Wowd Indexes Facebook Data in Real-Time Search Engine

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-08-09

Wowd has built an application that uses Facebook APIs to pull content from the leading social network into its real-time search engine.

Wowd is one of a number of real-time search startups trying to differentiate from traditional search engines like Google and Microsoft Bing.

The startup makes a free application that provides a real-time tag cloud and a real-time streaming feature to let users cut down on unwanted results. Now the company is looking to apply this approach to Facebook.

Wowd CEO Mark Drummond noted that the average Facebook users has 130 friends and posts tens of updates per day. While the posting of content is fun, finding what is relevant can be a chore for users trying to zero in on a topic of interest.

"While the average number of friends today is about 130, that number is going up quickly," Drummond told eWEEK. "When people move beyond that number, they stop thinking Facebook as fun and start feeling overwhelmed."

Wowd's Social Discovery Client for Facebook lets users search through the status updates and other content Facebook's 500 million-plus users post on the social network daily.

The Social Discovery app lets users build a custom news feed, using search keywords as filters, to sift through what their friends are saying. So if the World Series is trending among a user's friends, he will see updates relevant to that event.

The Wowd client essentially personalizes the type of real-time search Google, Bing and other real-time search engines are currently offering.

Custom feeds can be drilled down by favorite friends, date, links, photos and videos. The app also compiles a personalized summary of the Facebook news feed.

Wowd also now offers a game spam blocker to help the millions of users who like to play games from Zynga and other online game platforms on Facebook. That way users aren't pulling in malicious links as they troll for custom Facebook content.

Think of the Social Discovery Client as one big noise filter for Facebook, which is a boon at a time when social-loving consumers are tired of sifting through the myriad posts their friends publish online.

The client is a free download, joining Wowd's real-time search app, which has been downloaded by 320,000 people. Wowd's real-time search app and Social Discovery Client run on Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

Millions of users also search the Website for real-time updates, but the Website doesn't offer the history and social search options. 

The company is just starting to offer advertising tied to real-time search topics, Drummond said.

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