Twitter has partnered with Yandex, the Russian search engine, to improve its social search function
Twitter has announced a deal with Yandex that will provide the Russian search engine with posts from the microblogging website, allowing them to be indexed and searched within minutes.
The move is a blow against Google, who had previously failed in negotiating a similar deal with both Twitter and Facebook, and is currently under an anti-trust investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission in regard to its general practices.
We will find everything
Yesterday, Yandex introduced a new social search service similar to Google’s ‘Search, plus your world‘ (a service under particular scrutiny in the US investigation). Unlike Google’s offering, however, this new service will display results from a variety of social media websites, including Facebook and Twitter.
Social search allows you to see data retrieved from social networks alongside the regular search results. This layer of information is not very reliable for facts alone, but depending on the search terms, the results may be more relevant.
Yandex has been indexing the public social network profiles for some time. The new service will try to combine all of the accounts belonging to the same person, and group them in the search results. According to project manager Alexander Chubinskiy, Yandex will treat this grouping with care – only profiles that refer to one another will be put together.
Yandex processes searches about two million people every day. About half of these intend to find celebrities, with the rest searching for regular people: friends, relatives, and colleagues. If a user is looking for someone they know, profiles from different social networks would provide a perfect answer. The company claims it has indexed some 250 million personal profile pages, all of which are publicly available. Yandex cannot search through private content.
If more than one profile matches the user’s search query, Yandex adds one of the profiles to the top of its search results page and shows all others on a separate page. Users can refine their search further to include age, location, or workplace to quickly find the person they want.
Other social search uses include the ability to see what your friends have said on a certain topic and what material they have referenced or linked to their profile.
Whereas Google wanted to tie every search to its Google+ social network (unless you were using the “Don’t Be Evil” plugin), Yandex has gone the opposite way. “We aren’t in a competition with anyone in the field of social networking, we seek cooperation with all players,” the Social Internet Search team said on the Yandex corporate blog.
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