Facebook becomes more searchable
Instead of coasting over to Google when an event or situation tickles your fancy on Facebook, you can now stay right where you are and type your query into the search bar.
Yep, we’re talking about the same search bar that’s only function several years ago was to link a face to a name.
Not only might your results be as inclusive as Google’s (according to Facebook), but they will also be catered to you based on your posts, likes, friend requests, etc.
Time to check your privacy settings
Since Facebook monopolizes most of our online time, it comes as no surprise that its index is on the plus side of two trillion posts. As long as the post is public, it’s now searchable. The steak dinner you had last night, your opinion of the week’s big SEC matchup and the last picture you took is now searchable by anyone. Scary thought, right?
With the rollout, various concerns have emerged regarding privacy – especially since FB hopes that this searchable upgrade will encourage users to release more public posts.
Though, FB has created this update in an attempt to become a more reputable search engine, it also brings into focus two troubling facts: 1. Once you’ve posted something on social media it never really goes away, and 2. Anyone can search for it.
How Facebook Search works
For instance, if you were looking for the final score of the last Gator game, you’d type it into your search bar and the results would be presented to you as a list with the most relevant results atop. Perhaps the first resource on the list would be from ESPN, and the last might be a complete stranger’s take on the game.
So you can search current events in real-time, but what else can FB’s new search function do, you might ask? Well, it also works like a post time capsule.
Remember that hugely controversial news article out of your hometown back in 2010? After typing a few words in your search bar, you could be staring at the scathing comment you left five years ago.
Who is Facebook trying to be?
One might argue that Facebook released its latest search function to rival Twitter’s new “Moments” feature (a tool that combines all the most popular stories of the day into one section).
However, Facebook bigwigs believe that creating a database of searchable posts was merely the next step in social media evolution (and we believe it’s their attempt to compete with Google Search). The new function isn’t accompanied by any special marketing or branding.
Now all that’s left to do is sit and wait. Either this new utility will take root, while millions of people creating public posts and utilize the service, or FB users will reconsider the power of posts that never disappear.