As all the major search engines continue to add social search features to their feature line-up, it can often look as if there isn’t any space left for startups in this space. Wajam begs to differ. The Montreal-based company is probably one of the most ambitious players in the social search market right now and after launching its latest efforts for Google last month, it is now ready to bring its enhanced social search results to Bing and Yahoo as well.
Wajam is a browser plugin (as well as a standalone social search engine) that automatically integrates the company’s own social search results from your network on the search result pages of Google, Bing and Yahoo. It also works on a number of other popular sites, including Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor and YouTube.
Wajam creates its own index of everything your friends share on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. It’s worth noting that it looks at your friends’ status updates, as well as the sites they link to. It then applies its own PageRank-like algorithms to rank these status updates and sites depending on what you are searching for and displays its results alongside your standard search results.
As Wajam’s founder and CEO Martin-Luc Archambault told me earlier today, the service currently has over 2 billion pieces of content in its index. Archambault stressed that Wajam’s algorithms are also able to categorize the items in its index (think pictures, restaurants, hotels, videos etc.). The company’s latest data shows that it is currently able to show social search results for around 44% of its users’ queries.
With this update, Wajam is bringing its redesigned interface to Bing and Yahoo. The update, of course, comes at an interesting time, given that Bing announced its social search updates just a few days ago. Wajam, however, argues that it offers a far more complete social search experience than Bing because it also includes results from private updates your friends have shared with you (assuming you opt-in to this feature) and because it also highlights photos and videos, as well as product recommendations.
Wajam also notes that while Bing lets you ask your friends questions right from its search result pages, Wajam gives you results immediately. Unlike Bing, Wajam also lets you filter results by date, relevancy, links, photos and videos.
The Wajam team also put together this little infographic that explains how its approach to social search differs from Bing’s, Yahoo’s and Google’s.