Facebook is working to challenge Google’s search engine by giving one of the most complete, and important updates to its search platform yet.
The update to search will allow Facebook users to search through posts – no matter how old they are. This is an update that many have wanted to see for some time. The ability to search by keyword, instead of just being able to search by name – allows for serious growth in the reach Facebook has for its content. The company already expressed that they see individual posts as answers to un-asked questions – so it isn’t a reach to assume that Facebook – in theory – is working to reach a much larger audience than they currently do.
Now things like real estate and medical services are fair game to be searched. This improvement means that for people like Sharon Steele, who is a real estate agent based in Westfield, New Jersey noted that social networks like Facebook – serve an incredibly large audience for finding things like homes for sale, or even working to sell a home more efficiently. She points to her own Facebook following, who ‘like’ her page in an effort to find out about real estate listings from the agent themselves. She has nearly 12,000 likes on her Facebook page alone.
Another area that could see vast growth thanks to the addition of Facebook search would be the medical field. People searching for medical services, doctors, and potential illnesses – in theory – could be searched by keyword. Here again, this would be an opportunity for Facebook to eventually challenge Google in search. Of course, the other reality is that marketers and advertisers will be flocking to this service undoubtedly adding as many ads as possible, and that will generate its own benefit for Facebook.
Right now the update is only available for iOS users, but the expectation is that Android users will not have to wait much longer for the update that will allow them to also have the updated keyword search integrated into the app. Undoubtedly, when this is ‘live’ on both operating systems it should begin having an immediate impact on how Facebook users interact with search on the social network – and perhaps down the line, really begin to compete with Google’s massive market share in the search space.