily basis – giving us less and less of a reason to use Google.
Digital ad dollars are increasing in importance for companies every day. Clearly with the creation and recent demise of Google Plus, Google clearly sees social as the wave of the future and has taken the stance of transforming their search results to now resemble a social platform.
As if Google didn’t already have enough information about me, I do love the idea of a customized “Discover” tab – allowing me to view and shop for things that spark my interest.
Not only will it be custom to my liking, but it will be easier to navigate with fewer steps involved.
I am excited to see where Google takes this concept and develops it to meet the needs of up and coming generations. We have become a society that thrives off of photos and video content – and now, with more powerful devices and social platforms, there’s clearly no need for search results to be as frustrating as they once were.
It is a strong move on Google’s part to keep social media platforms from encroaching on their search terrain. After all, Google might be the “masterminds” behind search, but other companies are obviously achieving similar success (hello Snapchat).
For instance, some advertisers are moving more than half of the budget they spend with Google search to Amazon ads.
Our beloved Snapchat has partnered with Amazon to capitalize on image-based shopping. You can now take a picture of anything you are looking to buy on Snapchat and Amazon will pop up with that item or something similar.
At the end of the day, I think it is safe to say that the future of search is looking more and more like a social media app, and I’m not mad about it.
Kelly Short is the sales and marketing assistant and contributing columnist at PowerChord