Google Updates Discover Page With Web Stories Carousel
October 25, 2020
Article Overview10min read
Google is featuring a dedicated Web Story carousel within its Discover page, a part of the Google app on iOS and Android. Used by more than 800 million people each month, the Discover feed – which is already populated by relevant news stories and articles, will now display the stories carousel to help users find some of the best visual content from around the web. The Web Stories carousel is currently available in the US, India, and Brazil at the top of Discover.
Google Web Stories
Prior to being featured on Discover, the Web Stories have been featured in search results since 2019. They will continue to surface more Web Stories in search results globally on mobile, as well as in Discover too.
The Web Stories look like the “stories” feature we see on most social media apps –such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat – today. But instead of being limited to a single app, Web stories can be found on the Web through any browser.
Updating the stories carousel to the Discover page – which is available in the Google app, mobile Chrome, and at the left of most Android home screens – creates more visibility for Web Stories. Just like any other content on a website, the Web Stories feature on Discover will completely enable the news creators and publishers to create their own stories using the free feature from Google. They will also be able to monetize, host, share these posts, and add links to their Stories as well.
Unlike stories on other platforms, publishers of Google Web Stories own the content, where the Web Stories are hosted on publishers’ own websites. It gives the creators full control over adding things like links and advertising. Publishers can even share Web Stories with a URL, just like sharing any other web page, making them accessible outside of the Google app as well.
Generally, on mobile devices users browse lots of articles but rarely engage with them in-depth. But with the Stories carousel, users can access more information easily and smoothly. This is because Web Stories are interactive and immersive visual and animation-based stories.
Indexed by Google, more than 2,000 websites have already published Stories, including some early adopters of Web Stories. As Web Stories is just an extension of a website, these early adopters are also showcasing their stories on their home page, social channels, newsletters, and more.
Google says publishers, who can seamlessly create web stories in a few minutes, are already seeing strong results with Web Stories, where the most successful stories are displayed at the Showcase section of Web Stories on Google.
To push their content on the web stories carousel, Google has partnered with a diverse group of publishers and creation tools in the US, India, and Brazil
Browsing Web Stories
Browsing Stories in Discover is simple as browsing stories in other apps, where users can simply tap on the preview of a web story shown in the carousel. When you tap, you could view an immersive full-screen experience. By tapping users can move forward through each slide in a story or they can swipe to move on to the next story in the carousel. As a part of the Discover feed, web stories can also appear as a single card, which is currently available in English in the US.
Creating Web Stories
Anyone – from an individual creator to a large publisher – can create Google Web Stories. But still, only a small number of websites have created web story carousels. So to increase the adoption of Web Stories, Google has released an easy-to-use tool, Google Web Stories WordPress plugin that assists publishers with creating stories.
The Web Stories WordPress plugin offers a drag-and-drop tool that allows users with minimal coding experience to create Web Stories in minutes. Like WordPress’s drag-and-drop interface, there are also other free Web Stories creation tools offered by MakeStories and NewsroomAI. However, if you’re technically sounded, you can always code Web Stories yourself too.
Google intends to expand the Web Stories carousel feature to more countries and to all Google products in the near future.