Just in time for tonight’s Republican debate, Google is rolling out an experimental feature that will help people stay more informed about presidential candidates in real-time. In response to the 440% spike in search volume Google says it receives during televised debates, the search giant is teaming up with Fox News for the launch of three new search components.
Searching on Google for “Fox News debate” while the debate is live will surface unique cards featuring quotes candidates have made throughout the evening. These cards will also link you to further resources related to a particular quote, so you can compare how a candidate’s current statements correspond to statements made or actions taken in the past.
In addition, candidates will have a chance provide further information about where they stand on certain issues in the real-time search results. Through the use of long-form text, photos, and videos published during the debate candidates can address their positions or rebut opponents. This will give them an opportunity to provide information they didn’t get a chance to communicate during the live debate.
The benefit to the searcher, as Google explains, is that they will be able to make more informed decisions come election time:
“Now people will have a new way to hear directly from candidates themselves, in real-time—right in Google Search results. This experimental feature helps voters make more informed choices, and levels the playing field for candidates to share ideas and positions on issues they may not have had a chance to address during the debate.”
Google will also provide a minute-by-minute graph illustrating the search volume for each candidate as the debate progresses. Another new addition includes audience polls that searchers will be able to participate in while they watch debate. Poll results will be revealed live on Fox News directly after the debate airs.
I suppose it should go without saying only US searchers get access to these features, but as a Canadian who follows American politics I was disappointed to find out they weren’t available in other countries.
Those in the US will be able to see the real-time features in action when the debate goes on the air tonight (Thursday) at 7pm Eastern.
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