After the Instagram acquisition and a new timeline layout, it’s clear that Facebook is not a company afraid to take risks or afraid of a challenge. And so with that said, enter Facebook’s potentially biggest undertaking yet—a Facebook search engine. Although Google has been the dominant player in the search market, CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg sees a lot of potential in Facebook to be a competitor (and he’s likely not the only one). Zuckerberg explained at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference that they already have a team working on the new idea.
This then brings about quite a few questions from users as well as businesses: What will the search engine look like? What will this mean for Google? And finally, when can we expect the search engine?
Why a Facebook Search Engine Has a Good Chance of Success
Google has managed to weed out the relevancy of quite a few search engines including AskJeeves.com and even Yahoo!, making it difficult for others to compete. However, Facebook has quite a few advantages that the majority of other startup companies simply do not:
- The social network already has an abundance of personal information from its 845 million active users. This will help the search engine display the most relevant results.
- Zuckerberg also explained at a Disrupt convention that the network is already doing 1 billion queries a day without even trying. In other words, there is already an interest.
- Facebook has a solid relationship with Microsoft, the company behind the third largest search engine, Bing; therefore helping give Facebook a good resource when it comes time to really build something. Whether or not the two will actually work together is unknown.
- Google results aren’t what they used to be. With all of the Penguin and Panda updates, it seems that news articles are always at the top and it’s harder to find specific information. According to Seeking Alpha, Google is only winning by sheer force and brand power, and Facebook can fight against that.
Now that Google has introduced Google+ and tried to connect the search engine with social, it only makes sense that Facebook would try to keep up with its own search engine. It’s the obvious next step, and Zuckerberg knows that.
What the Facebook Search Engine Will Look Like
Zuckerberg explained that it doesn’t seem as though people are necessarily typing a search into a search engine to get a list of relevant results. Instead, it seems that search is trending toward asking a question and wanting a specific answer, and this is where Facebook wants to focus.
It is no secret that marketers would be thrilled to be able to combine a social strategy and an SEO strategy (a one-stop-shop so to say). This idea has been working for Google with the introduction of Google+, but the results haven’t been amazing. Will going from social to search be easier for Facebook than Google having to go from search to social? Only time will tell.