It’s quiet, but it’s monumental. It’s a section of Google News that is dedicated entirely to the most shared news stories across the network. While Google has been giving somewhat real-time displays of specific words or terms in its Updates section (seen below) for months, the “most shared” section seems to be taking a different approach.
What’s so different about it? First off, it’s not entirely clear whether Google is simply taking information from Twitter and its own Google News shares or if there is more to the story. Interestingly, as Read Write Web notes, Google is simply choosing to display the results in a singular box instead of doing any sort of different work with the data.
As we continue to see more aspects of Google’s social product, the “layers” that we’ve talked about here on TNW before are only getting more obvious. The real test, of course, is in how Google will choose to finally implement these layers.
As you can see to the left, at the moment the Most Shared section is simply a box. While you can choose the dropdown menu to share the article again, there’s a “noise without substance” factor that can come into play from those who simply share without reading.
We’ve talked about just this sort of problem here on TNW in the past. It’s interesting to see, sometimes, the power of a “catchy” headline. Often times that headline will end up massively shared while actual reads of the content itself will show considerably smaller numbers.
Our bet is that Google isn’t finished with the most shared box just yet. There’s far too much information flowing through the behaviors surrounding that box for Google to simply leave it alone. As time moves on, we would be interested to see the final result.
For now, it’s an interesting addition to Google’s News page. Of course, as more fantastic reader applications come into their own, it would be great to see what sort of affect this will have on Google’s News site.