Is Facebook Trying to Become An Actual Search Engine?
Recently, Facebook has become synonymous with online social interactions. With 1.55 billion monthly active users, it’s undoubtedly the dominant social media platform that reels in millions of monthly advertising revenue. A 2014 Shareaholic Study reveals Facebook drives 25% of all social referral traffic online compared to just 0.88% for Twitter, making it the juggernaut of referral traffic. As it continues to branch out and reach more audience, would it be so far-fetched to say this social media site is trying to compete with the online behemoth known as Google? Is Facebook trying to become an actual search engine?
Search with Friends’ PostsIn 2014, Facebook enabled search within friends’ posts. The idea was first introduced in 2013, when Facebook announced that users would be able to search for public posts from users they didn’t follow. The update was never rolled out for public consumption. Facebook said during testing, they found out that people were more interested in posts from friends and pages they Liked, meaning users cared more about who’s posting than what’s being posted. That’s what the update focused on: search within posts of friends and Liked Pages.
Search Within Public PostsIn October 2015, Facebook added the ability to search within public posts, enhancing its utility as a source of real-time information. In an article announcing the update, Facebook VP of Search Tom Stocky said the company sees “over 1.5 billion searches per day and over 2 trillion posts in our index.” This update was said to deliver a number of improvements, including:
Search results with public posts and posts from friends
More personalized and more timely search suggestions
The ability to search public conversations