Join

Enter Details

Comment on stories, receive email newsletters & alerts.

@
This is your permanent identity for Business Insider Australia
Your email must be valid for account activation
Minimum of 8 standard keyboard characters

Subscribe

Email newsletters but will contain a brief summary of our top stories and news alerts.

Forgotten Password

Enter Details


Back to log in

Facebook thinks it has found a way to hurt Google's search business

Mark zuckerburgReuters/Stephen Lam

Facebook is testing its own search engine, which will allow users to find and post links to articles without venturing anywhere near Google. 

The new feature is part of Facebook’s plan to keep internet users within its own ecosystem, stopping them from ending their mobile browsing session because of the awkward experience of finding, copying and pasting a link from Google. 

Some users of Apple’s  iOS mobile system in the US can now click on a new “add a link” button, which allows them to search for the link they want to share from within Facebook’s app. The keyword search sorts results by the likelihood of them being shared, prioritising newer or highly shared articles. Once they have picked the article they want from the results list, the user can publish the comment or status update as normal.  It is not clear whether Facebook’s search engine is looking for links inside Facebook or externally on the web.

Facebook told TechCrunch that it had indexed over 1 trillion posts to find out which posts were being shared, and who had shared them — data that Google doesn’t have access to.

The entire scheme is part of a larger ploy to keep users on Facebook. The social network has already announced plans to host articles natively on the News Feed, and split ad revenue favourably with publishers. If Facebook sells an ad, it will keep just 30% of its revenue, The Wall Street Journal reports. In order to woo publishers, the site is considering giving them 100% of revenue from ads they sell on Facebook-hosted news sites. 

As native advertising grows, Google’s advertising business faces more challenges on mobile especially. The company lost mobile ad market share in 2014, according to eMarketer, down to 38.2% in 2014 from 46% in 2013. Facebook’s ad share rose to 17.4%  in 2014 from 16.4% in 2013. Google has had a boost in the first three months of 2015, as the lower rates charged for mobile advertising, which had previously worried investors, were outweighed by the number of ads sold. 

By making it easy to find and recommend articles and other sites, Facebook is creating an ecosystem that — it hopes — will give users less and less reason to leave. 

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.

Tagged In

facebook google search uk