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Why social beats search? - Pranav Bhasin's Product Lens

Why social beats search?

discover photos through social graphThe title is a copy of a recent post by Fred Wilson, but the post is not :). The part that caught my attention in the post was the statement “it’s a lot harder to spam yourself into a social graph”.

My personal view is that first of all, it is somewhat unfair to compare search with social since they solve vastly different problems. To me “Search equals Intent” whereas “Social equals Discovery“. When you really want to find something, the first thing you do is google for it. Yes, you may ask a few friends about it, but in most cases the expert on your question may not be in your network at all. You may post your question on twitter or facebook, but you certainly won’t wait on these channels for an answer.

The two things that social brings into the picture is “serendipity and trust“. If you are a part of a social network, you hear all kinds of things whether you want to hear them or not and in some cases, you do stumble upon some really neat stuff. Thats serendipity and since you heard about it from someone in your network, you know how much to trust the information based on the trust you have on the source of the information. To a large extent, this is a completely different way of getting information than what search has to offer, but certainly not good enough to kill search by itself.

That is why, at lifeblob, we are building a new channel for discovery of photos through your social graph, not trying to compete with google image search.

Whats your take on search vs social?

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