Only select Google Discover users can see hashtags under specific articles, and it is likely that the company is only testing the feature. Google is yet to share more details over the latest development.
Sanjhi Soch Beauro –Google Discover is getting clickable hashtags under select story cards that contain an article based on users’ search history, interests, as well as topics and places they follow. The hashtag appears just after the article description and above the website’s favicon, as per a 9to5Google report. The exact purpose of the hashtags remains unclear at the moment, but Google is likely planning to improve the discovery of topics as done by its competitors Twitter and Facebook. However, Google appears to be adding limited hashtags under each article that essentially highlights the brand’s name and the topic.
Only select Google Discover users can see hashtags under specific articles, and it is possible that the company is only testing the feature. The report points out that it could be a bug rather than an A/B test, with Google accidentally surfacing this backend aspect of Discover to users. On the contrary, it appears the main purpose of the hashtags is to improve a topic’s discovery as users can click on them. For instance, a story on Sony OLED TVs would show two hashtags – one on Sony and the other one on OLED. Users can click on either to find more relatable topics and articles.
Notably, Google has been using hashtags on YouTube for quite some time to improve the discovery of topics on the video platform. Over the years, it has been improved for more categories and videos on the platform. Google explains that hashtags are an easy way for you to find videos about popular topics, and users can use them by either searching the same keyword (with the hashtag) on the search bar or by directly selecting the hashtag in a video title or description. Users may be able to search for topics on Google Discover with the same method.