Google launches social search

Google launches social search
23 October 2009 | | Internet

Google is launching social search, a new feature which will allow users to include information from other social networks including Twitter.

In a surprise announcement made by Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice-president of search products and user experience, at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Google said it would launch the new initiative as an experiment in Google Labs in “the next few weeks.”

In order to use social search, users need to be logged into a Google profile. Google will then suggest connections to those listed as friends on users’ publicly available social network profile information and by crawling your Gmail contacts, if they have a Gmail account.  Once these details have been tracked for the first time, search results from social networks will always appear at the bottom of the page with a note of which network the information has been pulled from.

Ms Mayer used the example of searching for New Zealand on Google. If users have recently visited New Zealand and written anything about it on a social network or a blog, social search will pull in these results at the bottom of the page.

Google has also built social search into its image search. When searching for a celebrity, for example, George Clooney, the new opt-in feature will also bring up photos of real friends also called George, at the bottom of the image results page.

However, this tool is only likely to work with social networks and websites, where the data is open – so it is unlikely to be able to crawl Facebook, as the majority of information is closed behind privacy settings.

“This is great from a precision and relevance standpoint,” said Ms Mayer. “Social search recognises a fundamental need for real-time information and demonstrates Google’s commitment to innovating in search.”

Google has announced it has also signed a search deal with Twitter on the same day Microsoft’s Bing declared its partnership with the microblogging service.

Only a few hours earlier, Microsoft announced it had signed a deal with Twitter and Facebook to include its users’ status updates in Bing’s search results, at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

Google retaliated, announcing a very similar sounding deal via its blog. The post said: “Given this new type of information and its value to search, we are very excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results.

“We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favourite ski resort, you’ll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information.”

Content courtesy of The Telegraph

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/6403972/Google-launches-social-search.html

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