Facebook’s Search FYI has made trillions of posts searchable, allowing users to easily browse through public posts dating from the early beginnings of the social platform.
The networking powerhouse headquartered in Menlo Park, California, seeks to compete against Google and Twitter’s recently launched Moments, by providing people with an alternative way of searching for content.
The announcement has been made by company officials on Thursday, and it appears that the revamped search feature will significantly broaden the amount of information that users can access on the social platform.
Not only will this feature allow conducting searches when it comes to status updates or other stories posted by people in the user’s friend list, but it will also permit browsing through content made public by other individual users, and also by companies on their official profiles.
According to Tom Stocky, director of product management of Facebook, this will allow members of the hugely popular network to gain deeper insight into matters of interest, by finding information within a much broader number of sources, totalling 2 trillion indexed posts.
Apparently, the updated Search FYI functions similarly to the “Trending Topics” feature. When Facebook members open the search bar, they will now see personalized suggestions, and once they enter their desired topic they will be presented with a broad list of search results.
These will include public posts, quotes and phrases issued by people across the entire network, ranked based on how relevant or popular those pieces of information are.
The first search results to be listed will be stories posted by trusted news sites, regarding the selected topic.
Afterwards, the user will see posts on that subject written by family and friends, and below them trending links and quotes will appear.
An “aggregate overview of sentiment” will also be provided, according to company officials. Last on this hierarchy will be relevant posts written by random people, outside the user’s social circle.
While this might leave some platform members fearful that now numerous strangers will breech their privacy by accessing their older posts without their knowledge, there is one simple step that can be taken to prevent such occurrence.
Users must only click “See More Settings” under Account Settings and Privacy, and select the””Who can see my stuff?”option. By ticking on “Limit Past Posts”, they will be able to make their older content viewable just by friends, while at the same time hiding it from search results.
The new feature’s ultimate aim is to turn Facebook into a veritable search engine, catered for those who seek real-time information on breaking stories and other important global events.
This might make it redundant to actually leave the platform and seek information on Google and other search engines, because everything that users might want to find out will already be readily available to them using Search FYI.
Aside from allowing Facebook members to search for content more easily and conveniently, this move has the potential to become extremely beneficial for the company also, because it can boost user engagement, by promoting global dialogue and interaction.
This is turn could generate even more significant traffic, which would translate in increased ad revenues.
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