Speculation, speculation and more speculation is all that there has been concerning Google’s Facebook competitor product. Since mid last year people have been making guesses about the social networking product that would compete against Facebook. There is still not much that is known about it but at this point we can safely say that Google is still working on it and with the developments on the social search service we can expect a big launch in future.
Google’s official blog has a post that indicates that the feature which was at the bottom of search results will now be mixed with the rest of the links to make it more prominent. To make it even better content from other social networks will be added. Users will be able to see tweets from their friends concerning a certain link. It seems that the disagreement that Facebook and Google had is still active. According to Search Engine Land the Facebook “Like” will not be included. Facebook and Bing formed a partnership through which Bing features “Like” in its search results.
Of course Google has to have information about your social network for you to benefit from the service. It is for this reason that it will include a prompt on the search results page that will invite users to link up their accounts. Google’s executives have in the past indicated that the company was not intending to build a standalone site but rather was going to incorporate its existing services by adding attractive social features. As these additions continue hopefully more users will be convinced to add their accounts making the search feature more useful in ever expanding circles.
You may have noted a new navigation toolbar at the top of the Gmail application and the ordinary search page which the search engine has started rolling out. This new addition that Google terms as a “visual update” is according to some, “very similar to the toolbar that was leaked to the public sometime last year”, and was rumored to be the Google+1toolbar. The difference though comes from lack of buttons that add the social features in it. This does not in any way indicate that the addition of such buttons as “Share” and “Loop” is not possible. As pointed out earlier, improvements are being added every other day.
Last year in September Mashable carried an exclusive post that reported that the social initiative from Google would be delayed till Spring in 2011. The post detailed that Google had confirmed that it was going social but not in the way people were anticipating. The launch was expected in 2010 but had been delayed to somewhere in March and April this year. If that is the case then the improvements being witnessed in the social search are quite timely.
The development of the social feature has been a hush –hush project even within the company itself. Well that is understandable. When Facebook learnt about Google’s social intention, it embarked in a 60 days lockdown, a period in which it came up with finished features such as the Facebook Messages, Places and Groups. Spring is not far off and the world will be waiting to see what Google unveils. Should Facebook brace itself for tough competition?