Rumor: Is Facebook pushing for better search features?

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.

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They need to better their search for "x" engine. Searching for anyone is a pain in the ass when in other social networks you can search by birthday year, sex, age, location, name, etc etc...

Sounds good, although I think the current search works for what it aims to do. You can narrow down user search results by geographic area, education, work, and other bits of information. I think it's good for user search. Facebook Page search could perhaps be improved, though. I often find spam/junk pages getting in the way when trying to find the official page for something. Here, the number of "likes" field shown is useful though. Still annoying that the junk pages get so much attention in search though.

What I find Facebook is lacking though, is a post search like Google+. I want to be able to make better use of all the public information people post on Facebook, including from people I'm not friends with. This is an excellent feature of Google+, where I can search for e.g. my camera brand and get tons of results both from user talking about it, as well as photo galleries using that camera. Same goes for computers, brands, and much, much more there.

Search is probably, perhaps not surprisingly, Google+'s strongest card. And yes, there are easily enough users there to find useful information via search on that network.

x-byte said,
A spam filter for the news feed would be better

If people are being spammy, just change your subscription settings to show less updates from them. The minimum setting basically only shows major events in their life, like relationship changes. They won't know you have changed their setting, so no offense will be taken.

If games you don't care about are showing up, block them.