There has been a lot of attention lately about Facebook starting to develop its own search engine. Facebooks most recent developments, Facebook launched Timeline for brands and new advertising formats such as Reach Generator enables brands to pay more to ensure that their posts get on 75% of their fans news feed. There is no timetable for this, but Facebook tends to move quickly. And the goal here is to take advantage of the content Facebook users create every day, including likes, comments, status updates, and interactions on brand pages. Also new engineer recruitments spark speculation about Facebook developing its own search engine.
Searching the social network could get a lot better in the near future. About two dozen Facebook engineers, led by a former Google engineer named Lars Rasmussen, are working on an improved search engine, say two people familiar with the project who did not want to be named because of the quiet period the company is in with its IPO ahead. The goal, they say, is to help users better dig 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 thumbs-up button. Users already can “like the most interesting content, best articles, deals and offers and just improving that data will make Facebook a more effective search engine. Facebook will more likely launch a better search functionality that will catch on because brands need to focus on the vision of the “semantic web” where the search engines provide the user with direct answers to their questions based on their own interests and that of their friends.
For example, a Facebook search in the future may mean a wine- lover could easily find local wine dealer that have been liked the most on Facebook, or that have the most check-ins. Facebook doesn’t want users to leave the network, and if it can provide personally relevant searches, there’s one less reason to click over to Google.
Facebook search will come. It may take years but it’s going to get here eventually and its an irresistible opportunity with a great source of revenue. There is a huge amount of revenue waiting for Facebook if they can figure out search-based pay per click advertising. They are already superior to Google in terms of ad targeting because they already have the data, user interests and demographic information to target based on very specific things that a user has “liked”. By adding search to the mix you are targeting users while they are actively searching something out.
What will be Facebook’s plans be to enter the search engine market and how will they work with brands to keep the consumers engaged with Facebook?