You can see how many other readers enjoyed the articles in your feed
Deciding what articles are worth reading in Google’s Discover feed can be tricky, but now Google has begun showing people like counts next to articles. This feature started showing up in November 2020, and we are now beginning to see a wider rollout.
Above Left: The current heart-shaped button without the counter. Above Right: The new like counter
The new like counter was spotted earlier this week by 9to5Google and has been showing up for more and more people since. While the heart-shaped button itself hasn’t changed, some people are seeing a counter appear next to it, telling them how many people thought the article was worth a tap on the like button.
Google’s like button on the Discover feed has gone through several changes over the years. First, we had a slider button, then an actual slider to indicate whether we liked the story or not, and then the heart button. This button didn’t open a menu; it simply indicated to Google whether you liked that article or not. If you wanted to show it wasn’t for you, you had to open a menu and select the “Not interested in this” option.
Whether this change will affect how people interact with their Discover feed remains to be seen. Whereas YouTube will show you a view count alongside the like count, it’s hard to tell whether a low like count in the Discover feed is due to it being lesser-known or unpopular. However, it might prove useful for websites you’re familiar with.
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