Search engine is one thing, and social media is a different thing.
What this means, there is no way for anyone to use them interchangeably. But Google Search appears to be taking a page out of X’s strategy, by creating its own version of Community Notes, which literally makes Google Search a lot more social.
Calling it 'Notes', the feature is meant to provide context to information, contributed by Google’s own community.
Developed by Google’s Search Labs, the company said that research showed that people are interested in what other users have to say about a given topic.
Notes are designed to pair with Google Search's search results, by providing an additional layer of "human insight."
According to Google in a blog post:
The idea is that, it can help users "narrow in on the most relevant information, but also may help you see what worked for others who have been there before."
Initially as an experimental feature, Google introduces Notes as an opt-in feature on Search Labs settings.
Once activated, they can tap the "Notes" button on the Google app and on articles on the Discover webpage.
Users can add their own Notes if they want, like when they have thoughts about a given article or search result.
Posts can be customized using text, stickers and photos. In the US, Google is planning to allow users to add AI-generated imagery to their Notes as well.
Google introduced this feature in beta for a good reason.
While community-sourced Notes can indeed be useful, especially because it gathers sources of information from other people, this kind of approach, is a recipe for disaster, especially in an age of rampant misinformation.
Trolls can easily abuse the system to surface malicious information, for example.
Google anticipated this by using "a combination of algorithmic protections and human moderation to make sure notes are as safe, helpful and relevant as possible, and to protect against harmful or abusive content."
The company is also looking into ways to let site owners add notes to their own pages.
At this time, the feature is still a test, meaning that users have the opportunity to submit feedback based on their experiences with Notes.