Google to launch “candidate cards” feature during Thursday GOP debate

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Google is testing a new feature that provides users with unique content from presidential campaigns.

As reported by USA TODAY, Google launches “candidate cards” Thursday, an experimental feature that allows both parties to deliver content through a particular window appearing on the result page of searches for related content. Content will include images, text and video in an eight-card carousel controlled by the campaigns. Newer cards will replace older ones on a rotating basis.

Cards will offer everything from text snippets to YouTube videos and GIFs, which Google says will load “natively” on a search page – meaning users do not have to click a link to access the content, although there will be embedded links available.

“We believe that what a candidate has to say is just as important as what others say about them,” Google product manager Joe Bose told USA TODAY. “This new, experimental feature will now allow searchers to hear directly from presidential candidates right in Google search results — whether it’s their thoughts on an issue, photos from a recent debate or their latest stump speech.”

Candidate cards is still in the testing phase, with a possibility of expansion to include content beyond political campaigns. Carousels will be introduced during Thursday evening’s GOP debate, in what Google calls a “parallel debate” cosponsored by Fox News.

USA TODAY reporter Paul Singer writes that searches related to the on-stage discussion will automatically get a window featuring cards from candidates, updated in real time both during the undercard and main debate to reflect active questions and answers.

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