Google Social Search is still missing Facebook

Google has integrated Social Search into its search results. Facebook, the world's biggest social network, was not included.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Google announced Google Social Search in October 2009. Today, the company integrated it with its standard search results.

The integration means users can get even more information from the people they have connected to publicly on their Google profile, or privately in their Google Account. This includes whether they're publishing on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as their own blog. Although Google has expanded this list since the feature's launch, Facebook is still missing.

It's almost laughable that Google isn't including Facebook in its social feature. After all, the service is used by some 600 million users.

Contrast this with Microsoft's announcement of a new version of the Bing Bar today. Facebook was the only social network that was added to the toolbar.

Microsoft simply has a much better relationship with Facebook than Google does. In fact, Facebook and Google have a history of fighting each other rather than working together as the two encroach on each other's Internet turf.

Three months ago, Google banned Facebook from accessing Gmail contact data by tweaking its the Terms of Service for its Google Contacts Data API so that websites which access Google Contacts needed to offer access to their data too. Facebook has never allowed users to export their contact information.

The social network still wanted its new users to find out whether their Gmail contacts also have Facebook accounts, so it implemented a workaround that told new users to use a Google feature that helped them download their own data, and then instructed them to upload the file back to Facebook. Google countered by displaying a huge warning when new Facebook users came to export their contact data from Gmail.

The Facebook-Google data reciprocity war ended with Facebook completely removing Gmail contact importing from its list of third party e-mail providers on the "Find Friends" page. The real loser was neither Facebook nor Google (although both ended up suffering), it was the end user.

Let's tie this back in to today's announcement: the two companies are hurting each other by not working together on social search. Sure, Bing is doing a lot with Facebook integration, but the majority of Internet users do not use Bing; they use Google.

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