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Facebook search: Can it compete with Google?

Despite Facebook’s IPO on the stock market being described as a “disappointment” by the social media site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, it appears that the company’s stock is now definitely on the up.

This comes after a 30-minute talk at TechCrunch Disrupt by the CEO last Tuesday saw the company’s share price soar from $19.46 to $22.00.

One reason for this renewed faith in the site from investors was Zuckerberg’s references to search, which some have taken as an indication that the company is forging ahead with plans to create a search engine.

Facebook search: What can we expect?

Zuckerberg was recently knocked off the top spot on the annual MediaGuardian 100 list by Google’s Larry Page, so a move into search could be a direct attempt to see Facebook reclaim pole position in the battle of the technology giants.

Confirming that the company had a team working on a search function, and that the company will do it ‘at some point’, Zuckerberg detailed how Facebook would fit into the current search engine market:

“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,”

“When you think about it from that perspective, Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. Which of my friends or friends of friends work at a company that I’m interested in working at because I want to talk to them about what it’s going to be like to work there?”

Facebook search: A focus on answers, not results

If a Facebook search is realised it may set itself apart from the competition, such as the likes of Bing, Yahoo, by working alongside Google.

Where Google’s deep index of the world’s hyperlinks would continue to be internet surfers’ first port of call, Facebook could take advantage of information it already holds on through check-ins, photos, biographical data, and stories published to friends to answer a host of questions.

Zuckerberg gave the example of eating out:

“What sushi restaurants have my friends gone to in New York in the last six months and Liked?”

While Facebook search seems unlikely to compete with Google on a like for like basis, it will certainly give those in techie circles food for thought.

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