California, August 23: In a welcoming move, search giant Google has added a six-second video preview to its mobile search results. The search engine will use its machine learning capabilities to analyses the entire video and decide what 6-sec part should be taken for preview.
Emily Moxley, Google’s director of product management for this project, told, any video on the web is eligible for inclusion, though Google may not have a preview for some of the newest videos available yet because it takes the servers a bit of time to build the previews.
Even though video is getting more and more popular, it’s no secret that it’s not always the most convenient way to get information. A thumbnail isn’t going to give you a lot of information about what the actual video is going to look like, after all.
Unsurprisingly, Google decided to use some of its machine learning smarts to enable this feature. That’s because the first six seconds of any given video aren’t usually the most representative ones. So Google’s algorithm actually analyzes the whole video and then decides which six-second clip to pick.
While the team didn’t want to delve into the details of how this algorithm decides what to show, Google product manager Prashant Baheti told that the algorithm looks at what’s in the different scenes in a video, where those scenes start and end, and which scenes best represent the video.
A Google spokesperson argued that this is because the company now focuses on its mobile users, though I can’t think of any major limitation of the desktop platform that would prevent the company from rolling this out across all platforms.