Facebook just made its search function a lot more powerful.
The company announced on its blog that it’s updating search to make it possible for users to search its users’ 2 trillion indexed, public posts on any topic, making it easier to find real-time information and relevant conversations.
For example, if you searched a term like “Syria” or “Mets World Series,” you’d no longer see a list of suggested groups, Pages, or events. Instead, you’ll be directed to a personalised, curated feed with relevant posts and photos from friends and strangers alike.
Facebook will also make suggestions, so if you stared searching “water,” it may suggest “water on Mars.”
“Search results are organised to help you cut through the noise and quickly understand what the world is saying about a topic in the moment,” Facebook says.
Here’s a look at what search results would look like:
And here’s another look at it in action:
This move fires a huge shot at both Twitter and Google.
Twitter just launched Moments, which promises to show users the most important tweets and information about newsworthy events in real-time. Facebook’s new search essentially makes it a more personalised version of Moments.
It’s also a threat to Google, as Facebook aims to keep people on its platform. If users feel like they can find all the information they need about a topic on Facebook — and personalised to boot — they might make more searches on the social network rather than turning to Google’s search engine.
When CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted on Facebook’s Q2 earnings conference call that users make 1.5 billion search queries per day and the site has indexed more than 2 trillion posts, it perked a lot of interest.
Although Facebook told The Verge that it isn’t announcing any new search ad products right now, investors probably see this announcement as a good sign.
After the Q2 earnings, analysts from BAML immediately began thinking of the potential for new revenue streams, and pegged search as a $US5 billion opportunity for Facebook.
Here’s Facebook’s video explaining the new feature:
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