6 thoughts on “Beyond search: Twitter joins the discovery wave”

  1. What Twitter is doing is a massive violation of privacy. What they are saying is that they are now actively tracking every single site you visit, and every single article you read – unless you opt-out. Either by going to Twitter and blocking this, or blocking them in your browser.

    But by default, Twitter now tracks everything you do on every site (because let’s face it, the tweet button is everywhere).

    That is not the same as what Google or anyone else are doing.

    There is an even bigger problem with this. On my site, for instance, I have a privacy policy that states that I do not share any personal identifiable information with third party sites. But every single one of my visitors is now suddenly tracked by Twitter – and Twitter now records every article each individual reads on my site, and links that data to each person via the twitter ID.

    That is just a phenomenal breach of the contract I have with my audience. As a site owner, I have a responsibility to only use 3rd party tools that I trust to protect people’s privacy by not tracking third party usage.

    I’m usually not a privacy advocate. I believe, the same way as you do here at GigaOm, that publishers have the right to track what it’s readers do on our sites. But Twitter has gone far beyond that. When people visit my site, or GigaOm, they did not agree to have their browsing data shared with Twitter.

    We had the same problem with Facebook, but Facebook quickly responded and said *we do not track browser behavior through the like button* – and then that was ok.

    I for one hate the European Cookie Law, but this is exactly the kind of rouge behavior it is trying to prevent.

  2. Dheerthan.com is a site that help defies all this and still provide what we users need and I work there. It makes every link suggestion you make go public under your name and provides an excellent search and discover facility. googles knowledge graph and twitters discover also share the same idea of our site.

  3. Om – There is no post-search phase of the web. The first popular sites on the web were directories and 15 years later Search is bigger than ever, driving more traffic than ever, driving more revenue than ever and growing faster on a pure dollar basis than most else. In fact, not much is growing faster than mobile search. This is all because Search is not a channel. It is not a wave. Search is a basic human nature and the most natural expression of this medium. I’ve seen the “search is dying” meme come and go for a decade – and here it is again. In fact the argument can be made that what you’re talking about here is indeed search as well. Jeff Bezos pointed out years ago there are two modes of Search – “Recovery” and “Discovery” Google’s KG is going on the SERP – still driven by query and cynics like myself who have felt Google has had the semantic intelligence to do this for years think the only reason it’s happening now is to pave the way for graphical ads on the SERP. What you’ll see in future is more people move into search. Would not surprise me to see Facebook launch its own engine within 18 months. Search is and has always been about discovery. It’s not a phase and it’s not happening in any meaningful way for most people outside of Search.

    1. I tend to agree with you Jonathan, as discovery mechanisms multiply, search becomes more needed than ever. At this point, there is enough competition for search positioning that Google has more to gain from creating parametric search (topic by topic) than from universal search. Question is: can Facebook or anybody catch up with Google in search? Will Facebook ever do a better job at it than Bing did? They’re so far from it…

  4. Mon.ki is another company working on this issue of filtering and recommendation, providing a “social compass” to their users in the form of a Chrome extension

  5. Great article. I’m not too optimistic, though, about the multiple initiatives to solve the “filter” problem. As filters multiply each with their own categories and taxonomies, they create a need to search through the filters as well. The problem moves on. For example: I practice content curation. Content curation was supposed to help discovery in a “post-search world”. In practice, content curation does (marginally?) help discovery. But it also piles up (meta)content on (meta)content. In so doing it burries the original content under layers of more or less accurate “filters”/pointers. De facto, doesn’t it accelerate the content overload and the confusion, creating the need for… better search?

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