Just before Apple announced the Phone 5, Mark Zuckerberg talked with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt, and the most compelling thing they discussed was a Facebook search engine. Up until then, such a project was only a rumor. But from the tenor of their conversation, it seems that Facebook is well on its way to developing one.
We’re basically doing 1 billion queries a day and we’re not even trying. Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. At some point we’ll do it. We have a team working on it.
TechCrunch thinks it would be interesting to see whether or not Bing will be included in the new engine’s equation. After all, Microsoft is a close partner and investor in Facebook and could give the social media pioneer access to the Bing API. At the same time, Facebook brings more than 1 billion users to the table, as well as their queries, statistics and so on.
To better understand the companies’ relationship, remember that Bing currently returns results from Facebook, just like Google did in the past. The situation changed when Google+ was released and was favored in its results. Bing could also change when Microsoft decides to integrate its So.Cl into its search engine.
The whole aggregated information concept is coming to a head. Recently, a number of Facebook users accused the company of tracking their online activity. Not long ago Business Insider described how Facebook tracks what users search, visit and read. There have also been complaints that the company mines private emails for consumer information.
Facebook has access to a huge amount of information about its users, and building a search engine to exploit it is the next logical step. If in a few months you log in and Facebook gives you tips based on what you searched the day before, try not to panic. Like it or not, it will become the new normal.
Information mining as “the new normal?” Yes or now? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
- Zuckerberg On Building A Search Engine [TechCrunch]
- This Is How Facebook Is Tracking Your Internet Activity [Business Insider]