The next time you Google a question like, “Can Will Ferrell really play the drums?” the actor may very well answer you himself.
Google is launching a new feature for its mobile search engine that allows celebrities to answer commonly asked questions in the form of video selfies, the company announced Thursday. The feature will be available in Google’s mobile app and on the mobile web across iOS and Android in the United States. The company is currently focused on mobile, but says it will eventually bring the feature to desktop search as well.
For now, Google’s mobile search engine will include answers from 11 celebrities, including Priyanka Chopra, Will Ferrell, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gina Rodriguez, Kenan Thompson, Allison Williams, Nick Jonas, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Seth MacFarlane, and Dominique Ansel. Google says it will include answers from additional high-profile figures over the coming months.
If you search for a question with a pre-recorded video answer, the clip will appear at the top of search results where information from Google’s knowledge graph usually sits. Users will also be able to view the video in fullscreen mode. The videos address the most-searched questions on Google, including questions that are specifically about the person answering them as well as general trending questions.
It’s one of several new features Google has recently launched with the intention of delivering answers in a way that’s more valuable than just showing a list of blue links. In June, for example, the company added a new job hunting tool to its search engine that displays relevant openings above results and can be filtered to meet specific criteria. The video answers also provide Google with a means of distributing information that’s coming from a direct and trustworthy source, which comes as the search giant has been grappling with the spread of fake news on its platform.
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