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Google News gets new look, customization and social media features

May 16, 2011 |  4:11 pm

Google News

Google News received an update Monday, adding social media sharing features and expandable sections for news clusters as well as getting a slightly different look.

The design retains Google's traditionally sparse look of blue links on a white background. But now users can view either one or two columns of news links beneath Google's "top stories" cluster in a section called "news for you" on the default news.google.com page.

Individual users can select what types of news appear under "news for you"; options include world, U.S., business, sci/tech and sports, among others.

The "top stories" clusters now feature collapsible tabs, a feature Google calls "click-to-expand."

"Each story cluster is collapsed down to one headline with the exception of the top story. When something grabs you, click nearby anywhere but the title to expand the story box," Chase Hensel, associate product manager of Google News, wrote in a blog post explaining the updates.

When a cluster is expanded, links to related news stories appear, as well as a scrollable bar of photos and videos. The expansion also reveals buttons below the main headline allowing users to share the story by email or on social media platforms such as Google Buzz, Twitter and Facebook.

Google has made multiple moves to make its products more social recently, and co-founder Larry Page, who took over as CEO last month, has said he plans to continue that push.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of a Google News cluster expanded to show more content.

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