After launching Buzz last week, Google have continued on the social track by now acquiring social search service Aardvark.
The deal, rumoured to be worth around $50 million, could see Google use the social search engine as an answer to, well, Yahoo! Answers. Through IM, Twitter and e-mail, Aardvark lets you ask full-text questions and then takes your social connections and attempts to identify the best person within your network (or extended network – friends and family) who might be able to assist in giving that answer.
Here is how Wired explains the concept behind Aardvark:
Users who sign up give (Aard)Vark access to one of their social networks — Facebook, LinkedIn or the e-mails in their contact list. Users then say what things they are confident answering questions about (e.g. chess, cooking, country music). Vark then routes future questions — such as what’s the best country band out of the south from the 1970s or where’s a good sushi restaurant near Santa Monica — to the right person. A series of algorithms keeps tuning the targeting by watching if a user’s answers are quick and useful, deciding whether their friends are also experts, and checking if a user is online or has been asked to answer too many questions recently.
The news was confirmed by Aardvark CEO (and ex-Googler) Max Ventilla who emailed TechCrunch with the following: “We can confirm that Google has signed a deal to acquire us but have no further comment.”
So I’m afraid that’s all the news we have so far folks, but if we hear anything more, we will be sure to let you know.