Google Social Search Arrives to Challenge Facebook
Google Jan. 27 said it is taking its Google Social Search project to its core search engine with new features, a move to challenge Facebook in the battle for more users. Google Social Search drops content from searchers' contacts directly into search results. In the next few days, users of the English language version of Google.com who are signed into their Google account will automatically begin seeing Google Social Search results for Google Images, displaying pictures friends have published to Yahoo's Flickr or Google's own Picasa Web Albums. Social Search also features two new links for "My social circle" and "My social content."Google Jan. 27 said it is taking its Google Social Search project to make search more relevant and injecting it into its core search engine with new features, a move to challenge Facebook's social network dominance. Google Social Search drops content from searchers' contacts directly into search results. The service requires users to have a Google profile and be logged into their Google account. Google then builds a bridge between users' Google accounts and their Google profiles, surfacing users' content in what Google calls a "social circle."
This social circle features users of social services Google users have listed in their Google profile, including all Gmail contacts and Gmail chat buddies, as well as people users are publicly connected to on social sites such as Twitter, FriendFeed and Google Picasa.
Heymans also noted that consumers can generate content in Facebook and share it. Google Social Search merely surfaces content users have already published. Interestingly, some data can be shared from Facebook for those who have associated their Facebook profiles with Google Profiles, but don't expect to see reams of Facebook data on Google Social Search. Some folks see a collision at the intersection of search and social networks on the horizon, as ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick noted:
"Do you want to have your questions answered only via your friends and their online content? No, probably not. But do you want to have your questions answered without the input of your friends and their trusted content? You probably don't want that either. Google Social Search is a nice combination of search and social. Facebook's search is terribly weak in comparison. That's where the real competition is, not between Google and Bing or Yahoo."In the meantime, see how Google Social Search works here in this demo video