If you haven’t already heard about it, Google has officially launched their new video-based Q&A app on the App Store. Known as Cameos, it allows people to answer questions about themselves and then share those questions directly on Google. The app itself is mostly aimed at celebrities and public figures, as they are often the subject of people’s Google searches. With this Google app, they can address questions from their fans in their own voice, instead of leaving the answers up to someone else. Think about all the nonsense information that you can find on Wikipedia for example at times. I can go in there and edit a page about Kevin Durant, but what do I really know about him? This, while different, at least give the answers credibility.
The feature is an extension of the company’s “Posts on Google” platform, which has been around for a couple of years. It’s been slowing rolling out and it gives people and organizations the ability to post directly to Google’s search results pages. This is a really good idea, given what I just mentioned above regarding Wikipedia. That’s not to say that Wikipedia doesn’t have great information, but there is the possibility that someone can mess with that entry. Which means everything you read on there you have to take with a grain of salt.
In the beginning “Posts on Google” was only open to a small number of celebrities, sports teams, and leagues, movie studios, and museums. But last year, it expanded to local businesses who could then publish their event,s products, and services. This spring, the service opened up to musicians. It’s weird that they hadn’t been part of the original group, isn’t it? Then Google decided to experiment with a feature that allowed celebrities to insert video answers into their search as well. Those invited to use the service have been able to post updates to Google which include text, images, video, GIFs, events, and links to other sites.
While Cameo is not exactly like this, Wired takes the idea of celebrities answering questions about themselves, and has put it into video form:
In addition, the app allows celebrities to see the top questions that people on the internet are asking. They don’t necessarily have to answer all of them, but they can certainly pick questions to answer, and then record the video on their iPhone. Then they can publish the video directly to Google search through the Google app. This kind of sounds a bit like Instagram’s Q&A feature, which launched back in July. But it sounds like Google has been working on this for a while now and slowly rolling it out in different segments. Instagram is known for borrowing features from other platforms and using it as their own, so I’m not convinced that Instagram had this feature first.
That said, this is an app for celebrities. Anyone can download the app, but Google will only give you access if you’re a known celebrity. Think about what this could do though. Celebrities can use this app to clear their name if they find themselves embroiled in some kind of scandal. But will it get used? After all, there is the ability to post a video through Instagram and Twitter already, and often times these celebrities have millions of followers through those channels. Overall, I think this is a good idea, but I’m curious to see how it will stand up against things like Twitter and Instagram.