January 10

With the seemingly endless breadth of content available on the internet these days, when you find content that’s truly special and unique, you may want to see more from the same author or creator. Google Chrome is prepping an experimental feature to help you do just that by showing social media info and more content from your favorite web creators.

As the news of most new Chrome features starts, this week, we uncovered a new flag being added to the chrome://flags page of Google Chrome, which hosts all sorts of experimental browser features.

Profile Card

Allows users to open the profile card to see more informations about the content creators.

#enable-profile-card

The flag’s name and description leave a lot to the imagination, so we dug in a little deeper to see what this latest “Profile Card” experiment has in store. From what we can gather, a new button will be added on the right-hand side of the Omnibox, Google Chrome’s name for its multipurpose address bar. Instead of an icon, however, this button will show the social media profile picture of the creator responsible for the page you’re currently on.

Tapping this new button will pop up the eponymous “Profile Card,” revealing a trove of information about that web content creator, including their name, a short bio, and what social media platforms they’re on. All of the information for this card will be generated automatically by Google using the current page’s URL. Unfortunately, we don’t have any insights just yet on how this is accomplished, but we’re thinking the result should look like a condensed version of the info card seen when looking up a public figure on Google Search.

What remains to be seen is who among the vast crowd of web creators will qualify for Chrome to attach a “Profile Card” to their online works. My personal hope would be that nearly any up-and-coming content creator could put their social media details in the right place and have Google Chrome slightly boost their exposure.

The unfortunate flipside to that is that there will always be bad actors out there who will exploit any opportunity they can. Google will almost certainly need to put some restrictions in place to keep malicious, explicit, or just plain spam content from being proudly advertised by Chrome. Hopefully, a good compromise can be found between the extremes of only allowing people who have a Google Knowledge Graph listing and allowing anyone with a Twitter account.

For now, the Profile Card experiment is limited to Google Chrome for Android, but there’s been mention of Profile Cards coming to desktop Chrome. The soonest we currently expect to see Profile Cards properly arrive is Chrome 81 or 82 later this year. Or, as is always the potential with the experimental Chrome features we find, the idea of revealing a creator’s Profile Card could fizzle out before it ever reaches our devices.

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