"For many people," says Olumide Balogun, head of consumer apps, sub-Saharan Africa at Google, "whether they're content creators, business professionals, or just wanting to stand out from the crowd — having an online presence is important."
"For those without a formal website, or for people who share a name with many others, this is an easy way to create or distinguish their presence on Search," Balogun adds. "Google's mission has always been to organise information and make it useful and accessible and we're now providing a new way for people who want to be found and to organise information about themselves, right on Search, on their mobile phones."
Anyone with a Google Account can create a People Card by simply searching for their name and tapping the "add me to Search" prompt. This will lead them through a simple process to add a photo, description, links to social profiles and other information that they'd like others to know about them.
For the initial card creation, a unique phone number is required. One profile card is allowed per Google account and phone number. Additionally, people can report abusive content and impersonation claims through a feedback link directly from the product.
"In the last few years, we have been working with people across the region to better understand how Africans see Search and how we can make it more relevant and work better for the people on the continent," adds Balogun.
"We built this feature for the millions of influencers, content creators, entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, freelancers, or anyone else out there who wants to be discovered," says Balogun.
Google has recently introduced several locally relevant features within Search. Job Search Experience, for example, helps people find jobs through Search, while Health Symptom Search makes it easier for users to explore health conditions related to symptoms.
Google has also introduced other features that make it easy to find information on everyday interests like sports, recipes, movies and lyrics.
"A critical part of creating for Africa means building in line with the insights we are seeing from the region. We see that people in Africa want a search tool that reflects their real environment and also supports them to succeed as they go about their everyday hustle, which is why the People Card creator is in full control of their information at all times. They choose what they would like to make public and if they would like to remove it," Balogun concludes.
For more information, visit www.google.com