Search is Going Social

For the last ten years, people have been turning to search engines to get their online information on every type of topic known to man. Now, search is taking a social turn. “Turning to friends is the new rage in the Web world, extending far beyond established social networking sites and setting off a rush among Web companies looking for ways to help people capitalize on the wisdom of their social circles — and to make some money in the process,” according to a September 13 New York Times article. Here are some examples of new social media sites and search engine features that are using social media marketing methods to engage consumers.

  • Amazon allows shoppers to connect to their Facebook accounts so they can show their friends’ favorite books, movies and other products.
  • TunerFish, owned by Comcast, lets users share what television shows and movies they are watching, which gets mapped into a real-time guide of what programs are popular among their friends.
  • Hunch “personalizes the internet” by using complex software to predict what things you might like based on information you give on you current interests.
  • Google’s Buzz lets Gmail users share updates and photos, and includes those updates in their customized search results.
  • Facebook recently introduced Facebook Questions that allows users to pose questions to friends and strangers on the site. Last month, Facebook launched Places that encourages people to “check in” at locations they visit, tag friends who are with them and announce it on the social media platform.

It will be interesting to see other ways social media can infuse with major e-commerce, news and travel websites. The social search arena is a development that is expected to continue.