Google is to begin allowing some users to air their views on stories, with their comments to be displayed alongside headlines.
However, only those involved in writing articles or connected to the story in some way will be able to add their opinions, which will be vetted by the Google News team before being displayed on the site.
This new feature will initially be rolled out in the US, with a view to expanding elsewhere at a later date. Google also plans to allow anyone to comment in future. Here’s an example of how it will look.
According to the Google News Blog:
“We’re hoping that by adding this feature, we can help enhance the news experience for readers, testing the hypothesis that — whether they’re penguin researchers or presidential candidates — a personal view can sometimes add a whole new dimension to the story.”
Anyone who wishes to add comments will have to email Google, providing details for the company to check their identity. This is something which may prevent many people from participating, and many may decide just to comment on the site where an article is hosted instead.
Google News still trails behind Yahoo!’s news offering. comScore stats show that GN had 9.2m unique visitors in June, compared with 35.2m for Yahoo!.