Technology: Jamie Riddell on the launch of Facebook’s own search engine

Jamie Riddell

Jamie Riddell - Credit: Archant

LOOKING back over the past year of articles, there are a lot of mentions of social networks. This is a technology column in a business publication, so why so much mention of Facebook?

Well, because Facebook is changing the way we do things which in turn has a major impact on how businesses perform.With one billion users and a ton of money, Facebook is set to be the next Google, and look how that changed our world.

So, whats new? In the past few weeks, Facebook announced their own search engine. Called “Open Graph Search” (it may well get a better name) this search engine will initially let anyone search content on Facebook. The “Open Graph” bit refers to connections Facebook indexes every hour.

Initially Facebook will allow you to search for People, Places or things. For example, show me everyone that likes Pink Floyd and Mexican food. For consumers this intersection of human interest will become an interesting search function to get more recommendations or to meet new people.

For business, this intersection offers a wealth of new opportunities to reach, engage and influence a wider audience. If you recall last month’s article we talked about how Google is trying to deliver ‘answers’ not ‘results’ in its search - now Facebook will do just that. Instead of delivering results based on the content of a page, Facebook will be delivering results based on real likes and interactions.

Initially the search results will be for content ON Facebook, which will push businesses to ensure all their content is within Facebook and is actively liked and shared. The future will then be for Facebook to start indexing “the web” ? you know those “Like” buttons you see on pages? They will be the next set of indicators for the Facebook search engine, so businesses will need to ensure their pages are liked and indexed for Facebook’s attention.

Search is currently in beta test in the US, meaning it is not fully launched and will go live in the States before we see it in the UK so don’t expect to see it in East Anglia until later this year. In the meantime, businesses should be ensuring their sites are no longer just “Google Friendly” but also “Facebook Friendly”.

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: : Jamie Riddell is an expert in digital trends and a director of Suffolk-based website and mobile app developer V4 Technical.

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