The last TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco was quite an event in the tech industry and what made it so interesting and left people talking about it was one simple sentence – “At some point, we’ll do it”. Yep, that was Mark Zuckerberg’s response when asked if Facebook was going into search. Speculations have been around for years as a couple of years ago Facebook began to surface web pages in its own search results in connection with how often people “liked” them. But this was the first time Zuckerberg directly addressed the question.
Facebook Is Into Search Already
Zuckerberg proudly stated: “We do a billion queries a day and we aren’t even trying”. For now the majority of Facebook searches are an attempt to find people already on the social network but some of them are also focused to finding brands and apps. Those queries are quite an attractive opportunity for Facebook to develop a full-featured search service. He said that the state of search has evolved and people nowadays use search engines not just to type a search term and get a list of relevant pages but to find answers to their questions. Facebook users currently can find answers to questions such as “where to eat sushi” or “where does my friend work” which is why Zuckerberg sees a big opportunity in search, but probably not in a Google like way. He also admitted that they have got a team working on search.
Facebook’s Unique Position
Being the most popular social network with over 955 million users, it means that Facebook has loads of personal information and could add the human factor to search results in such a way that no one else could.
Although Google is incorporating Google+ into their search, the search giant’s social network is far behind and this certainly gives Facebook an edge. As Gerry Campbell said: “Facebook might be the only company on earth that I think could truly go up against Google and win on the search side”.
“At Some Point We’ll Do it”
That’s what he said but are they really going to try and beat Google at their own game? Although Facebook is “uniquely positioned” and they currently have a team working on search, Zuckerberg did not sound 100% confident and also did not say when they would actually start working on search the way search engines do it. Besides, although Facebook has got valuable personal information, they will face a problem if they want to compete with the ‘actual’ search engines – the lack of site related data as their “Like” button does not index pages yet. It would be also interesting to see if Facebook are going to build their own search engine or they will combine efforts with their partners from Bing.
Watch Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook going into search below: