" />
Social Media

Profile: Social search comes of age with Wajam

Profile: Social search comes of age with Wajam

The web has been from the very start a social development, a means of sharing content and fostering discussions.When Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web 20 years ago he did so as a means of allowing people, mainly academics at the time, to share information.

Yet social search has remained underdeveloped; Google recently removed its realtime search filter and only today the company announced that its +1 button will affect websites’ search ranks.

Twitter’s recent redevelopment of its site has seen an emphasis placed on search, yet even its own search engine has limited access to tweets.  Facebook, in contrast, has largely ignored search, although there are increasing calls for it to “fix [this] broken feature.”

Wajam logoThis is why Wajam (Facebook | LinkedIn | @wajam) is important.  The two year old Canadian start-up founded by Martin-Luc Archambault has developed one of the most powerful social search engines available today.  Wajam is a browser addon which connects search and social by providing users with direct access to their own and their friends’ history of tweets and status updates from several social networks as they search.  The Wajam search engine acts as a bridge between the social web and more traditional search.

This removes the transient natures of the social web and brings depth to mainstream search.

Martin Luc Archambault Co-founder of Wajam

Martin Luc Archambault Co-founder of Wajam Credit: Wajam

We spoke to Martin-Luc before the launch of Wajam’s location based search update, which customises social results for users according to their locations.  He told us that although the search and social sectors are competitive Wajam is best placed, in terms of its experiences and technology, to provide an in depth search and usability experience to its users.

Since its launch Wajam has served more than one billion results, across more than 20 million search pages from its index of user-generated content.  Unlike Google’s deceased realtime search which used Twitter as its social source Wajam is a social search engine, meaning it archives old updates as well as recent ones (its index is less than 30 seconds behind Twitter’s).

A search for a tweet posted on this site’s Twitter profile a year ago, “is facebook building a phone“, on Tweeter returns no results (nor, indeed does Google) but Wajam’s index includes the tweet.

Indeed the depth of its index can be seen in Wajam’s own search engine which allows you to directly search for tweets and updates posted by your friends and followers (Wajam’s index of theSociable’s tweets is so large it took us five minutes just to scroll back to six months ago).

Martin-Luc explained that Wajam’s role as a search provider not only involves archiving user updates but providing context to those results.  Wajam’s search engine extracts information from URLs, such as bit.ly, to provide users context with the search results.

Wajam search results in Google

Credit: Wajam

It does this by archiving and social media updates to VeriSign and TRUSTe certified servers and processing each link directly.

As a social search engine Wajam’s results are not just visible when searching on Bing or Google but when searching on other sites such as Amazon, Overstock, eBay, Wikipedia, Yelp, Tripadvisor, IMDB, and others.

Wajam showing more information from Wikipedia about Amy Winehouse

Credit: Wajam

With these sites Wajam shows recommendations friends and followers have made which are related to the page’s content.

Along with the location based search improvements it has just launched the company is in an advanced stage of developing its smartphone application which promises the same level of social search depth.

So what of social search?  While not only being a powerful search engine Wajam is a reminder of how undeserved users have been by the major players, who have yet to create a quality social search engine of their own.

View Comments (2)


  1. Wajam

    September 7, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    Thanks for the coverage, Piers!

    We just launched Wajam Places and made a short video to demo how it works: http://vimeo.com/28469383


    Alain Wong – Community Manager at http://wajam.com

  2. Wajam

    September 7, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    Thanks for the coverage, Piers!

    We just launched Wajam Places and made a short video to demo how it works: http://vimeo.com/28469383


    Alain Wong – Community Manager at http://wajam.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

More in Social Media

Facebook ups efforts to spot suicidal tendencies in its users by utilizing AI

Mathew Di SalvoNovember 30, 2017
tinder fears

Tinder as a tranquilizer for our 5 most primordial fears

Kwinten WoutersNovember 27, 2017
instagram followers

How to get followers on Instagram: a basic guide

Kavinesh ArumugamNovember 27, 2017
zuckerberg president

Zuckerberg is running for president, even if he never runs: KU interview analysis

Ben AllenNovember 13, 2017
Big Brother looming over Chinese citizens

How China’s social rating system can affect you

Daniel SanchezNovember 9, 2017
social media unconscious

How social media affects our collective unconscious

Tim HinchliffeNovember 1, 2017
facebook change news feed

Is Facebook planning to change the News Feed as we know it?

Markus SkagbrantOctober 24, 2017
social media immigrants

US can now collect social media data on immigrants, citizens, and travelers

Tim HinchliffeOctober 23, 2017
social media anti-terrorism

Murky methods: social media’s initial anti-terrorism efforts

Ben AllenOctober 20, 2017