Real-Time Search Engine Gets Social
Search technology company Factery Labs on Monday will unveil a real-time search engine. The focus on integrating social media pulls in pieces of information and the ability to share that information on Facebook and Twitter, as well as through emails directly from the engine query.
Paul Pedersen, founder and president of Factery Labs, says the Real Time Fact (RTF) engine delivers facts rather than links. The ability to personalize the view for interesting information, similar to an RSS feed applications, gives people real-time information in a search engine.
People can either choose from predefined categories, such as sports, politics, world, entertainment, or set up their own topic of interest by typing any term into the search box. Each search continually refreshes with the latest facts, allowing people to stay up to date on news and information across the Web.
The ability to share information pulled into the search engine through real-time feeds provides a social aspect for the site, Pedersen says. "I'm looking for the influence the network has on people as they take ownership of facts and share them with friends," he says.
Rather than sharing a link to the page where the content appears, friends actually receive the information in the post through share buttons rather than just the link.
Consumers spent more than five and a half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, up 82% from the same time last year when users were spending slightly more than three hours on social networking sites, according to The Nielsen Co.
The research firm reports that overall traffic to social networking sites continues to rise, confirming a need for search engines to pull in real-time information, and give people the ability to share that information with friends. With 206.9 million unique visitors, Facebook was the No. 1 global social networking destination in December 2009, and 67% of global social media users visited the site during the month.
Year-over-year growth in average time spent by people in the United States for both Facebook and Twitter outpaced overall growth for the category, increasing 200% and 368%, respectively. Among the top five U.S. social networking sites, Twitter continued to be the fastest-growing in December 2009 in terms of unique visitors -- increasing 579% year-over-year from 2.7 million unique visitors in December 2008 to 18.1 million in December 2009, The Nielsen Co. reports.
Pulling feeds from Google and Twitter, Factery Labs provides a category for trending topics. The search engine dissects the meaning behind the trends by connecting facts found on pages recommended by Twitter users on the topics.
Explore the facts feature by searching in the panel on the left. Once topics appear, you can favorite any search by clicking on the star, which then becomes a tracking query. Trends appear on the right side of the search engine in a collection of continuously updating trend result panels, with feeds refreshings once per minute. The most active trends sort first. It's not clear what amount of search history the engine will compile before purging the information.
Factery Labs in November unveiled the company and Fact Rank technology for developers. Pedersen calls delivering the search engine Step 2. Monetizing the site becomes Step 3 -- a step he declined to share insight on, but says should come soon to appease investors.