Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Social Searching

This is lovely.

I went to a presentation at MSN the other day and learnt about all the cool social search things they are rolling out in the States at the moment. One of these things is in conjunction with Facebook and even here in NZ we will soon have Facebook referrals from our friends when we search for things on Bing.

When I heard this, my concern was the amount of education required for the general public to understand that they could benefit from social searching and (basically) friend referrals IF they are logged into Facebook. Trying to explain to your average Joe Blow why their friends profiles turn up on Facebook plug-ins as per below:
For some reason they think it's magic that their faces are staring back at them. Seriously. I have had more than one conversation about this.

Either way, I think it is great and smart and a fantastic thing for Bing to implement. Being the underdog to Google, Bing has to do something to differentiate themselves and this seems like a clever way to do it.

Having so recently seen the Bing example, imagine my surprise when I was on a friends computer the other night, searching for The Chosen One and this pops up:
Social searching on Google! Due to the Microsoft/Facebook exclusive relationship (they're totally going steady), Bing has the advantage because Facebook is a BEAST, but at least Google is trying to make some headway in this area. Obviously Twitter isn't quite as big in New Zealand, but luckily for me, I embrace the Tweets, so I am hoping that this will bode well in my searching going forward.

Really interested in what other people might think about this? If you were searching for 'new cars' and the search returns a result which details that one of your friends like a certain brand, would you be more inclined to investigate further? I think it will be really handy for restaurant recommendations, but further than that, I'm not so sure.

1 comment:

Amber Parkin said...

Interesting. I think it will work well with 'content' vs. 'products'. What will entertain me? Ah, well, Sarah & I have the same taste, I'll check out this. A restaurant review would come under content.