Facebook Is Building a Search Engine to Take on Google, Eventually

There are definite plans to build a better search engine, but they're not a priority

By on September 12th, 2012 11:41 GMT

This rumor has been around longer than the one with the Facebook phone, but unlike that one, Facebook building a search engine to compete with Google is actually true.

Well, it may be true, at some point in the future, Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt.

The site already sees one billion searches every day already and that's, as Zuck puts it, without "even trying."

Which is actually an understatement, Facebook search is probably the most ignored feature on the site that everyone still uses.

It's only really useful for searching for pages or people on Facebook and even then it's not very good, unless you have a good idea of what you're looking for.

But Zuckerberg is not blind to the potential. "There’s a big opportunity there," he said, referring to a more comprehensive search engine that included more than people.

He believes though that, once Facebook does decide to build a better search engine, it's not going to be like the ones we have today. Already, with Bing and Google, there's a bigger and bigger emphasis on answers rather than links.

And, obviously, the social component is going to play a big part. But he says that although there is a team at Facebook working on search, there's no big project and nothing to announce just yet.

While the social data seems like a gold mine, it hasn't actually been that useful to anyone just yet. Google's social search, which is now deeply integrated into the search engine, though you can turn it off, hasn't revolutionized anything. It's hard to tell whether anyone uses it or, rather, whether anyone finds it useful.

Same goes for Bing, Microsoft is lucky to have access to Facebook, but even that integration hasn't done any wonders and it certainly hasn't sent people running away from Google.

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Facebook's got the data to build a social search engine
   Facebook's got the data to build a social search engine