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Google testing local news for Google Now mobile app, report says

Google testing local news for Google Now mobile app, report says
Google Now could be updated with a local news card in the future. (Google)

Google Now, the Web giant's proactive personal assistant, could soon be beefed up with local news.

Currently, Google Now shows Android and Apple mobile device users "cards" with information they may want to know before they search for it. The cards display information such as a friends' birthdays, upcoming flights they might have, local weather or traffic to users' place of work.

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Google is now experimenting with a local news card that would show users stories that are geographically relevant to them, according to a report this week by online news site Quartz.

"One thing we're testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card, which is really useful," said Johanna Wright, vice president of search and assist at Google, according to Quartz. "It teaches me things about my neighborhood. For example, I found out Miss Mexico came to my son's school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was stabbed in the park near my house. It's very, very targeted to you and your interests."

It's unknown if Google will introduce the local news card to all users, but according to Quartz, that seems likely.

If so, this could be a boon for local news outlets, especially those geotagging their articles, as Google would present their stories based on location. That'd be another way to get play through Google besides just being featured on Google News.

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