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Google Social Search goes beta

Google Social Search goes beta

The Social Search functionality - now in beta - allows Google users to pull information from their social networking contacts.

Google's Social Search technology is finally ready for the big time, with the company officially moving it from Google Labs to a 'beta' option within the main search system.

As reported over on InformationWeek, the experimental search system - introduced into the company's Labs playground back in October - brings in relevant content from users' social networking buddies, should they have been posting content that matches the search terms used.

Appearing under the headings of "My social circle" and "My social content," the new search options - freshly expanded to cover both traditional Google search results and Google Images - allow for more personalised content to be delivered to the user.

The move also gives Google more information about its users - naturally. In order to take advantage of the social search features, you'll need to sign up for a Google account and enter information about your membership on various social networks - including microblogging service Twitter and blog host Blogger - in order for the system to start returning results. Using this information, Google gets to know not only who you are, but who you know - expanding the company's ever-growing dossier on its users.

Indeed, with privacy advocates growing increasingly concerned about the amount of data Google attempts to store regarding its users' habits - to the point where the community development director at the Google-funded Mozilla Foundation recommends users switch to Microsoft's Bing search engine - the company's attempt to sweep up still more data is likely to raise some hackles in the community.

Can you see the social search feature being useful, or just another way for Google to keep tabs on its users? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

10 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
rickysio 29th January 2010, 12:18 Quote
Soon you'd have Google Life, where you can search for details like the exact moment of your birth, and how many girl/boy friends you had, how many times had you been laid, etc.
proxess 29th January 2010, 12:21 Quote
Wow... soon Google will know more about me than I do! (I don't think that's all that difficult tho).
do_it_anyway 29th January 2010, 12:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Soon you'd have Google Life, where you can search for details like ......<snip>.....how many girl/boy friends you had, how many times had you been laid, etc.

Thats easy! Surely you won't need Google for that?
Its 0 and 0 respectively. :p
lp1988 29th January 2010, 14:05 Quote
and in good old Google fasion, it stays in beta for the next five years
TheUn4seen 29th January 2010, 14:40 Quote
Just another way to send users even more personalised ads. I start to dislike the whole Google machine, the amount of data they collect is getting dangerous. I'd try to switch to Bing, but I don't like Microsoft even more.
mjm25 29th January 2010, 16:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Soon you'd have Google Life, where you can search for details like ......<snip>.....how many girl/boy friends you had, how many times had you been laid, etc.

Thats easy! Surely you won't need Google for that?
Its 0 and 0 respectively. :p

good banter sir! fight fight!!
whiskers 29th January 2010, 17:07 Quote
Oh. I thought that this was a "search for a person to see all their profiles" feature. Phew. Carry on.
LucusLoC 29th January 2010, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskers
Oh. I thought that this was a "search for a person to see all their profiles" feature. Phew. Carry on.

that's the paid service for advertisers, employers, and government officials. for a small fee users can also do searches on exes and crushes. [/sarc]

heaven help us if the above turns out to be true. the only good thing about this is that i can just not use google. now if only bing would make its map app run faster. . .
brave758 31st January 2010, 19:28 Quote
NOT more social networking NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Picarro 31st January 2010, 20:07 Quote
I spend more time on my social networks as opposed to actually being social.
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