Google on Tuesday launched a new feature that lets users in India create 'People Cards', which are like virtual visiting cards, making it more comfortable for them to build an online presence and discover others. The India-first feature, which has been in testing for a couple of years, will let users create a virtual visiting card on Google Search, and highlight their existing website or social profiles and information that they would like others to know, Google Search Product Manager Lauren Clark said.
"The new feature is aimed at helping the millions of individuals, influencers, entrepreneurs, prospective employees, self-employed people, freelancers, or anyone else out there who wants to be discovered and help the world find them. Starting today, users across India can discover the People Cards on their mobile phones, in English," she said.
When a user searches for someone's name and a card is available, they will see a module with the name, profession, and location and then tap on the Card, she said. For people who share the same name, the Search will show multiple modules, and unique information can help users distinguish between different individuals to find accurate information.
Clark said Google has put together a variety of protections and controls to maintain the quality of information on People Cards. "The safeguards include mechanisms to protect against abusive or offensive content, and limiting the experience with only one People Card allowed per Google Account. For every new card, the user must authenticate the account with a unique mobile number," she said adding that in some cases, additional information may be required for verification.
Clark said People Card creators must comply with content policies, and the company uses a combination of human reviews and automated techniques to flag policy-violating content.
"We have strict impersonation policies and People Cards are tied to a user's Google account and phone number which is an effective deterrent to many spammers," she said. Besides, the feedback button can be used to identify and report low-quality information or a Card that they believe was created by an impersonator.
Users will have complete control over the information to be included on the Card and can opt-out of the feature, following which their details will stop appearing in search. She said users are reminded that the information shared is public when these cards are being created or updated.
To create a People Card, users need to log into your Google Account, search for their name, or "add me to Search" on their mobile phones and tap the prompt that appears. To start building their People Card, users can choose to include the image from their respective Google account, add a description of themselves, links to their website or social profiles, and a phone number or email address. Both creations of the Card and display of results will be available only on mobile phones.