Facebook announced some new search capabilities, potentially making the social network better for finding updates relevant to things you're looking for or interested in learning about. Naturally, anything that makes it easier for users to find things can only benefit pages providing what they're looking for.
Are you making efforts to improve your visibility in Facebook search? Do you see this as a chance to get in front of more people? Discuss.
In an email to WebProNews, a spokesperson for the company said, "Search is an important, long-term effort at Facebook."
Facebook users will now be able to search over both their friends' posts and public posts.
As Facebook VP of Search Tom Stocky writes in a Facebook update, "As you type in the search box, you'll now see timely, personalized suggestions. You can dive into something that's happening right now and follow popular stories as they unfold. You'll quickly get a pulse for what the world is saying based on the stories, experiences, and perspectives that people have shared publicly."
"When a link gets shared widely on Facebook, it often anchors an interesting public conversation," he says. "Now there’s a new way to quickly dive into that discussion. With one tap, you can find public posts about a link, see popular quotes and phrases mentioned in these posts, and check out an aggregate overview of sentiment. This feature is a first step—we look forward to people using it and giving us feedback so we can make it even better."
Facebook already claims to be getting 1.5 billion searches per day and that it has over 2 trillion posts in its index. But why exactly would you use Facebook for search? The short answer is that Facebook has a ton of content that traditional search engines just can't give you.
"The diverse experiences and perspectives that are shared on Facebook can’t be found anywhere else," says Stocky. "Your search results are personalized and unique to you and, as always, you can only see things that have been shared with you. Likewise, you control who can see your posts on Facebook and it’s easy to change the audience of your past posts any time."
Marketers have been keeping an eye on Facebook's search efforts for quite a while now. When Facebook launched Graph Search a few years ago, it became clear that this was something the company was beginning to take seriously, and given that most businesses have Facebook pages (as they make for an easy, and pretty much mandatory online presence), being found in search results is of the utmost importance.
This will be even more the case for businesses taking advantage of Facebook's growing number of business and ecommerce tools, such as the new shopping and service sections recently unveiled for pages. If you're using Facebook to sell things, the search function is likely going to be one of your best friends (or enemies).
As Facebook continues to make improvements to search, there are a couple of places marketers will want to continue to monitor. Facebook has a site dedicated to what it's doing in search at search.fb.com, for one. The company also announced on Thursday that has launched a new channel in the Facebook Newsroom called Search FYI. This should serve as the search counterpart to the News Feed FYI channel, which is used to announce changes to how Facebook shows content in the News Feed.
The new search capabilities are rolling out in US English on iPhone, Android, and desktop.
What improvements could Facebook make to its search feature that would help your business? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Images via Facebook