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Facebook Increases Search Options

Alex Christie

12 November 2007

Is David challenging Goliath?

In a bid to expand its offerings, Facebook has now increased its search options by allowing users to search for advertising pages.

This addition, further adds to the speculation that Facebook is out to challenge the giant search engine Google. Comparisons have been made to the story of David and Goliath, and we all know who won that battle. Considering the amount and type of data that Facebook has, they could clone a “typical” search engine and perhaps build on Microsoft’s search engine. The result could be one that potentially rivals Google.

Over time, Facebook could use the data to enhance search results based on what networks of friends click, an idea some call “social search.” If successful, might Facebook develope a major sustainable competitive advantage in search over Google? This would surely create a buzz — enough excitement that people would notice, and start trying it out. It has to be mentioned that Facebook would be entering into territory where others have failed. Despite major investments, Yahoo! and Microsoft both fell dismally short of making even a little ground on Google. But Facebook has some other big advantages: It is still private, and resides just miles from Google’s campus. Luring over top search experts with stock options (albeit, expensive ones) could be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Research indicates that Facebook users do more than 600 million searches per month. While there search features are almost strictly social at this point, with a bit of awareness and education Facebook could soon announce itself as the next search engine giant or maybe even giant killer…



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