I read some time ago that people will no longer “search” for information or at least it will be greatly reduced, due to friends and connections “sharing” information online through social networks. Why should I search for something, when content of relevance comes directly to me?
Yes it is true that our friends and friends of friends are sharing information, but it does feel like a barrage of noise some of the time. It is a constant babble that is difficult to mine through and to find what is pertinent to you when you need it most.
Research shows that we are more likely to trust recommendations from friends than from a stranger or from a business who is trying to sell us something. 78% of people believe what other customers have to say about a product or service (Source: Edelman 2008). If the customer happens to be one of your friends or a friend of a friend, then their recommendations, comments and research becomes even more believable.
Being called an “experiment”, we have just seen the launch of Google Social Search, a new search product that draws results from friends and friends of friends. It’s currently available in Google Labs for anyone to try and comment upon.