Bloomberg Business Week has reported that Facebook is seriously working on a search engine, or at least an improvement to its current one. Currently Facebook has some 800 million users, most of which who actively use the website every day to interact with their friends, family and brands. Bloomberg says that roughly two dozen Facebook engineers are working on “an improved search engine” with the effort being led by former Google employee Lars Rasmussen. I guess Google and Lars don’t have a non-compete in place that would prevent ex-Googler’s from working with competitors like Facebook.

Facebook itself has been quiet about the fact detailing their work on a new and improved search engine that would compete with Google. Perhaps they are under wraps because of the IPO that is still being tightened up.

The Goals of the New Facebook Search Engine

Bloomberg references that people familiar with the project have a goal of helping users “better sift through the volume of content that members create on the site, such as status updates, and the articles, videos, and other information across the Web that people “like” using Facebook’s omnipresent thumbs-up button.”

Facebook’s Current Search Engine

Currently Facebook’s search feature is a bit of a mess. In my experience the tool never really produces the information I am looking for even when I type in the exact name of the person or brand I am searching. Right now Facebook, like Google, has various tools that allow you refine your search including: all results, people, pages, places, groups, apps, events, music, web results (Bing), posts by friends, public posts, and posts in groups.

What Is the Value of a Better Facebook Search Engine?

Obviously competing with Google for search engine space would be a huge asset to advertisers and stock holders. Although it wouldn’t seem like Facebook would aim to produce results in the same manner as Google. Here’s why: people are searching for content in more ways than ever and using the power of their networks to find it. This is why Google developed Google+, a social network that was supposed to connect like-minded people with the content they had or could have in common.

Perhaps if Facebook utilized its metrics to provide unique results to everyone than it could benefit from being a different type of search engine entirely. Google is likely not going to be replaced any time soon but as people continue to spend more time in social media networks it could threaten their market share, particularly in the paid ads segment.

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Posted in: Blog, Social Media Marketing by on April 5th, 2012 Comments (0)

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