The Potential for Comprehensive Social Search

Facebook’s new Graph Search got me thinking. If we can social search Facebook and Google+, and inevitably, Twitter, there must be a search engine that brings them all into one place.

Of course, this isn’t a new idea; Bing social search has been doing this for about a year now. However, it doesn’t pull in the full data firehouse and won’t have access to Google nor Twitter data any time soon.

In addition to all access, the other major challenge for such an aggregator will be producing relevant search results. Facebook and Twitter have different comparative advantages.

Facebook data will help for more local requests like the best restaurants, shops, etc., because it’s powered by trusting friends and people that live in the area. Twitter will be beneficial for more national/world cultural data recommendations such as what new music to listen to or movie to see. We trust the knowledge and expertise in the people we follow more than our friends.

Meanwhile, Google+ won’t offer nearly as much valuable data as Facebook and Twitter simply because it’s not as content rich.

Successful aggregated social search will depend on a mastery of categorizing excess data in real-time. Klout scores that rank social utility will also need to come into play.

The Facebook Graph is just the start to crowdsourcing our search results, which Google does now at a top level. It just doesn’t show your friends’ recommendation next to the search results, yet.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.