Facebook Inc announced powerful updates to the way search works on the social network. And those should enable users to better search for topics being discussed in posts.
“Today, we’re updating Facebook Search so that in addition to friends and family, you can find out what the world is saying about topics that matter to you,” VP of Search, Tom Stocky said.
“When something happens in the world, people often turn to Facebook to see how their friends and family are reacting.”
The update was rolled out on Thursday for Android and Apple devices, as well as desktops, Stocky said.
Facebook Copies Twitter
The move comes as Facebook battles with Alphabet Inc and Twitter to be the key source of news, especially on mobile.
Earlier this month, Twitter Inc launched ‘Moments’ in an effort to capture real-time chat. The new tab prioritizes the micro-blog’s content for users who feel flooded by the sheer volume of tweets. The content is curated based on individual subjects to make information more readily available to users.
Facebook Inc ’s latest functionality seems to be a leaf out of Twitter’s book. Search FYI will seek to personalize search. The results will be a curated combination of the most popular public posts. Another added feature will be the ability to “check out an aggregate overview of sentiment.”
“When a link gets shared widely on Facebook, it often anchors an interesting public conversation. Now there’s a new way to quickly dive into that discussion,” Tom Stocky said.
Facebook Goes After Alphabet
Search is an important long-term project for Facebook Inc . It’s increasingly competing with Google for ad relevancy and enterprise customers. And analysts think the balance of power is slowly shifting.
“To me the story with Facebook is the amazing ROI,” Jim Cramer noted on CNBC. “Every CEO I know who uses them to advertise is getting it, starting with Domino’s and Dine Equity who think the payback is fabulous.”
The ambitious initiative to ‘index the world’s conversation’ should keep even more people away from Google. Facebook said its users are already making more than 1.5B searches a day. The indexing of posts should only increase that number.
Facebook Inc ’s long-term commitment to make search a better experience is among its top most priorities. It believes it can deliver customized info that users can’t get from search engines or any other social network.
“There’s just so much content that’s unique to the Facebook ecosystem,” Mark Zuckerberg said last year. “We can answer questions for you that really no other service can.”
Shares of Facebook Inc closed Thursday at $99.67. Alphabet Inc ’s stock ended the last trading session at $651.79.