Interesting news coming out of SearchEngineLand.com regarding Facebook and their Patent on Social Search which indicates that in February of 2011, Facebook was awarded a patent on social search by the United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO.
Here's a snippet from the patent that obviously seemed to be the most interesting:
The actual name of the patent is "Visual tags for search results generated from social network information."Search results, including sponsored links and algorithmic search results, are generated in response to a query, and are marked based on frequency of clicks on the search results by members of social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation from the member who submitted the query. The markers are visual tags and comprise either a text string or an image.
As the author of the article mentions in his post-script, it's hard to determine if the patent covers clicks and activities only on Facebook or on the web in general.
If it's the web in general what could this mean for Google and BING or any other search engine out there? Is a war about to start? Was Facebook sneaky handed when it applied for this patent in 2004?
Are their any patent or legal specialist that could shed some light on the ramifications of this new development in social search?
Now, on the flip side, Google has also released what is being touted as a Facebook Killer with it's new Social Circles network.
What's going to happen here everyone? Who's going to win the social search and social circle game?