Arc browser update offers a case study in how AI aggregate search looks

By Jodie Hopperton


Los Angeles, California, United States


Yes it’s here: New search experiences are coming out left, right, and center. They are AI led and AI summarised. It seems that even the aggregators are getting aggregated. 

On June 24, I upgraded my Arc browser on my phone (which is now my main browser), now called “Arc Search,” and was promoted to try the new search. Hearteningly, the top suggestion was about news (I am not sure if this is personalised; let’s assume not for now). 

Naturally, I clicked to see what I was served. A screen appeared noting a few sites that are being searched. In this came a few sources: Google, NPR, and Reuters show on the main screen but more are available upon a swipe. I find it curious that Google is also shown as a search: Are the aggregates being aggregated?

Arc's latest upgrade features AI-led Arc Search.
Arc's latest upgrade features AI-led Arc Search.

Once the search comes up (just a few seconds), the sources stay at the top and each story is summarised underneath. Scrolling, I got nine summaries total, each showing date, location, event, plus other categories that interchange based on the story contents such as participants, victims, impact, focus. It feels very Axios like.

Arc Search includes AI-driven summaries of news content.
Arc Search includes AI-driven summaries of news content.

At the end of the scroll, there is a section called “Dive Deeper,” which summarises the day’s summaries from various news sources. Note these aren’t based on individual stories but on daily round-ups of their top headlines, latest news, or day summaries. 

There is also a strong push to share. This share screen pushed up a number of times during the process.

Arc Search also encourages users to share news summaries.
Arc Search also encourages users to share news summaries.

What does this mean for news organisations? 

We aren’t sure yet, but the INMA team is constantly looking at different sources to unpack this move to GenAI search. We know some publishers are already experiencing double-digit drops in search, some over 30% (see Press Gazette reports here). We’ll be looking at different ways news organisations are compensating or planning to compensate. If you have views or work to share, we would love to hear from you.

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About Jodie Hopperton

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