leapfishLeapfish, the multimedia search engine, has gone real time. It’s a move several search engines are making, especially those that had vested interests in social media to begin with. The increasing adoption of real time tactics for socially-driven search engines means that tools like Leapfish are hoping to bring he power of social networking to the search scene, powering immediate gratification for our information needs.

Some highlights of Leapfish’s updated site aside from the new real time search include a personalized home page, enabling users to create their own dashboard. This acts as a startpage of sorts, aggregating popular news and basic media from various sites like YouTube and Twitter. Pull multiple news feeds across blogs and various applications to shape this media search engine to suit your needs.

Leapfish is looking to work both the recommendation and search ends, providing sharing tools directly from its site so you can both search and share content you find interesting. By burning both ends of the candle in this way, Leapfish is hoping to become an invaluable hub for information and sharing. The potential for creating a recommendation engine around this could be high, and I think it’s interesting that Leapfish is taking the search engine approach to address this potential.

The reason I find this interesting is because most companies hat provide similar services do so in a more directly social manner. Sites like FriendFeed essentially do the same thing as Leapfish, just with a different interface and more reliance on socially generated submissions. With all the automation going around with media sharing, however, the content that ends up being shared and discovered on either Leapfish or FriendFeed will already have a lot in common. The difference is that FriendFeed will have to work its way more towards a search engine, and Leapfish will have to work its way more towards a socially-driven site.

This cross-directional dance we’re seeing with various startups will likely continue for a while, as real time search becomes more and more prevelant for both individual and enterprise use. The world of search will eventually need to do more with the compiling of data, answering our questions instead of merely pointing us in the right direction. But for now, time is one of the most important ways in which we can layer context into our search results.

For Leapfish, it has faced some obstacles upon its initial launch, particularly with sales, a necessary aspect of any web-based startup reliant on advertising revenue. The aggregate search engine is smart to reiterate its potential by adding real time search to its feature set. As a result, however, Leapfish already faces competition from the likes of Collecta and Bing. I think Leapfish is headed in the right direction, as real time search could hold a lot of promise for the companies that execute it well.

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Kristen Nicole

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