Facebook is by far the biggest social network with over 845 million registered users, and counting. It's also preparing for its big public stock offering which could value the company at $100 billion or more. But heavy Facebook users also know that its search features are very poor compared to engines like Google and Bing.
Now it appears that Facebook is working harder to improve its search features which in the end could push the company into greater competition with Google. Businessweek.com reports, via unnamed sources, that Facebook currently has 24 team members, lead by a former Google employee, that is aiming to create a better search engine for the service.
The benefits of a better search experience will certainly help users who want to find specific information in their news feeds, Facebook pages and more. It will also help Facebook as it tries to gain more revenue from advertisers, something which Google has been successful with its own search engine.
The article states that Facebook had 336 million search queries on its site in February 2012. That's much smaller that the search results of comparable websites and well behind that of the current leader Google.
Facebook also has to be careful not to upset Microsoft. The two companies have a partnership that allows Microsoft's Bing search service access to Facebook, specifically to generate personal search results based on what the searcher's Facebook friends like.