Google has acquired the Aardvark social search and cloud information network. Aardvark allows users to ask questions that others in the network can answer, according to their expertise. Since it’s introduction in 2008, Aardvark has built a strong following of users and has integrated itself into email, Google Chat, and other services to become easy to use.
Aardvark works by allowing users to ask questions, which are sent over the network of other Aardvark users according to keywords within the question, so questions about “pets” go to some users while questions about “banks” go to others. The users who receive the question can answer and the questioner receives those answers as they come in. Many questions can receive answers in minutes, all from live people, not machine-generated.
Aardvark has been working on an iPhone app, which may still continue, though it’s likely that this new acquisition will mean Google will want a Nexus One app first. Current Aardvark users will see no change to their current account, but as Vark and Google updates are made to the app, they will see those implemented. A new option for allowing Q&A to show up in Google’s Live Search will also be added.