Google has started the roll out of a new feature giving journalists a photo byline for stories displayed on Google News. But there is a caveat – for the byline to be displayed journalists must have a Google+ account.
The highlighted picture and author name will show how many followers that journalist has, which may encourage more connections as readers can then choose to add the named journalist to one of their Google+ circles.
It could be a smart move from Google’s point of view as it could encourage journalists to start using Plus and may prompt those who signed up early but whose interest has since waned to pay more attention to the social network.
There are instructions on how to link your Google profile to your news stories to enable your photo byline to appear in Google News.
An announcement on the Google blog fully explains how and why journalists are to be highlighted in Google News.