Qwiki Interactive Search Engine to Take on Google

Can an encyclopedia-like search engine that talks back to users find success?

ByABC News
January 22, 2011, 12:05 PM

Jan. 22, 2011— -- A new internet search platform is looking to be a game-changer in the lucrative search engine market, and it just might give Google a run for its money.

Qwiki, whose goal is to forever improve the way people experience information, intends to "deliver information in a format that's quintessentially human -- via storytelling instead of search," according to the company's website.

Rather than delivering simple links and snatches of information, as is the norm with Google's search, Qwiki created an interactive experience that combines the text of a typical search engine with the video element of YouTube and the encyclopedic data of Wikipedia to create a personalized search experience that talks back to you.

Founded by Doug Imbruce and web pioneer Dr. Louis Monier, who founded the early search platform AltaVista, Qwiki is partially funded by Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook who was recently portrayed in the award-winning film "The Social Network."

Saverin is one of several venture capitalists, including Jawed Karim, a co-founder of YouTube and Pradeep Sindhu, a co-founder of Juniper networks, who recently pumped $8 million into Qwiki.

"Qwiki is a revolutionary new platform that will define the future of information consumption globally. I'm particularly excited to support the Qwiki team as their initial product gains momentum. It is always thrilling to be involved in the early stages of disruptive technology," Saverin said in a recent Qwiki statement.

But should Google executives be shaking in their boots over this new multimedia and interactive platform?

ABC News Technology contributor Daniel Sieberg says that the jury is still out on what sort of threat Qwiki poses to the Internet establishment, but that there is always potential for the Qwiki to partner with a bigger company, like Microsoft, to become a major competitor.

"[Qwiki] is really not about quick bites of information. You're getting what's called an information stack. You're not getting a whole bunch of information, but it's presented in a very linear way," Sieberg told "Good Morning America."