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You.com launches open search platform for developers

You.com launches open search platform for developers

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You.com, a new, customizable open search platform with the hefty goal of challenging Google for worldwide search superiority, today announced the launch of YouCode, a specialized search engine for developers that the company claims enables coders to be more efficient.

The two-year-old startup also announced an influx of $25 million in series A funding led by AI-focused Radical Ventures.

Unlike search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo, You.com users can deploy AI to personalize and customize sources they want to see, the order of the results, and how private they want their results to be, cofounder and CEO Richard Socher told VentureBeat. “Google has been dictating the results of your searches for all these years,” he said.

You.com has built apps into the platform that enable users to customize searches for the type of work or projects they’re doing. For example, Socher said, they can explicitly use AI to perform an action within the search results; these features include YouWrite (an AI-powered text generator for students and copywriters) and Code Complete (an AI-powered code generation tool for developers).

“Search is powering so much of our lives,” Socher, a former chief scientist at Salesforce, told VentureBeat. “We make medical, business and travel decisions based on search. There’s so much that it’s hard to pinpoint a single one. 

“When you search on You.com, you can make a decision on something, and then it actually helps you execute that decision,” Socher said. “On Google, search and ads send you to secondary sites based on SEO (search engine optimization) results that just funnel traffic to a 24-hour cookie on Amazon or something like that. That’s not helping people.”

YouCode is built on the You.com platform to improve coding efficiency, Socher said. It uses the extensibility of the platform to apply the in-house You.com search capability to more than 20 of the most commonly used developer tools, such as Stack Overflow, GitHib, PyTorch, Hugging Face, PyPi, AWS, MDN, JSON formatter, AI-powered code completion & more. 

Key features for developers on YouCode

Other features on YouCode, according to Socher, include:

  • Code snippets in the results: The right answer to a coding query is never a blue link — it’s code and explanations. Without leaving the current window, devs can find code snippets with easy copy/paste buttons right next to them.
  • Code with AI assistance: YouCode’s AI can generate code based on a search query with Code Complete, an app that taps into a large neural net to autocomplete any developer-related query.
  • Skim through documentation faster: Quickly read through documentation from AWS or developer-focused publications like “Toward Data Science” using the preview panels that summarize what is most often helpful from a source.
  • Access tutorials and academic publications: Apps from W3 Schools are great for beginners, but more advanced developers can quickly jump to more complex tutorials. In addition to Github repos, they can discover great content from academic publications like Arxiv to dig into the “why” behind the code from the authors themselves.
  • Catch data errors faster: Validate any JSON file with the JSON Syntax Validator app right on the search results page.
  • Find colors: It’s easy to find the exact color by toggling with the hue and transparency scales. Copy the HEX, RGB, and HSV values to their clipboard to help find and use their color elsewhere.
  • Speed through websites: Access 13,000+ !bang shortcuts to go to other sites’ search results right from your search bar.

San Francisco-based You.com plans to allow external developers and organizations to build their own apps for the platform later this year as part of its mission to build an open, collaborative search experience, Socher said. 

“The goal is to give back control of the internet to users and the community,” he said. “Developers will be able to build apps that run within the search results pages, using state-of-the-art search technologies that You.com has developed as part of its search platform.” 

You.com will also open-source several of its popular apps so developers can work on improving search results for everyone, Socher said. Developers can get on a waiting list for the You.com developer program by submitting an inquiry here.

The new funding brings You.com’s total capital raised to $45 million since its inception in late 2020. In addition to Radical Ventures, returning seed round investors included Marc Benioff’s Time Ventures, Breyer Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Day One Ventures.

You.com is available on both Android and iOS and offers a Chrome extension to change a default search engine. It also features a coding-specific VS Code extension that you can use while coding to search for code snippets and stay in the flow.

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