A few days ago Google got slightly more Bing-ified when it started allowing users to customize their backgrounds (Bing has featured a rotating photo as its background since it launched). Today, Google is taking that a step further: it’s now featuring a background image by default on its homepage, even for users who haven’t activated the new feature. It sounds like the homepage will be rotating through images for the next 24 hours — this is obviously meant to help raise awareness of the new feature.
It’s worth pointing out that there’s a possibility the current featured image seen above is depicting the BP oil spill tragedy (which The Next Web is claiming). But Google’s blog post doesn’t say anything about it. We’re guessing that it isn’t a photo of the oil spill, and will update once we’ve confirmed. Update: Looks like TNW pulled their post. Update 2: Nope, we’ve confirmed with Google that it definitely is not related to the oil spill.
Google’s Marissa Mayer writes in a blog post:
To provide you with an extra bit of inspiration, we‘ve collaborated with several well-known artists, sculptors and photographers to create a gallery of background images you can use to personalize your Google homepage. Included in the collection are photographs of the works of Dale Chihuly, Jeff Koons, Tom Otterness, Polly Apfelbaum, Kengo Kuma (隈研吾), Kwon, Ki-soo (권기수) and Tord Boontje, as well as some incredible photos from Yann Arthus-Bertrand and National Geographic. We’ll be featuring these images as backgrounds on the Google homepage over the next 24 hours.
Of course, since we want your Google homepage to be personal to you, you can still choose an image or photo from your computer or your own Picasa Web Album. Whether you select an image from our new artist collection or prefer to have a more personal touch on your homepage, you’ll still enjoy the speed and ease of use that you’ve come to expect from Google.