Dogpile for AI, Amazon Inspire Anywhere, TikTok Search Widget

Dogpile for AI, Amazon Inspire Anywhere, TikTok Search Widget

Where's 'Dogpile for AI'?

Remember "metasearch" from the late '90s? Sites like Dogpile and Metacrawler displayed results for the same query from multiple search engines, typically side-by-side. The pitch to users argued that metasearch provided a more complete view of results than any one search engine could. But because people believed Google was already comprehensive there was no reason to use metasearch. What we need now is metasearch for AI. Poe, created by Quora, is not AI metasearch but it points the way. As indicated in the screenshot below, users can run their queries or questions across a range of sites: ChatGPT, Claude, Neeva, etc. Right now, however, you can't run a single query and get results simultaneously from multiple AIs. This was the metasearch proposition: one query, multiple SERPs. It would seem simple enough to create what I'm describing; it's all about the UI. But metasearch for AI could solve several problems with trust and accuracy and create something very powerful.

Source: Poe

Our take:

  • Dopile is technically still around (though unused) and metasearch still sort of still exists in sites like Kayak.  
  • By comparing "answers" across multiple AIs, you could better determine accuracy and hedge against hallucination.
  • Google's current version of Bard is a placeholder for what I'm talking about with its three "drafts," which could be different AI sources.

Amazon Wants to Inspire Anywhere

Two biggish Amazon announcements this week were the wide availability (US) of its TikTok-like "Inspire" short video feature and "Amazon Anywhere." Anywhere embeds Amazon shopping in third party sites. Starting with the new Niantic AR game Peridot, Amazon is putting shoppable experiences in mobile apps, games and virtual worlds. This is different from affiliate links because the product and checkout experiences exist inside the third party app (see video below). Amazon has also been trying to bring more influencers into its orbit and Inspire is one expression of that. Available on the mobile app, through the lightbulb icon at the bottom, Inspire is a stream of short videos mostly indistinguishable from what you'd see on TikTok, except they're entirely about products and have thumbnails that open product pages. Finally, Amazon seems to be trying to retrain consumers to pick up some of their purchases rather than have everything delivered to their homes – as a cost-cutting measure.

Our take:

  • The revenue model for Anywhere is probably its affiliate program. It may become an attractive revenue stream for some publishers.
  • Inspire may inspire people to spend more time on Amazon and drive some sales. The videos are trying to draft off of "TikTok authenticity."
  • The problem is that every video is directly or indirectly shilling for some product, which diminishes their credibility. GenZ may not care.

TikTok Has a Search Widget

TikTok has an iOS search widget. While most people won't install it and heavy TikTok users won't see a need for it, it's still interesting. We don't have any hard data on how big TikTok search is other than Google's informal remark last year that "something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search ... They go to TikTok or Instagram." But Google is definitely treating TikTok as a threat, as it seeks to "focus on serving young people globally." For its part, TikTok has been increasingly promoting search (and search ads). But more broadly, the app has positioned itself as alternative information source to Google. The widget itself doesn't do much; the Following and Post buttons will take you directly to those places on the app. But the Search bar merely opens the app, rather than taking you directly into TikTok search. That could be a bug or be fixed, which would make it more useful and save a step.

Source: TikTok

Our take:

  • Arguably the most provocative thing about the widget is that it promotes basic awareness of TikTok search, which could generate more usage.
  • TikTok isn't a 1:1 replacement for Google. But it is peeling off some query volume and engagement from Google properties (see YouTube).
  • As AI content and more AI-generated fake reviews (here, here, here) make traditional sources/search less valuable, TikTok may gain.

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