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Google Social Search goes global

Google is rolling out its Social Search feature to 19 languages next week, the search giant announced on its official blog.

Google's Social Search feature is going global, with 19 languages added in the coming week, the search giant has announced on its official blog.

Launched in 2009, Social Search combines regular search results with publicly available data created by your friends' social media activities. Your friends include people in your Gmail, Google Talk friends list, people you follow on Buzz or Google Reader and other networks you've linked from your Google Account. You need to be logged into a Google profile to use it.

Yohann Coppel, a Google software engineer, wrote on the company blog, "In 2009 we first introduced Social Search on google.com as an experimental feature designed to help you find more relevant information from your friends and the people you care about. Today, we're bringing Social Search to more users around the globe."

You will now find similar types of social results not only in the US but here in the UK and elsewhere, with the 19 languages yet to be revealed.

Google can also gather your friends' data on social networks such as Flickr, Twitter and Facebook, a feature that stirred some controversy recently when Facebook admitted to having hired a PR company to whip up privacy fears over the search giant's services. The social network isn't exactly delighted that the search giant can use Facebook data for its services without permission.

Earlier this week, Microsoft's search engine Bing revealed a similar partnership with Facebook, so you can receive personalised results based on what your circle of Facebook friends like. It's supposed to help you make decisions including what to buy or where to travel, turning search into more of a conversation.

Bing and Google's Social Search differ considerably, as Bing only collects data from Facebook, while Google looks at a variety of sites. Google also plans to introduce the +1 Button feature soon.

Is Google trying to show Bing who's in charge? Check out this video, which shows how Social Search works. Let us know what you think in the comments section below or on our very own Facebook wall.