One of the original co-founders of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin, led the $8 million in venture financing of Qwiki. Calling this startup a maker of web query software oversimplifies the curated multimedia presentations that the Internet search tool produces. But because it seems like an obvious improvement over Google, we wonder how this innovation might benefit the leading social network.
Qwiki’s pitch to the venture capital community at TechCrunch Disrupt looked like the startup has something that might steal market share away from Google’s search engine business. Add to the competitive landscape the recently launched RockMelt browser, which responds to search inquiries based on your friends’ activities.
Obviously, Facebook doesn’t have a search engine business (yet), nor a browser for that matter, but the social network is emerging a stronger driver of traffic to various destinations than Google’s previous archrival Yahoo. So if new products begin to chip away at the market share for searching and browsing, this might reduce the hold that the Google has on the market.
Of course, a competitor to Google would compete with Facebook in driving traffic to various destinations — except that the largest social network achieves these referrals by recommendations rather than algorithmic searches.
Watching the Qwiki pitch also made us think about whether an application of this software could curate the content on Facebook in a more dynamic fashion. We will have to wait until the alpha version of this tool becomes available, although the startup’s site leads us to believe this could happen soon.
Readers, do you think something like Qwiki might benefit Facebook either directly or indirectly?