Google has filed a patent that would alert you to important updates from friends on multiple social networks and give you the option to send them a canned response. "I got my dream job!" could be replied to with a canned "Congratulations!" with a click, for example. The patent, which was filed last week, could put Google further in the social media game, which so far it hasn't managed to dominate by any stretch.
The patent is titled "Automated generation of suggestions for personalized reactions in a social network". Call us crazy, but "automated" and "personalized" don't sound very compatible; on the other hand, many of our social media interactions blend automation with personalization already. Instead of saying something in response to a post on Twitter, for example, we can just click "Favorite" or "Retweet" and call it a personalized day.
Another thing that's not new about this patent is that social networking platforms already allow third-party services to use each other's log-in credentials to post on their behalf. This is made possible through APIs -- application programming interfaces -- which give third-party applications access to user data and apply it in new ways.
What is new, however, about this Google patent is that it actively keyword-tags each update in a person's social networks to selectively present only the important stuff to respond to. It also ranks updates according to how many people have said similar things in response to posts. For example, if Google sees that the words "condolences" or "sorry" are appearing in comments on a friend's update, it might infer that your words of comfort might be called for.
All this is done, of course, through the magic of Google's proprietary ranking algorithms and server processing power. We're not yet certain what this product may look like exactly. Does this sound like something you would try using? And does it make you quiver in your privacy advocacy boots as some seem to be doing?