Can Facebook Launch a Search Engine to Rival Google?
Facebook has announced plans to integrate internet searches into its platform, keeping its users as connected to its service as possible. Rather than Facebook fans having to move off the platform to search in Google for a link to content, users will instead be able to search through Facebook itself.
At the present moment, iOS users in the United States have the ability to search for links from within Facebook’s domain, although currently it is not entirely certain if Facebook’s search engine scours the wider web or just finds links already posted to the platform.
Facebook has informed industry experts that it has already indexed over a trillion posts to find out which links are being shared and by whom, a feature that Google cannot currently encompass within its own searches.
It seems Facebook has decided this is the best method to keep its users on the platform. Rather than directing traffic elsewhere, Facebook’s plan is to host content directly in a bid to keep its users there. It has extensive plans for putting news directly and exclusively on its news feed, driving traffic to the site for news.
In an attempt to draw news providers to post their content on Facebook only, it has considered giving 100% of the proceeds from ad sales on news sites hosted by Facebook, a lucrative offer for those interested in reaching Facebook’s significant audience.
The move by Facebook could actually put a dent in search engine Google’s success. Currently owning about 90% of the search engine market, Google could lose a large chunk of its users to Facebook, which currently accounts for about 28 percent of all time spent on the internet. If Facebook can draw people into its platform for its traditional offering and keep them there rather than sending them out on the internet to search for links, it could take a large share of the search engine market.
Google’s advertising has already taken a bit of a blow in recent years, with mobile advertising proving its most difficult market. In 2014, it lost 7.8% of the ad market share that it had, accounting for only 38.2 percent. Facebook, on the other hand, rose in terms of ad shares. The easy availability of Facebook on mobiles and the simplicity of putting ads on the platform is proving hard to ignore.
All in all, Facebook’s latest plan is just one of many ideas the company has floated to find innovative ways of keeping its users on its platform. Time will tell as to whether it will grow to dominate the search engine market as Google has done.