The New Facebook Search

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As you may know, Facebook greatly expanded its search offerings last month when it launched the ability to search posts. You can now search keywords and get back results from people and pages you’re connected to. It instantly made Facebook a lot more useful as a search tool because it gives you access to content that’s not getting indexed by Google. This is often content that’s particularly relevant based on your personal connections to its creators.

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For example, you can easily find your friends’ posts about soup to get some ideas for your next soup batch. If you have one friend in particular that you consider a soup whiz, you can easily find his or her soup posts.

There’s a lot of speculation about where Facebook might be headed with search. Facebook released its Q4 and full year 2014 earnings on Wednesday. During the conference call that followed, CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked a little bit about the company’s search efforts.

While Zuckerberg didn’t exactly drop any bombshells, he did offer his thoughts on the company’s search direction. From his prepared remarks (via SeekingAlpha’s transcript):

Search at Facebook is another important effort that we expect to create a lot of value over the next few years. In this quarter, we launched updates to Facebook search to make it easier to find content and posts on mobile and desktop. We’re going to continue listening the feedback from our community and commit time to build really valuable products here. We’re optimistic about our ability to deliver value that only Facebook is able to provide.
During the Q&A session, Zuckerberg was asked to talk more about Facebook’s approach to search. He said:

So, our view on this is that there is a lot of unique content that people have shared in Facebook, a lot of personal content, recommendations from friends that you can get that you just wouldn’t be able to get through a traditional web search service or other app. And we’re on this multiyear voyage to basically index all the content and make it available to people and rank it well. We started off by launching graph search which I think included more than a trillion different connections in the first system.

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