Do you remember that time you were scrolling through your Youtube feed and came upon something that was uploaded six to ten years prior? You may have said to yourself (or even commented) something to the effect of “Go home, Youtube, you’re drunk!” or “Why is Youtube recommending this to me all this time later?” Well, I know that feeling, and according to a Reddit user with the best name ever – u/Noooooooooooooopls – Google Discover has begun to do the same.
Posted just yesterday, the user shows a Doom graphics mod article that was posted five days prior, and stated that he or she simply was not receiving any current events in the Discover feed. While some were enamored with the fact that a Doom graphics mod even existed, others shared the sentiment about the issue. While odd, I think that this has a relatively simple explanation. Though it certainly could be just a fluke, or perhaps even a truly problematic, I did notice that several of the comments pointed out that just below some of the older articles, new ones were immediately appearing for them.
To investigate, I went to my own Discover feed and browsed down all of my coffee news (yep), and happened upon something that no one on Reddit really mentioned. I’m not sure if this has always existed or not, but on articles that were relatively old, they were marked with a tag labeled “In case you missed it”. Be it something new, or that the tag just isn’t appearing for some users, I believe that Google is attempting to bring attention to good content despite its age. Some things are just evergreen, and in light of the upcoming Assistant Memory feature, I imagine the company is looking to beef up Discover’s value to users.
Unfortunately, Discover has become known for its ability to offer up hot off the press news only moments after it’s published. With the recent addition of hearts for liking content that appears there in place of up or down arrows, I believe that Google intends to make Discover a bit more social. This change also provides the service with the ability to continually serve up content that’s to a user’s liking – even after all of the up-to-date and relevant content has already been seen.
Let me know in the comments section if you’re also experiencing any super old news showing up in your Google Discover feed. Is it tagged with the “In case you missed it” label, or not? Do you visit Discover to find fresh news, or just things that interest you? Do you care if it’s old so long as you have yet to read it for yourself? I think that many of Google’s services have a different identity in the company’s mind than that which the users ascribe to them. It’s a fascinating thought – I wonder how big the chasm could potentially be between the two and how much it directly affects the reception of such changes.