Speaking at Tech-Crunch, Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg admitted publicly that Facebook has aspirations of competing head to head with Google in the search engine market.
During the Fireside Chat, Facebook’s CEO went on to talk about other rumours and killed dead the idea of the Facebook phone of which he said “the phone doesn’t make any sense.”
From a freelance seo consultant point of view though, the most important and interesting revelation is that of Facebooks ambitions to move into the search sphere, a market which Zuckerberg recognises they’d be ideally placed to make a competing platform to the virtual monopoly of Google.
In fact he went further to state Facebook is already doing the business of search engines, in that it’s answering the questions that people are asking. He stated “we’re basically doing 1 billion queries a day and that’s not even trying.” This isn’t just a pipe-dream either as Zuckerberg confirmed with the words “we’ll do it at some point. we have a team working on it.”
Whilst Google saw this coming and started to build and promote Google+ it may be Facebook that has the last laugh, with the wealth of data they have about how people actually operate they may be cross the finishing line of integrating social data into a search engine before Google get there.
Asked about the type of things people use Facebook to find out, Zuckerberg mused that people even use it to find out where’s best to eat sushi. Commenting that people are increasingly looking to search engines to answer questions specifically for them (this about my Personalisation Era post).
Interestingly, the biggest stumbling block and perhaps opportunity comes from rival search engine Bing, Microsoft owns a big chunk of Facebook and it would be interesting to see how they react to this – personally I would see a Bing / Facebook mash up search engine as a pretty special thing – if it could come about somehow.
It’s a big task that would daunt even the biggest of organisations, however Facebook has a flying start – let’s see where they go with it.