Will social search on Facebook be Google’s toughest challenge yet?

On further reflection Facebook’s announcement regarding upgraded search could be the biggest tech news today.

Why? Well, Facebook graph search for posts and updates will make the network MUCH easier to discover fresh content relevant to a given person, place or thing, both for journalists and regular users.

Right now, search just turns up profiles and pages, not posts.

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Combined with a “business graph,” locations and secure payment systems, such a search engine could become useful to a billion Facebook users quickly.

Over time, searches will generate a huge amount of interest data and potentially a new source of revenue, if Facebook adapts Google’s model of selling ads next to results.

Search for Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and other mobile social networks to come could well evolve similarly, if not at the same massive scale.

Agree? Disagree? Thoughts? Have links to better and/or relevant analysis? Please share in the comments.

Update: Commenting on Google+, open standards advocate Chris Messina agreed that this is notable news, although how big “depends on coverage for normal searches (which would determine search quality perception) and the relative impact of the corpus being mostly ACL’d content.”

Still, wrote Messina, “it’s a big deal, especially if Facebook can annotate that data with intent/verb-based apps. For example, query: “restaurants in New York City that my friends like and I haven’t been too”. I’d expect to see apps I use in the results, like OpenTable or Foursquare.”

He also raised a wrinkle I hadn’t considered: “That’s another aspect of this that becomes big for developers (at some point) — search as a personalized app platform.”

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1 Comment

Filed under article, social media, technology

One response to “Will social search on Facebook be Google’s toughest challenge yet?

  1. I definitely think the move towards social is a threat to Google, and Facebook have finally added the common-sense searching of posts. There’s a couple of posts below that summarise some thoughts about this whole area, the main points being:

    – most “social search” we see comprises “searching the social Web”, whch limits the content that can be returned
    – our motivations for sharing on social media are very different than when we search, so the 2 activities don’t necessarily play well as part of a search solution
    – the content we share on social media isn’t a true reflection of our interests, so using these posts as a basis for user profiling might result in inaccurate recommendations

    http://www.heystaks.com/social-web-search-vs-social-web-search/

    http://www.heystaks.com/the-altruistic-sharer/

    http://www.heystaks.com/public-vs-private-parts-personas-sharing-on-the-recommendation-web/

    Interested to hear what others think!

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