Google has released a beta version of a search tool aimed at users of social networking sites.
The company said at the Web 2.0 Summit last week that the ability to search Twitter feeds will be added in a few months, but has surprised many by getting it out so soon. Microsoft's Bing engine started social networking searches last week.
"We have taken steps to improve the relevance of our search results with personalisation, but today's launch takes that one step further. With Social Search, Google finds relevant public content from your friends and contacts, and highlights it for you at the bottom of your search results."
Google users can create a profile and add links to social networks they want covered, such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, as well as Gmail contacts. The results will then include a scan of those sites for relevant information.
The results will not include private data, and Google said that all results will be from information that can be found online by other means.
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