Facebook Makes Another Move Into the Search Engine Market

Facebok has begun testing a new feature, Questions, where you can ask questions to the 500 million users of Facebook. At first, Questions is only available to a small group of users but Facebook plans on releasing it to all their users at a later time.

Questions is supposed to be a competitor to services such as Yahoo Answers, Twitter and search engines like Ask.com.

Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land says that “the core of a search is a question” and Facebook’s Questions will provide a more personalized search engine where the results are based on answers and recommendations from other users – including your friends, just like Mark Zuckerberg once said, the future will be an experience where your friends are guiding you online.

Nate Elliott from Forrester doesn’t think that Facebook’s motivation for launching Questions is a desire to compete on the search engine market, but rather a method to gain more data about each user:

The more they can get people to raise their hands and say ‘I want to know more about a subject’ or ‘I am an expert in a topic’, the more it allows them to target marketing and advertising.
Whenever it does anything new these days, you have to ask how does it help them collect more data and learn more about its users.

I tend to agree with Nate on this one. The amount of data that Facebook has on us is amazing – and scary. Unless you untick certain checkboxes, an application that your friend approves will also be able to access some of your information – without you knowing it. Visit your privacy page now to update your settings.

Click “Edit your settings” in the lower left corner below Applications and Websites.

Then edit settings for:

Info accessible through your friends
Control what information is available to applications and websites when your friends use them.


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4 thoughts on “Facebook Makes Another Move Into the Search Engine Market”

  1. No luck with Questions just yet, hoping to check it out soon and see how well it works. Now it’s all clear that Facebook wants to keep us all INSIDE its domain, ambitious isn’t it? It’ll be another new ‘favorites’ for sure, and probably another new hot topic at Facebook Help section (more technical issues?).

    Social/Blogging Tracker

  2. I think this concept has a huge potential to succeed. Any real-time forum to get quick answers to questions is what many people are looking for. As much as it doesn’t seem like a 1 on 1 competition against Google, you can’t help but think it will pull traffic away from them if implemented properly.


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