Wajam Places Adds Google Map Interface to Social Search ResultsBy: Drew Bowling - June 26, 2012
When Bing unveiled last month its new format that features search results collected from your Facebook and Twitter associates’ comments, it propelled the search engine past Google in the social search race. However, Wajam, the social media-powered search engine, insisted that it was still doing better at social search than Bing and today the company looks to further that claim with the introduction of a new search results feature that uses Google Maps.
One advantage of Wajam’s social search is that it pulls resources from Google+ in addition to Twitter and Facebook whereas Bing only uses the latter two social networks. While Wajam has always given you information culled from your linked social network accounts, such as places your friends have checked in to or locations that your friends have “Liked” on Facebook, today’s addition of a Google Maps visualization hopes to improve upon those search results.
See a demonstration of how the new Google Maps feature looks and works within Wajam:
As is common with Google Maps, whenever you zoom in closer to the map you’ll see the results from your social network expand similar to how you see more tags and details when you zoom in on a normal Google Map. While most of the data is the same as you were receiving with the Wajam plug-in before, the visualization on Google Maps is especially helpful if you’re a foodie looking for a popular neighborhood with lots of yummy offerings.
“Whether you are visiting a town for the first time or just looking for a good restaurant near home, what your friends recommend shapes your local experience,” explained Martin-Luc Archambault, Founder & CEO of Wajam. “We’ve filtered over a billion pieces of data from our users’ Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles, and can now allow them to view the attractions, restaurants, bars, movie theaters and more that their friends have liked or reviewed.”
While search engines have traditionally offered up a map of business locations relevant to your search, Bing and Google have recently helped improve the quality of those results by incorporating Yelp and Zagat reviews, respectively, into search results. However, those two still aren’t really personalized in the way that you have with Wajam’s new feature, making it the first to put personal references onto a map. Depending on how much you value your personal friends’ opinions and tastes, Wajam’s use of Google Maps could be a bit more helpful for making informed decisions about where you want to next dine on some bulgogi or tacos al postor.
Below you’ll find an infographic provided by Wajam that gives you a solid primer on the search engine if you’re just now joining this game.