If you use the Google app, website, or even the Pixel Launcher on your mobile device, you’re likely already familiar with the Discover feature. It populates the page with content based on your web activity and what Google knows about your interests.
Microsoft’s Bing homepage is notably similar, but it allows users to customize what they see or disable the feed altogether. Now, Google is testing its Discover feed on the desktop version of the Google search page and it may soon show up for you, whether you like it or not.
Those who have spotted the Discover feed on the desktop liken the feature to the version seen on mobile, containing personalized content (via MSPoweruser). However, unlike the Bing version, Google’s Discover feed cannot be customized or disabled. In fact, a page on the Google Search Central site details how website owners can tweak their content to improve its chances of being featured on Discover.
Pages with high-quality images and timely information are more likely to be picked up by Google. In a statement to The Verge, Google spokesperson Lara Levin confirmed the testing of Discover for desktop but claimed it is being limited to India for the time being.
This isn’t the first time that Google has toyed with the idea of introducing Discover for desktop. In 2022, Discover-like tiles were spotted on the Google Search home page for desktops featuring personalized content. Six widgets were spotted containing information, such as weather, stock updates, and news. At the time, however, it was possible to disable the tiles if you preferred a cleaner, less cluttered experience. Current testing seems to suggest that won’t be the case if this Discover feed becomes official.
The concept of Discover isn’t entirely unique, as mentioned earlier. Samsung made moves earlier in 2023 to revamp Samsung Free and rebrand it as Samsung News. Originally, Samsung Free helped Galaxy owners organize their content according to the Watch, Read, Listen, and Play tabs. Through Samsung News, the company intends to focus on delivering more relevant news to users, just as Google tries to do with Discover.
Meanwhile, the Discover page built into the Pixel Launcher on first-party Google devices like the Pixel 8 series just got a Material You glow-up to enable dynamic color theming. This echoes an overall trend with Google’s apps adapting to the latest design styles in 2023.
If you enjoy seeing algorithm-generated content tailored to your personal interests, these recent developments by Google might be welcome news for you. Those who want to maintain control over what they see on their own homepage, however, might not be as excited to hear it. Regardless, nothing is official just yet, so you can still enjoy the clean aesthetic of the Google homepage for the time being.