Categories: Google News Users :

Spring cleaning: News badges and Recommended Sections

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Spring cleaning: News badges and Recommended Sections jackgreen 9/28/12 2:40 PM
Hi Google News Users,

Bringing users the highest-quality news in the most effective way has always been a top priority of ours on the Google News Team, which means that we’re always developing and trying out new features, to see what does and doesn’t best optimize your news experience.

Given that, we wanted to let you know that, beginning October 15, we will no longer be displaying Google News badges or Recommended Sections on your news feed. For more information, please visit our post on the Official Google Blog.

Best Regards,

Jack and the Google News Team

Re: Spring cleaning: News badges and Recommended Sections Niall Lonergan 11/2/12 4:39 PM
Dear Jack and the Google News Team,

Any chance you'd stay the fuck away from the background images and leave people have a bit of personalisation?

Yours faithfully, Niall
Re: Spring cleaning: News badges and Recommended Sections Ellie K 11/7/12 6:47 AM
I miss the Google News Badges. Google News introduced them a little over a year ago, and I started using them. I really liked them! They motivated me to become more aware of current events. That's something that I have never done often enough, or hardly at all. Yet Google then removes this tiny feature, after a year. So disappointing.

I realize that "betrayal" is overly dramatic. Yes, I am grateful to Google for providing me with access to news content, free of charge, through Google News. However, given that Google News already took the trouble to develop and promote usage of the Google News Badges, then it would seem like a vanishingly small incremental cost to continue to offer them, no?

Perhaps some Google News users found the Google News Badges to be offensive or objectionable for some reason? For example, I recall a comment thread here, on Google Product Forums for Google News, early November 2011 (maybe?)  that said the badges were "stooopid". Perhaps there were more vociferous and legitimate complaints regarding Google News Badges? To the best of my knowledge, Google had not enabled sharing of Google News Badges, so it wasn't as though the act of reading news stories was trivialized or gamified, if that were the nature of the objection. Just thinking aloud here... far less appropriate activities than reading about current events have been gamified (and trivialized), so I have my doubts about that as a reason.

I also appreciated the Recommended Sections as part of my news feed. It was unobtrusive, could be stifled (muted?) when I wasn't in the mood to see it. Neither this, nor the badges, are significant problems or complaints, of course. 

Final thought: Perhaps Google News product development might entertain the possibility of resurrecting the Google News Badges? I would be so happy, even if it were necessary to reset counts to zero, as that wasn't the important aspect. The badges were a small, personalized little feature that helped motivate me to stay better-informed about what was going on in my community, and the world in general. I don't like reading news stories, but was finally enjoying it. 

Thank you for your time, to whomever might read this.

On Friday, September 28, 2012 2:40:48 PM UTC-7, jackgreen wrote:
Hi Google News Users,
... we wanted to let you know that, beginning October 15, we will no longer be displaying Google News badges or Recommended Sections on your news feed. For more information, please visit our post on the Official Google Blog.

Re: Spring cleaning: News badges and Recommended Sections Ellie K 11/7/12 6:57 AM
Yes, I would like this too (I slightly edited your content, Niall, although you expressed my sentiments more bravely than I could). 

If a feature is already implemented, why does Google need to remove it? We weren't asking for new or improved features, merely requesting some rather minor features to remain available. Status quo is not often a problem. I just don't understand the rationale for removing background images, and News Badges. They are little bits of personalisation that make the user experience so much more agreeable. What harm is there in allowing us these little things?


On Friday, November 2, 2012 4:39:49 PM UTC-7, Niall Lonergan wrote:
Dear Jack and the Google News Team,
Any chance you'd stay [the f] away from the background images and leave people have a bit of personalisation?
Yours faithfully, Niall