Exactly one month after being announced, Google has now launched the Perspectives filter to their mobile search results in the US.
Based on the announcement from Google, Perspectives is designed to surface content such as long- and short-form videos, images, forum posts, and social media posts.
Interestingly, the feature doesn’t only just surface links to this content, but provides additional details about the creators of the content (which I’ll show in a moment), such as the popularity of their content.
What purpose does Perspectives serve?
Perspectives fills quite an interesting gap in content that has made itself apparent in recent years with the rise of short-form video platform TikTok.
The feature is designed to bring more diverse voices to Search. A good example of this can be seen above, where the Perspectives filter is surfacing a tweet of mine, which wouldn’t normally be as easily discovered in Google’s normal search results.
Perspectives is a feature that is closely aligned with another significant update to Google’s algorithm that is focused on better surfacing content with unique expertise and experience, which is set to rollout in the coming months.
It’s important to note there are now several iterations for features named Perspectives that have rolled out in recent months, with the previous featured snippet format being a long-standing test, whereas the Perspectives carousel that can appear under Top Stories is related to this launch.
How to access the Perspectives feed
As a starting point, the Perspectives feed appears to only be available in US search results for the time-being. So if you’re located outside of the US, you may not see the option appear just yet.
It’s also important to note that I’m only seeing the Perspectives filter appear in the search bar as a menu item on mobile, not desktop. Whereas the Perspectives carousel is now visible across all devices.
At the moment, the Perspectives filter is quite hidden too. You’ll need to scroll across the menu items until the option for Perspectives appears. The menu items themselves are ordered by popularity, so if Perspectives is showing quite low in the sequence for you now, that could change.
Google’s approach to their menu items on both mobile and desktop is a mash-up among the standard filters (Images, Maps, News, Videos etc.) and query refinements. The Perspectives filter on mobile is more similar to the query refinement options, in that it filters the collection of content but does act as a distinct feed.
Examples of the Perspectives filter on mobile
When using the Perspectives filter, there is certainly some interesting content that can be surfaced in the process, especially popularity signals on social media (such as likes, videos, comments etc.) are used.
Below shows three separate examples of the filter in action, which provide quite a different outlook compared to what Google’s normal search results would normally have on offer.
In particular, I quite like the use of forums such as reddit appearing prominently within the filter. Users often use the site search operator on Google for reddit.com as they may prefer Google’s ability to surface relevant content, but want to know what Redditors think about a specific topic.
Also note the format how of social media content is represented, with a profile picture, small icon for the platform in the bottom right corner, number of views or likes, and more.
The user is able to scroll down the collection of Perspectives results until the end of the sequence, then triggering an additional colourful feed that is more like Discover.
What does the future hold for Perspectives?
It seems like there are some interesting developments to come in the near future related to Perspectives. If this feature brings more searchers back to Google from TikTok, that can only be good for the web ecosystem as a whole.
At the moment, it appears as though the Perspectives filter is only available on mobile in the US for some queries. I’m also seeing various instances in my testing where when the filter is selected, Google isn’t surfacing any results, which I think will change as the filter rolls out.
As always, if you notice anything interesting appearing in Google’s search results, feel free to tag me on Twitter and I can let you know the features history. Otherwise, I’ll continue to maintain my SERP feature timeline where the latest updates to Google’s SERP are documented.
Frequently Asked Questions
On which devices and locations is the Perspectives filter available in?
Currently, the Perspectives filter is only available for users located in the US and on mobile devices. There is an expectation that the feature will expand to additional regions if the rollout is considered a success, but it is unclear whether Perspectives will come to desktop based on the information provided in the announcement.
What are the different types of Google features by the name of Perspectives?
Perspectives originally started as a mobile test that was designed to show multiple results within featured snippets. This was because there was a heading that accompanied the multiple featured snippet results that was titled Perspectives, which has since been removed. Google has now rolled out two different features by the name of Perspectives; a carousel that appears under Top Stories and a filter that is accessible within the search bar menu on mobile.
Results from which websites tend to show within the Perspectives filter?
Google shows a variety of website sources within the Perspectives filter. This includes TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Quora, Reddit, Answers.com, and various other niche forums.