It’s not your imagination. Google’s navigation bar has gained a new “Play” option that, for the first time, has Google promoting its own content offerings: books, music, video and Android applications from recently rebranded Google Play site.
You can see the link below, and the home page has also gained a promotional link about Google Play below the search box:
Previously known as Android Market, Google Play was relaunched earlier this month as a way for Google to sell content to anyone, not just Android owners. Other than Android apps, the Google Play content can be consumed on a variety of devices. Our previous story, Android Market Becomes “Google Play,” Reflects Google’s Multiplatform Content Aims, explains more about this.
Until now, Google’s navigation bar has only been used to help people navigate to Google’s own products and services. While Google Play is a Google service, it’s also unique in that it’s the only Google service that works as an online storefront for the company. Other services like Google Shopping (listed under the “More”) option still tend to point people “out” of Google to make purchases.
Google’s navigation bar was changed in February. One of the changes made then was to drop the “Video” link from the main menu and change it to YouTube. Google Video allows for searching for videos from across the entire web; YouTube is, of course, Google’s own video site. The Video search option remains available under the “More” menu.
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