Google Announces News Article May be Read Aloud by the Google Assistant

Today Google announced a beta program that will allow US Google News publishers (see [1], below) “to mark up sections of a news article that are most relevant to be read aloud by the Google Assistant.”

The initiative relies on the https://schema.org/speakable property (currently in pending as https://pending.schema.org/speakable) and the property’s target type SpeakableSpecification.

Putting on my connected/structured/intelligent content hat, this has interesting implications for how (audio-targeted) news content is produced. That is, Assistant ain’t interested in reading out a whole news article (“we recommend around 20-30 seconds of content per section of speakable structured data, or roughly two to three sentences”), so this impacts how content is put together editorially.

Announcement
Hey Google, what’s the latest news?

Content type specifications
Speakable (BETA)

[1] UPDATE Thanks to +Richard Hearne who on Twitter pointed out that the announcement said only that the feature “available for English language users in the US”. I had mis-characterized this as being available only for US Google New publishers – it appears that any Google News publisher is eligible to ask for inclusion in the program.

News by Aaron Bradley

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