Is Google Chrome getting shopping suggestions on its New Tab Page? - gHacks Tech News

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Is Google Chrome getting shopping suggestions on its New Tab Page?

Google is testing a new feature in the company's Chrome web browser currently that adds a shopping card to the browser's New Tab Page. First spotted by Techdows, the feature is available in Chrome Canary, the cutting edge development version of Google Chrome only at the moment.

All Chrome Canary users can enable, or disable, the feature in the browser, but it seems that the group of actual testers is quite limited at the time. While you can enable the shopping feature on the New Tab Page, you can only get it to display fake data at the time of writing.

The display mimics the shopping results module of Google Search; it displays names, prices, and why the particular item was selected for display on the New Tab Page.

chrome shopping new tab page

Clicks on the items open searches using the product's title. You find general search items listed below the products, and these lead to Google Search results as well.

Google reveals that the data is based on a user's previous activity using Google services. A search for office chairs could display some of these on the New Tab Page, especially if the user looked at some of the results more closely.

The experiment is not the first attempt to push additional content on the browser's New Tab Page. Google introduced support for displaying promotional messages on the page in recent time, clearly designed to advertise other company services or products to users.

Google contacted Techdows and other sites that wrote about the new feature to clarify that advertisement was not the right term to describe the feature in the browser.

While that is likely true, as Google may not receive direct payment from the company's that sell the products, it at the very least benefits indirectly from the listing. Even if it does not get affiliate revenue, it may boost Google Search's standing with companies because users may buy products by following links fro the New Tab Page of the browser; this could result in an increased ad spending on Google as well.

For now, it is just an experiment and data analysis will determine whether Google thinks it is a good addition to the Chrome browser's New Tab Page.

chrome ntp shopping

Do the following if you want to give it a try:

  1. Load chrome://flags/#ntp-modules and set it to Enabled.
  2. Load chrome://flags/#ntp-shopping-tasks-module and set it to Enabled -Fake Data. The other options do nothing at the time of writing. You can experiment with these though to see if functionality becomes available at a point in time.
  3. Restart Google Chrome.

If you are selected for the experiment but don't want to be included, set the flags to Disabled instead.

Now You: What is your take on the experiment? Would you like to see something like that on your New Tab Page?

Summary
Is Google Chrome getting shopping suggestions on its New Tab Page?
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Is Google Chrome getting shopping suggestions on its New Tab Page?
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Google is testing a new feature in the company's Chrome web browser currently that adds a shopping card to the browser's New Tab Page.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Allwynd said on October 26, 2020 at 4:25 pm
    Reply

    I didn’t think Chrome would do these things. I always thought they would do subtle advertisements inside Google Search results, but if they’re starting to do these things, then Chrome finally lost my favor.

    First it was the blocking of unsafe downloads and now this. I used to say I’m OK with Chrome as long as they keep it clean and simple, but this is starting to get out of hand. For now I will be using other Chromium browsers, I hope they don’t get as bad as this.

    I really miss the days when browsers were just browsers and only served to browse the web, now they’re becoming an advertising platform for their owner who use it to push whatever they want, same with Firefox. I suppose the Average Joe wouldn’t care too much about it.

    1. seeprime said on October 26, 2020 at 10:30 pm
      Reply

      Unfortunately, Google’s founders turned over day to day operations to Sundar Pichai. He has no moral compass, is working to replace cookies with storing site information that lacks privacy, has allowed Chrome to keep tracking cookies even after they were all “cleared”, and has already cracked down on “employee unrest”. He’ll raise prices and maximize profits as much as possible to prove that the original motto “do no evil” is solidly dead. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/technology/google-alphabet-ceo-larry-page-sundar-pichai.html

      1. owl said on October 27, 2020 at 4:10 pm
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        Indian-American Sundar Pichai is a Hindu and a incarnation of the “caste system.”
        It does not have the values of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” in its doctrine.
        Employees of the company (Google) are also being monitored and cracked down, and sexual harassment and power harassment are rampant.
        What can expect from such a company?
        Platformers “Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon” don’t care about end users. Only the interests of the company (shareholders) are prioritized.

  2. computer said no said on October 26, 2020 at 4:47 pm
    Reply

    I suppose the anti-firefox army will defend this because it is chrome doing it.

    Remember the shock and outrage when firefox introduced sponsored tiles,and now chrome is doing just the same.

    vivaldi is introducing a arcade game as an attempt to lure new users.

    good lord is their any normal browsers left besides pale moon.

    1. Iron Heart said on October 26, 2020 at 5:10 pm
      Reply

      @computer said no

      > good lord is their any normal browsers left besides pale moon.

      Depends what metrics you use for “normal”. Ungoogled Chromium is pretty much a no frills, no nonsense browser.

    2. Allwynd said on October 26, 2020 at 5:43 pm
      Reply

      I’d use Pale Moon if they had a modern and proper rendering engine, but sadly they don’t. Many things are not working and as time goes by, things will get even worse for Pale Moon.

      There are a few browsers like Otter Browser, which tries to remake Opera 12 into a modern browser, I’ve tried it a few times, but it’s not ready for general usage, like not at all, loading Google Maps in it makes it explode and it doesn’t even support 3D globe. Using an User Agent Switch doesn’t solve issues with many websites.

      There is Falkon (previously Qupzilla) that sort of tries to be like the old Firefox 3.6, but it hasn’t been updated sinc March 2019, so I don’t know what’s up.

      There is Midori, which for a long time also felt like it was abandoned, right now I decided to download it and it seems like they’ve transitioned to something like Chromium, because when I click Extensions on the hamburger menu, it loads Chrome Web Store, sadly although there is a button “Add to Midori”, it doesn’t install the extension, but only downloads the .crx file instead. Maybe in the near future, this will work properly.

      Other than that, I’ve come across a few other browsers that kinda try to emerge, but they aren’t doing much better either. I think what sucks is that even if a small browser emerges and becomes big, it will eventually get swallowed up by some big corporation or something and get ruined like the rest.

    3. Anonymous said on October 26, 2020 at 7:13 pm
      Reply

      so true .. the outrage that mozilla put sponsored tiles in the new tab page was and is hilarious..

      Our beloved chrome and google overlords would never do this .. oh wait ..

    4. Cancel reply said on October 26, 2020 at 9:31 pm
      Reply

      All I wish that Mozilla and Firefox will be gone. It is cancer. Using FF btw, not Brave ;)

    5. Mike O said on October 27, 2020 at 8:34 am
      Reply

      Vivaldi having a little arcade game in the browser is supposed to be a bad thing?

      1. computer said no said on October 27, 2020 at 2:08 pm
        Reply

        So rather than fix the numerous issues reported to them via the forum they instead include an arcade game.it is pure gimmick..oh look at this exciting new feature of a game..it is to lure users in ,but unfortunately the bugs with vivaldi will remain and reporting bugs will be a waste of time as they will be ignored.

    6. ShintoPlasm said on October 27, 2020 at 9:22 am
      Reply

      What is wrong with Vivaldi’s arcade game? Do you think it tracks you or something?

      1. Allwynd said on October 27, 2020 at 9:15 pm
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        @Shinto

        There is a saying in my language that goes like this “A festival during a plague.” Meaning that the people are not working towards resolving the problem at hand, but instead are ignoring it and focusing on totally needless things.

  3. Iron Heart said on October 26, 2020 at 5:12 pm
    Reply

    Stating the obvious, although I know that it will be ignored: Chromium (upon which Chrome is based) is open source software, Google doing something in Chrome does not mean that any other Chromium-based browser will be adopting this.

    As for ads on the new tab page: Yuck.

  4. Ray said on October 26, 2020 at 5:22 pm
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    Use a new tab extension if you don’t want to see these “modules”. I use an empty new tab one myself.

  5. Mothy said on October 26, 2020 at 5:46 pm
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    Would you like to see something like that on your New Tab Page?

    No, I want a blank page (about:blank) for both my homepage and new tab page both of which can be done natively in Firefox (about:preferences#home). Meanwhile Chrome requires an extension to set the new tab to a blank page (only the homepage can be set to blank) which I believe is by design as they want to keep you on their search page.

  6. Herman said on October 26, 2020 at 7:09 pm
    Reply

    “Is Google Chrome getting shopping suggestions…?”

    I hope so because I’m incapable of researching, trusting, choosing or making any other informed decision without google handling all the work for me when it comes to my online buying habits – or any online interaction for that matter. I’ve needed a new office chair for months now but the paralysis of choosing which one to purchase will soon be over! Thanks goog! Your trusty browser that anticipates my every need will save my slacked-jaw self from yet another poor non-sanctioned transaction!

    1. seeprime said on October 27, 2020 at 6:43 pm
      Reply

      I love a well thought out cynical comment that makes points on many levels. Well done, Herman!

  7. basicuser said on October 26, 2020 at 9:35 pm
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    What is your take on the experiment? Would you like to see something like that on your New Tab Page?

    Just testing the tolerance of it’s users to be abused by ads in their face.

    I’ve always set a blank new tab page, even in my daily driver, Pale Moon.

    By and large, wherever the 800 pound gorilla goes, the monkeys scamper behind. They are all Chromium and $$$ based.

    1. Iron Heart said on October 26, 2020 at 11:05 pm
      Reply

      @basicuser

      > By and large, wherever the 800 pound gorilla goes, the monkeys scamper behind. They are all Chromium and $$$ based.

      I am willing to bet that other Chromium-based browsers (in particular: Vivaldi, Ungoogled Chromium, Brave, Bromite) will NOT adopt this. Why should they? Removing the widget code shouldn’t be too hard and these browsers mean to gain market share – you do this by providing a better experience than Chrome.

      This has nothing to do with “Chromium-based” either (This comment just had to appear, oh well…), you can find the same stuff in Firefox (Pocket Stories, Snippets, soon sponsored tiles on the New Tab Page) – and FF is not based on Chromium. What does that tell you?

    2. ULBoom said on October 27, 2020 at 12:47 am
      Reply

      The vast majority of users wouldn’t even know.

      Anecdotally, most users I’ve spoken with hate ads and don’t read them but are somewhat bashful about admitting that because the propaganda of ads being a sacred critical means of supporting the Internet runs deep. Advertising is doing a great job propagandizing itself.

      It’s a machine, we owe it nothing.

  8. Anonymous said on October 27, 2020 at 12:26 am
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    This is why I don’t use Chrome (among other reasons).

  9. ULBoom said on October 27, 2020 at 12:36 am
    Reply

    Nice slam on those volunteering to test Chrome.

    Beside, Google has this all wrong, they should implement infinite scrolling on new tab (new ad) pages, the kind that starts scrolling with any downward movement. And plant random redirects to junk they’re shilling. Add a timer that automatically loads a page of ads if you stay too long, say a minute, on any page. Go back to 1990 with waterfalls of cascading pop up ad windows, we all miss them so much, so mesmerizing, the good ole’ days!

    You’re ad people, Google, do your jobs and serve ads, lots of ads, nothing but ads. Currently only about 90% of Chrome is ads, let’s go, 100% is right down the road! Users are eagerly waiting for more, more, more ads and really want to help you hit your goal of $2 trillion market capitalization.

    The bigger you get, the less you have to try. This cheap trick gets the October Lame Award.

  10. kaskuser said on October 27, 2020 at 12:38 am
    Reply

    I don’t know. It’s sound suspicious for me. Google always one-step-ahead regarding advertisement. At first they bring some “feature” on behalf of security. Other time only google and god knows.

  11. Sebas said on October 27, 2020 at 5:08 am
    Reply

    In Edge, sporadically used for maintenance of my ms account and mail, I used an extension for the new tab page. I have removed it, since the debacle of nano blocker made me pause and remove all extensions, execpt ublock origin and privacy badger.

    Emptying the cache and all cookies does the job too.

  12. propaganda said on October 27, 2020 at 9:43 am
    Reply

    It’s not an “advertisement”, it’s a free educational resource for businesses and potential customers to learn more about each other.

    And Chrome Canary isn’t a half-baked beta version, it’s the “cutting edge” version.

    Ha.

  13. ungoogle said on October 27, 2020 at 9:55 am
    Reply

    What is your take on the experiment?

    Clearly looks like a plan for advertising to me. For Google to say it’s not advertising seems rather evil to me.

    Would you like to see something like that on your New Tab Page?

    Nope. I have my downloads URI page set as my new tab, in all my browser, and I don’t use Chrome.

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