Google Buys Aardvark Social Search Network

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Google has announced the acquisition of Aardvark for a reported $50 million, and with it a new way to leverage social networks to find fast, relevant answers to questions. Aardvark is pushing something it calls “social search.” Instead of looking at Web pages to find answers to search queries, Aardvark’s service taps a person’s network of social contacts. Ask Aardvark for anything from restaurant recommendations to home improvement tips, and the service will relay the question to Facebook and Twitter friends who have identified themselves as “experts” on various topics.

The premise of Aardvark is to capitalize on social networks to answer questions quickly from sources that, by virtue of being within the extended social network of the person asking the question, are inherently more trusted than other sources like Bing, or Yahoo Answers. Askers can pose a question and Aardvark analyzes your established network of friends, and friends of friends, to identify sources most likely to know the answer. Aardvark uses demographic information, affiliations, past blog posts and Twitter tweets, and other characteristics to determine potential respondents, and also checks online status on common instant messaging services to identify users immediately available to answer.

Written by: Simone Baldassarri Friday, 12 February 2010 00:00 Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 15:48


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