Ark Finds Social Search Niche Between Facebook, Google

Google and Facebook are at war over search. Can multi-graph provider Ark help you from becoming collateral damage?

Neither Google nor Facebook are neutral providers of social search information. Both companies capture as much social information as possible, and then use that social data to make money.

Google is investing heavily in Google+, their new social network. Google+ allows Google to finally capture information about who their users are, who their friends are and what they share. Before, Google was blind to the social activities of its users, and it is locked out of searching Facebook. Google’s $20 billion search business is expanding into social data, an industry dominated by Facebook.

Facebook just launched Graph Search, a way to easily find out information about other Facebook members. Facebook is making it even easier to find new places, product, people and activities using complex queries against their massive social graph. While Facebook did not announce any business initiatives related to Graph Search, they will certainly monetize their search product.

There is a need for a neutral social search engine.

Neutral social search providers are not incentivized to only share their own proprietary data, like Facebook and Google. They can share search results than can combine multiple social graphs at the same time.

Ark.com: A Multi-Social Network Search Provider

Ark is a new people search engine that uses multiple social graphs to find results. Its people querying language is similar to Facebook’s Graph Search. The company just closed a $5 million seed investment round from Intel CapitalAdreessen Horowitz and other high-profile investors.

Ark is the people search engine that Facebook and Google would build if they were not competing with other.

Ark presents is a unique resource because it is a neutral provider of social data. What does “neutral” mean? It means Ark provides public information from every social network. Ark just grabs all of it, and makes it available to you and the algorithms powering their search.

You may not “Like” Starbucks on Facebook, but you check in there on Foursquare 20 times a month!

This is an “implied Like.” Ark can uses data that Facebook is not going to collect and share with its own users. Similarly, Google is incentivized to rank Google+ data high in its search results, in order to draw more and more users into its social network.

Ark is a leader in social people search. Ark founders Patrick Riley and Yiming Liu are experts at collecting social data and building search engines. Patrick and Yiming have been working for 5 years on the theory behind Ark, and now they are turning it into a product.

Ark’s Developer Platform

Ark aggregates social data for developers as well as consumers. The Ark platform API enables app developers to access social data from most of the social networks in the world.

Imagine the apps that will be created by developers gaining access to a billion social network profiles. Developers use software to access social platforms, so they have better ability to quickly collect data from multiple social networks at once programmatically. So the value of Ark.com is higher for users initially.

If Ark does a great job with their developer offering, they could lead the way in new forms of multi-graph developer applications.

Social search is getting hot, and Ark looks like the multi-graph player to watch! Readers, what do you think of multi-graph social search?

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing 101Almost 60% of businesses use some form of content marketing. Starting December 8, get hands-on content marketing training in our online boot camp! Through an interactive series of webcasts, content and marketing experts will teach you how to create, distribute, and measure the success of your brand's content! Sign-up before November 10 to get $50 OFF with early bird pricing. Register now!