This week brought news that Google and Microsoft are now incorporating Twitter into search results, solidifying the importance of incorporating social media content into search results. And startups like OneRiot have also recognized the value of tapping into the Twitter stream for search. Startup Kikin is doing the same with its newly launched plug-in.
Once installed, Kikin will integrate content from social networks (like Facebook and Twitter) and other social sites (like Amazon, eBay and YouTube) alongside results from search engines (like Google, Bing and Yahoo!). So if you search for chocolate labs on Google, Kikin will provide a pane of YouTube videos of chocolate labs and a Twitter stream of mentions of chocolate labs.
You can filter Twitter search results to just the Tweets from those users you are following. The pane also acts as a Twitter client where you can retweet Tweets and more. And the search results will tap into your Facebook account via Facebook Connect and search your news stream. Kikin lets you alter your settings so you can only see results from Twitter or YouTube.
While Google, Bing and other search engine embrace social media content in their search results, I’m a fan of Kikin’s plug-in because it lets you moderate what content you want to see and which content isn’t useful to you. You may not be interested in results from eBay for your searched, which you can disable (of course, it will still show up in your Google results). And I like that Kikin accesses your Facebook stream and YouTube videos. And if you tire of Kikin’s results, you can easily minimize the pane.