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Facebook now facilitates searching for old posts

December 10, 2014

Facebook introduced its new search feature today, which will allow users to search old posts with greater ease. Some analysts believe this may have negative implications for Google.

Facebook introduced its new search feature today, which will allow users to search old posts with greater ease. Some analysts believe this may have negative implications for Google.

Searching content on social media
Sifting through old Facebook posts was a tedious and difficult thing to do as the site did not allow for straightforward searching based on criteria. However, according to CNet, Facebook received an upgrade on Monday. The company released its update to search and now users can  search for old posts across their account with greater ease, as well as look for content that has been shared with them from friends and public pages. The new feature was rolled out to iPhone and desktop users only, but functionality is expected to be introduced for Android soon. 

Facebook users will know the feature is working for their account when they see an alert below the search box indicating that searching for posts has been enabled. Similar to a Google search, all that is needed is a few keywords to get going. The Graph Search will auto-populate as words are typed and users can pick which post they want to see. Suggestions are not presented in chronological order though, so scrolling through the list may be necessary to find the desired posts.

Why Facebook search threatens Google
Previously, one of the best things about Google Plus was that it was easy to navigate. While Facebook is vastly more popular than Google Plus, its main drawback was that it did not allow for practical archiving and searching of old content. With the recent changes however, Google Plus really does not have any advantage over Facebook, according to Time. 

Another possible point of concern for Google is that Facebook users may redirect some Internet searches away from Google Search and conduct them on Facebook instead. This could result in fewer people using Google’s biggest source of revenue. For example, if a person is looking for a song by a particular artist, that person may look for a friend’s post on Facebook that mentioned that song instead of going to Google.  

According to Time, Google Search is a very profitable business for Google and company-owned sites are responsible for approximately 69 percent of the $16.52 billion the company earned in revenue for the third quarter this year. It is not known how much of that revenue is attributed to advertising sales, but estimates are in the 50 percent range, according to the news source.

Time noted that Google’s Search is showing signs of slowing down. Facebook’s new upgrade will only contribute to that trend. If users become more inclined to search for certain topics on social media rather than on Google, it may give Facebook a head start at stealing some market share away from the world’s leading search provider. Additionally, it is important to mention that Facebook is the leader in driving traffic on mobile devices. As consumers increasingly use their mobile devices for research and e-commerce purchases, Facebook will continue to grow in strength and rival the might of Google. 

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