'Google Experts' to Be Aardvark for Google+, a Social Q&A

Several other upcoming features have been found in Google+ source code

By on September 28th, 2011 11:11 GMT

Google has big plans for Google+ and, while it has recently opened it up to everyone, there are a lot more features, big and small, coming. Hacker Matt Mastracci, snooping around Google+ code, found several interesting things.

The biggest is something called Google Experts that seems to be a Quora-like Q&A platform based on Google+.

Users will also be able to leave messages on their friends' profiles, similar to writing on the Facebook wall.

There's also a new wizard designed to simplify setting up the privacy settings that suit you the best.

Google Experts is referenced several times in the code. The idea seems to be to ask questions on Google+ who will then find people with knowledge in the field, 'experts,' who can answer them.

The idea is vaguely familiar to Facebook Questions, a feature the site tested but later abandoned, but is also very similar to Aardvark, the social Q&A site Google acquired a couple of years ago and recently shut down as part of the Google Labs wind down.

There's not much to go on, but Aardvark was based on a solid idea, of leveraging a user's social graph, i.e. friends of friends of friends, to find just the right person to answer any question.

With Aardvark, users relied on IM, Facebook and a number of other social tools and graphs. With Google+, the social graph is already there. This feature could really be a hit if done correctly, especially since Google+ keeps on growing.

It seems that the feature is meant for Google Apps users as well, since the domain is treated as variable in the strings for Experts. Presumably, this could ensure that the question remains constrained to the company or group using Google Apps, if it is something work or school related.

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