The most recent update made to the Google search app includes the ability to see what the current trending searches are. Although trending is a feature that is commonly associated with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the integration of this to the search engine is regarded as a shrewd move that resembles Facebook mimicking the “story” feature of Snapchat. Despite being similar in nature, there are significant differences between the two features that blur the line on whether or not they are similar enough to be regarded as a copy.
Although being able to see what is trending is similar to the offerings of the social media sites, Google primarily focuses on the searches that are made in high volume as opposed to the news. For this reason, it is regarded as similar yet different in the content that is provided with the feature. With the ability to see what the trending searches are for a particular area, users can get a sense of some of the most popular topics that encompasses more than the news such as events or interests of other Google users.
Beyond trending searches, the app further leverages artificial intelligence and proactive assistance mechanisms to show the answers of various inquiries before they are completely entered in the search bar. For example, if a user is interested in know the weather forecast for a particular area, as they are typing the name of the city and the first letters of “weather”, the weather details will automatically be shown below the search bar. This brings a new dimension towards ease of use as users do not need to complete their searches to receive the information that they are looking for. As an extension to the autofill searches, Google has now made the process of seeking trivial answers significantly easier and quicker.
With these major updates, it can be difficult to determine the validity of assuming that the trending feature is a blatant copy of what has previously been done by Twitter and Facebook. Although the feature on Google shows what the most popular searches are for a particular time and region, trending content on various social media sites comprises of solely news stories. Although different, there are similarities between the two but nonetheless offer more utility for users as they are able to receive information that would have had to been manually searched for in the past.