Google has launched a new video-based Q&A app called Cameos on the App Store, which allows people to answer questions about themselves, then share those answers directly on Google. The app appears to be aimed at celebrities and other public figures, who are often the subject of people’s Google searches. With the Cameos app, they can address fans’ questions in their own voice, instead of leaving the answers up to other websites.
The feature is an extension of the company’s “Posts on Google” platform which has been slowly rolling out over the past couple of years, giving some people and organizations the ability to post directly to Google’s search result pages.
Initially, “Posts on Google” was open only 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 events, products and services. This spring, it opened up to musicians.
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. In a way, it’s like Google’s version of Twitter – but with the goal of helping web searchers find answers to questions.
The new Cameos app is focused specifically on video posts.
As the App Store description explains: “Record video answers to the most asked questions on Google and then post them right to Google. Now, when people search for you, they’ll get answers directly from you.”
The app also allows celebrities using Cameos to see the top questions the internet wants answers to, so they can pick and choose which of those they want to answer. Their answers, recorded with their iPhone’s camera, will be published directly to Google search and in the Google app.
The service brings to mind Instagram’s new Q&A feature, launched this July. Via a Questions widget that’s added to an Instagram Story, users can solicit questions from their followers. The recipient can then select the questions they want to respond to, and post their replies publicly to their Instagram Story.
The feature become so popular, so quickly, that it began to dominate people’s Stories feed. There was even a bit of backlash.
Google’s Cameo video answers could be more useful, as they’d only appear when that question was searched on Google. It would also give Google a social platform of sorts – a market it has tried to compete in for years, and is now littered with failures like Orkut, Dodgeball, Latitude, Lively, Google Wave, Google Buzz, and of course, Google+. At least with Posts, Google is focusing on what it does best: Search.
Google has been asked to comment. We’ll update if one is provided.
The Cameos app description also notes that it will add more questions for celebs to answer on a regular basis.
Access to use Cameos is only available upon invitation. Those interested can download the iOS app to request access.