Amidst all the chaos of the Google Discover feed over the last few months, a feature that allows users to hide spoilers has appeared. At the time of writing, the option to hide spoilers, when selected from the options on a card in the feed, had only been seen on one of our test devices – all of which run on Android.
Navigating to the Manage Interests option does show the new “Spoilers” section on all the test device, though, but there is currently no manual way to add spoilers to hide to this section.
Since the start of March, there have been several complaints from users about the Discover Feed, ranging from feeds not loading at all, showing irrelevant content as well as issues with spoilers relating to TV shows and movies. But users might soon be saved from the spoiler pains.
An option to hide spoilers appeared on a card for an upcoming sports fixture on a personal card on Friday, but it has not been seen on any of our other test devices, however, all of these remain extremely unreliable and inconsistent in terms of the types of information it presents.
It is not immediately clear whether the feature to hide spoilers on the Discover Feed is a test rolled out to some devices. It is not even how the spoilers will be determined – since publishers have no control over the content that appears in these feeds and there have been incidents of algorithm malfunctioning in the past.
Most recently, Google’s Discover Feed started to exhibit strange behaviour at the start of March, with evergreen content not being tagged as such and content relevance declining.
There have been some improvements, but many of our test devices still experience issues. Recently, our Discover Feed on several test devices have struggled to compute instructions indicating that a card is not useful and continued to display cards even when the interest on the topic was hidden.
In fact, immediately after choosing to hide the spoiler below, the card appeared in my Discover feed again after a refresh. However, this might be down to the fact that the match has not yet started.
There are some indications that some of the problems users have reported with Discover might relate to recent updates either to Android systems or to Chrome browsers. Many publishers, including big-name industry players like Android Police, have been drastically impacted by the malfunctioning Discover feeds. (Ed’s note: Us too, but we are small).
At the time of writing, Google had not publicly acknowledged any issues with the Discover Feeds for publishers or users.