January 24, 2021

Google is featuring Instagram and TikTok ‘Short videos’ in mobile search results


I think it’s safe to say that short-form video content reached the pinnacle of popularity this year. Seeing TikTok’s wild success, competing platforms such as YouTube and Instagram were quick to jump on the bandwagon with Shorts and Reels, respectively. It seems like even Google doesn’t want to miss out on getting a piece of the pie as the search giant is expanding its carousel of short videos in mobile search results to include content from more sources.

Spotted by Twitter user Brian Freiesleben, search results for certain topics (“Packers” in his case) include short videos sourced from Instagram and TikTok.

While I wasn’t able to replicate this here in India, Rita (Lebanon) and Scott (UK) saw success for some searches, so it seems like it’s is available more widely than before.

The same type of carousel was first spotted in mobile search by Saad AK in November, although the videos featured were only sourced from YouTube at that time. This builds on a previous Google test which showed short videos in the Google Discover feed, as spotted by Twitter user Jatin Chaudhary back in August.

Google often moves with the times by updating its search results to include the most relevant content, so it’s no surprise to see it find a way to add TikTok videos into the mix. Google confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature is currently in limited, early-stage testing, so don’t panic if you don’t see it yet.

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