The rapidly growing social search market just got a little more crowded, and interesting, with the launch of Yandex, a voice-operated social search app that’s available to iPhone users.

Yandex is described by its developers as an experimental product that’s embracing some cutting edge search and design techniques. For starters, the whole thing is voice activated. Users speak their search queries directly into their phone.

The queries themselves are based off a number of social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many of their associated products such as Spotify. And because they’re social searches, the queries will be more like, “What coffee shops do my friends in Seattle frequent?” rather than traditional text queries like, “Seattle coffee shops.”

In an interview with, a Yandex official described the experimental nature of the new app:

It’s an experimental app which uses many existing Yandex technologies and tests some that are new. We aim to learn about users preferences, such as the horizontal results display and may then roll it out to other regions.

Currently, Yandex’s main product is a search engine that’s widely used in Greece and Russia.

Just last week Facebook introduced a similar social search product called Graph. Besides being a voice-operated phone app, Yandex differs from Graph by digging deeper into a variety of networks, rather than looking for current information from just one.

The Yandex app is available as a free download at the Apple Apps Store.

What do you think of the move towards social search engines? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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