Google's new “Social Circle” search
Ok. This one really threw me for a loop. I was doing a google check on one of our old entries when I stumbled across a new Google feature, the “Social Circle” search. As I was searching for my own results, obviously I came up, but it was surprising none the less.
From what I understand, basically Google takes your chat buddies, your email contacts, your Google Reader, and your Google Buzz friends — then combines them all (and their friends) into your “social circle”. Personally, I think this is very cool, though I’m sure there will be people throwing a shit fit in the name of “privacy”.
You can also go into your standard google results and opt to do a social search. I tried a search for “identica” (something that I knew would get results) and did get a few hits. I’ve done a screenshot for it, since obviously your social search will be different than mine. Right now it seems the content comes from Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, MySpace, and other miscellaneous account based sites. It does add content from sites in peoples’ Google Profiles, but until more people actually use their profile, it isn’t terribly great.
Overall, the feature is currently a novelty to me. Mostly this is because of the lack of results. If Google can get more people to list more of their sites, then this could actually become useful. I suspect that this probably will become a better feature when “Google Me” comes around. If the content amount goes up, then I will actually enjoy using this.