Google Opens Social Search to All; Cuts Facebook Off at the Pass

Last fall Google began experimenting with a new feature called Social Search, and we called it a big chess move against Facebook. Today Google Social Search is opening up in beta for all Google users. The experimental feature will surface search results from the social streams (bookmarks, blog posts, photos, etc.) of a user’s contacts on services like Gmail, Google Reader or Twitter.

Social Search still doesn’t have a super-prominent place in the Google Search results pages, but make no mistake: This is a very big step. What’s your portal to the Internet: Google’s algorithmic search of the Web at large, or your social circle of people on Facebook? That’s the battle for the future that Google and Facebook are waging now, and Google Social Search is a big move. Facebook search is nowhere near as good.

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