Google flipped the switch this morning on a new design for its Google Alerts emails.
The change brings Google Alerts closer in line with Google’s general aesthetic. The emails now have a similarly clean look-and-feel to the card-style layout that’s becoming so prevalent in Google search results, Google Now, on Google’s mobile apps and elsewhere.
The new alerts tell you what kind of alert you’re getting (hourly, etc.), have larger headlines to click on and get three social sharing buttons: Google+, Facebook and Twitter. There were no social buttons in the old alerts. Also new is a “Flag as irrelevant” link with each story.
Gone from the old alert emails is a link to “See all stories on this topic.”
Here’s a comparison between an old Google Alert that reached my In box during the 6 am PT hour, and then the new version that came in within the past hour.
Old Alert Email
New Alert Email
I’ve contacted Google to see if this is a permanent change or if I’m in a limited test. No reply yet, but I’m seeing plenty of tweets this morning from others also seeing the new-look alerts. Are you?
Postscript: In testing the new social buttons, I came upon a bug in the system somewhere. The ampersand in that first headline breaks the sharing when trying to post to Twitter:
That only happens when using the Twitter button; sharing that same headline to Facebook and Google+ didn’t break.