Last month, Facebook was awarded a patent, called “Visual tags for search results generated from social network information.”
It’s a patent on social search. The official description provides us with a little more detail. Search results…marked based on frequency of clicks on the search results by members of social network…the markers are visual tags and comprise either a text string or an image.
So, could this hamstring Google’s attempt at social? Well, without Facebook data, yes, it might. But Google has good lawyers. And perhaps there’s some workaround for this. I can’t pretend to understand exactly what this patent means. Because it’s almost scary how much this patent could be worth if it does what it says it’s going to do.