Trying to see the future is good for the imagination and spurring innovation but in my personal opinion isn’t very fun. Furthermore, predicting what a large, highly innovative company with deep pockets will do next either requires some sort of magic eight ball or a knack for making really good guesses. Since I possess none of the above I tend not to participate in making predictions but with Google’s recent moves I thought I’d give it a shot.
With the recent acquisition of Aardvark and the release of Buzz, Google is adding an additional approach to its social media technology strategy. By adding the “put Google anywhere” model (think Google FriendConnect) with tools that draw users back into their existing products to consume content (Google Buzz) Google is looking to cover a lot of ground in the social media space.
Now with Aardvark under the umbrella I have a feeling things could get really interesting. Here’s 5 reasons why I believe Google will roll Aardvark into Buzz.
- Access to friends – one of the greatest and meaningful features of Aardvark is that you can get answers to any question from anyone and you don’t even have to know them. Heck your social graphs don’t even have to come close to one another. However, I believe that every once in awhile you want answers from your friends or at least the colleagues you respect or have a rapport with. Integrating Aardvark into Buzz will give users the best of both worlds.
- Relevance – Another strong point of Aardvark is the way it matches questions to those who have expressed knowledge or expertise in the particular subject matter. Using this “classification” will allow any Buzz user to wear a hat of expertise and offer their knowledge to others.
- Access to answers (and questions) – Google at its core, is about search and since Aardvark is about questions I believe it’s safe to assume that the new acquisition is about searching for relevant answers to ANY question.
- User experience – I believe a fusion of Buzz and Aardvark would make a powerful and extremely useful tool for users. Being able to ask a question, review responses and derive answers in one place will make Buzz a contextual king and ultimately drive more accuracy and relevance for its search results.
- Where else would they want to put it? – This is my most straight forward prediction. Simply put, aside from renaming Aardvark “Google Ask” or “Google Answer” I can’t imagine where else they would put it and maintain a high level accessibility. Keeping it as a standalone product isn’t a bad idea but providing results (answers) within a familiar system just seems more appropriate.
Look I’m not expert and to be honest all of my reasons are shots in the dark. For all I know Google may keep Aardvark exactly the way it is, though history tells us differently. I just thought I’d take a shot, now let’s sit back and watch. Actually… Let’s take cue from Aardvark and ask a question. What do you think?