Is Facebook about to launch a search engine?

Facebook is due to make a major announcement this evening, and word from the rumour mill says that it could be about to release its very own search engine.

The social media giant has already sent out invitations to journalists, asking them to “come and see what we’re building”, but have otherwise declined to comment on what the mysterious creation may be. However, a wealth of industry experts has put their money on the search function.

Professional predictions

“If Facebook would decide to become serious about search, it would be in a position to give Google a run for its money,” Karsten Weide, an analyst with IDC, told the New York Times. Patrick Riley, founder of Ark, reinforced this opinion: “Everyone wants to get to the ultimate personal assistant – as it any question and it can give you the right answer. Facebook has the advantage of social data. No other company has that kind of social data.”

Website Pocket-lint has claimed that the search engine is definitely in the works: “Sources who don’t wish to be named have confirmed to Pocket-lint that the big announcement at the company’ event will focus on the new search feature with an expected roll-out shortly afterwards. Although the information is light on detail, the source is trusted and has given us legitimate information before.”

Whilst their announcement has yet to be confirmed officially, the idea that Facebook is creating a search engine is certainly not unfathomable. In fact, founder Mark Zuckerberg has mentioned the possibility in previous interviews.

“I think search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers, not just ‘type in something and show me some relevant stuff’ but ‘I have this specific question, answer this question for me,” he commented at a conference sponsored by TechCrunch. “When you think about it from that perspective, Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have.”

Going for Google?

The media coverage of the development is all well and good, but if and when a Facebook search engine is announced, the one reaction that everyone will be anticipating is that of Google. If Facebook successfully executes a search tool that gives users results based on the preferences and recommendations of their friends, this could give them a real advantage over Google, which, in the main, returns content written and endorsed by strangers.

The impending announcement could have a huge impact on the future of search as we know it, and here at Write My Site we’ll be following this story with interest as it unfolds! Stay tuned for our report on the announcement and what it may mean for content marketing …