If the tech world was a gangster movie and tech services various capo regimes, then I can actually imagine two Don’s (Bing and Facebook) having a meeting in some darkly lit room. And these Dons decide on joining hands to defeat a common enemy they have. The enemy here would be the all-powerful search engine Google.
Jokes apart, it has happened. The idea of having search results mixing with social network has happened in a big way with Bing joining hands with Facebook. It all seems like a great idea but my point is social search a big deal as it is being made out to be. I mean didn’t we need search engines mainly because we could not rely on our social circle in the first place?
I think social search might be useful for certain things like getting a movie review. As far as checking out a restaurants, shops and services I think ‘local search’ rather than ‘social search’ might be more useful.
Why social search might not be a good idea in the long run
- The scope of search will be smaller. I think we could always get information from people we know or are in our social circle. Sure with Facebook the social circle is a bit bigger but the reason Search Engines became popular was because people did not want to depend on their circle of friends but rather depend on an automatic system.
- Social network activity is not taken as seriously by people compared to their online content building activity. Sure bloggers and internet marketing folks are very serious about what they share or ‘like’ on Facebook. Also how does Bing know what is disliked by a user’s social circle? Facebook has no dislike button.
- Content creation might suffer if people are again depending on their social circle to give them the best results. I mean most bloggers who create content do so because they want to share it with people outside their clique of contacts. I think chances are content will be re-circulated more than being updated. This is not really a good idea.
By now you must have guessed I am not too excited about social search and its possibilities. Yes, Google also is experimenting with Google Me as a social layer across its services. I think a social layer is the right way to go and not going for integration.
Bing is thinking a lot like Microsoft has always. It seems to want to compete with the competition by creating partnerships and not awesome products. I think Facebook and Bing tying up is a lot like that. What do you think? Do drop in your comments and views.