The burning question on people's minds for years has clearly been “Can Will Ferrell play drums?” The world simply must know if the movie star and “SNL” alum can bang out a powerful drum solo with the best of them. Thanks to a new feature implemented into Google’s search engine today, users can finally find out the answer.
Google announced Thursday that, in mobile searches, certain search queries about celebrities will be answered by the celebrities themselves. The full list right now, per Google’s blog post, is “Priyanka Chopra, Will Ferrell, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gina Rodriguez, Kenan Thompson, Allison Williams, Nick Jonas, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Seth MacFarlane, Jonathan Yeo and Dominique Ansel.” Google did not immediately respond when asked how often new celebrities will be added.
The process is simple: Go to Google via mobile browser and for one of those celebrities. Scroll down a bit and you will see a new “Top Questions” tab That tab contains a battery of selfie-style videos in which the celebrity answers a popular search query about themselves. If you Google that specific query, that specific video will be the first thing you see, as well.
Questions range from “Can Will Ferrell play drums?” to “What makes something funny according to Kenan Thompson?” Amusingly, each video is taken with a selfie camera and they all look like they were busy doing something else when they were asked to do this. At the moment, this feature is only available in mobile Google searches in the US. Typing out those questions on your desktop will not bring up any video answers.
Why did Google do this? According to the blog post, to add a “uniquely personal, authentic and delightful touch” to search results. People like celebrities and it adds a little bit of flair when they want to know something mundane and obscure about their favorite actors and musicians. Realistically, Google also did it because it can. Google is one of the biggest tech companies in the world and putting this whole thing together may not have been a huge ordeal.
It is likely only available on mobile right now because that is where most people do their Google searching these days. The Verge said Google will consider “expanding the feature to include lesser known celebrities” in the near future, but there is no word on what the criteria is for qualification. The Verge also pointed out Wired has a video series with the exact same concept on YouTube.
Google’s blog post says these initial videos are an example of what’s to come and hinted at more “in the next few months.” These videos are embedded in the search page and are not YouTube uploads or anything like that, so it will be worth watching to see if Google keeps experimenting with video answers to search queries not related to celebrities in the future.