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Mahalo Adds New Social Search Tools

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Today at Search Engine Strategies New York, Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis unveiled the latest set of features at the social search engine: My Mahalo.

My Mahalo is a service, currently in beta, that allows users to import their ratings and reviews from other social media sites, and share them with contacts on Mahalo Social. That service, which launched December, is similar to Yahoo's delicious service. It lets users recommend and share links, or see recommendations from friends and top Mahalo users.

With My Mahalo, the social features are becoming more prominent. Mahalo pages will now show pictures of friends that have expressed an interest in that topic on Mahalo, or have imported their reviews from other social media sites, such as Facebook, MySpace or niche sites like GoodReads.com.

"We're taking the information that's available on the social graph, and putting it where you need it," Calacanis told SEW.

Instead of having to visit several social media sites to find the various comments, ratings, reviews and other content your friends have created, Mahalo users can see all of that info in one place, if their friends have imported their data into Mahalo. So a search for the movie Bladerunner will show you how many of your friends have seen the movie, how many want to see it, how many reviewed it, etc.

MyMahalo BladeRunner

Users who have installed the Mahalo toolbar will be asked when they visit another social media site whether or not they'd like to import their content from those sites to Mahalo. Then, when users search on Mahalo, they will be presented with content first from their friends, followed by the most trusted Mahalo users. Mahalo users build trust by recommending links, and by having those links accepted by the Mahalo guides and added to a page.

"We're not competing with social networks. We see ourselves as the bridge between social networks and search," Calacanis said. "We're building a system where people can openly help each other and share."

At launch, My Mahalo will feature five types of content: places & trips, products, music, movies and books.


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