Facebook will finally let you search your News Feed for specific posts your friends have made.
The new feature, rolling out in the US on the web and iOS app, will help people get more use out of the increasingly overcrowded News Feed and could make Facebook more useful, though it’s not going to replace Google for general web searches.
Today, it’s easy enough to search for a person, business, or interest page on Facebook. But say your friends were saying nasty things about the Oakland Raiders all week, and you want to find those posts to call them out after the Raiders’ upset win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Right now, if you search “Oakland Raiders,” you’ll get taken to their business page. But once this new change rolls out, you should actually be able to find those old posts, although you’ll still see the Raiders page. Same goes for searches like “Amy’s baby pictures” or “aunt Mary’s gin fizz recipe.”
Posts will be ranked based on “engagement” (how many other people interacted with them) and the closeness of the person to you (posts from friends will be ranked higher than posts from friends of friends).
While this will make Facebook more helpful for actual users, it could also make it harder for businesses to reach people through Facebook without advertising. This seems to be a bit of a trend at Facebook lately: last month, the company announced it would begin pushing down blatant business promotions in the News Feed.