Facebook could be building a search engineto change the scenario in social search, according to Mashable, since social networks lack the ability to let users receive relevant results (say, for example, returning a particular restaurant when you searched for it– instead of showing people who worked at the restaurant, different types of food and everything other than that one query).
According to the report, the search engine in question would be fuelled by your friends’ likes, your location and the like. Basically, the engine would be powered by the concept of the social search—a concept so powerful it could challenge even Google at its own game.
What makes this move even more compelling is the fact that Facebook has (according to Bloomberg’s Businessweek) deployed a dozen search engineers along with Lars Ramussen, a former Google engineer to improve the search experience on the social network.
Where is Facebook in the search engine scenario?
As of now, Facebook is nowhere in the search scenario, and AOL, Ask, and Amazon deal with much more queries than the social network. But if Google believes in the combined power of social media and search, as noted in a report by Business Insider, (which is what led to the birth of Google+), Facebook could be backed with a pretty powerful product.
However, “Search Plus Your World” returned tepid results for Google, and Facebook would be wise, (as would be expected) to not go down that lane, noted Pascal Emmanuel Gobry, an analyst at Business Insider. “They’d be smarter to do an AOL-type deal where they outsource search to Microsoft for a fee,” he said, in a discussion about Facebook’s plans.
So is Facebook doing anything related to search?
Facebook is apparently aiming to try and improve its internal search, and Businessweek’s two sources,(who didn’t want to be named because of the company’s quiet period ahead of its IPO), said that the purpose behind this move is to help users sift through the huge volume of content that members create on the site better.
So although all of this is focused on improving the internal search engine on Facebook, most people (on a number of tech news sites, such as Techmeme) are speculating if this move could prove to be one that opposes Google itself. A Facebook spokesperson said “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation around products,” but if the social network will be moving into search, it could prove to be quite a competitor to Google, which is moving more and more into the realm of social media rather than just concentrating on search.
But what do you think? Would the world of search be better with a more social competitor to Google? Would you use Google lesser if Facebook came up with a comprehensive search engine? Sound off in the comments section.