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Google to launch Candidate Cards feature during Thursday GOP debate

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Google is testing a new feature that provides users with unique content from presidential campaigns.

As reported by USA TODAY, Google launches “Candidate Cards” Thursday, an experimental feature that allows both parties to deliver content through a window appearing on the result page of related searches. Content will include images, text and video in an eight-card carousel controlled by the campaigns. Newer cards will replace older ones on a rotating basis.

Cards will offer everything from text snippets to YouTube videos and GIFs, which Google says will load “natively” on a search page – meaning users do not have to click a link to access the content, although there will be embedded links available.

“We believe that what a candidate has to say is just as important as what others say about them,” Google product manager Joe Bose told USA TODAY. “This new, experimental feature will now allow searchers to hear directly from presidential candidates right in Google search results — whether it’s their thoughts on an issue, photos from a recent debate or their latest stump speech.”

Candidate Cards is still in the testing phase, with a possibility of expansion to include content beyond political campaigns. Carousels will be introduced during Thursday evening’s GOP debate, in what Google calls a “parallel debate” cosponsored by Fox News.

USA TODAY reporter Paul Singer writes that searches related to the on-stage discussion will automatically get a window featuring cards from candidates, updated in real time both during the undercard and main debate to reflect active questions and answers.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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