Facebook has announced an enhancement to the search feature, allowing Facebook users to search for any of the 2 trillion public posts that exist on the network.
Facebook’s new and improved search will return results from any of Facebook’s public posts. Any post which remains public can potentially be searched for. However, this excludes any posts which cannot be accessed due to privacy settings a user may have set.
This new allows users to search for trending, real-time news, alongside unearthing old posts from your circle of friends.
Facebook had this to say of the announcement:
With over 1.5 billion searches per day and over 2 trillion posts in our index, search is an important, long-term effort at Facebook.
When something happens in the world, people often turn to Facebook to see how their friends and family are reacting. Today, we’re updating Facebook Search so that in addition to friends and family, you can find out what the world is saying about topics that matter to you:
What can Facebook Search do?
This new search will allow users to follow public thoughts and attitudes of the latest news and trending topics.
Facebook puts it this way:
Re-live your favorite memories. Now you can use Facebook Search to find photos, posts, videos, and links by searching for words in the post.
Now you can search and see what the world is saying right now about the topics that matter to you, with results that are up-to-the-minute and personalized.
Otherwise, Facebook is also introducing new and improved search suggestions – offering timely, personalised suggestions of topics based upon trends or latest news.
Facebook will also highlight events or news happening right now as you type, which allows users to follow the popular stories of the day as they happen.
When searching, you will see the most relevant and recent public posts alongside posts that your friends have made. Results are shown in an organised fashion to cut through the noise, and understand what the world is talking about right now.
Alongside this, you can find public conversions by searching – when a link goes viral and is shared widely, it anchors interesting conversations which you may wish to read or partake in.
Potential for Facebook
In theory, this new feature will change how we process news online, and will change how people interest on Facebook itself. Normally, sites like Twitter have been the home to the latest trending topics and sharing of news. But Facebook could win over some of this activity.
Essentially, Facebook is attempting to change how the users related to the world and one another with trending topics. And it shouldn’t affect thise wishing to remain private if they are so inclined – but it could be a move which users find alienating and unnecessary.
What happened to old fashioned privacy?
Potentially, this does allow strangers to stumble upon old posts you had forgotten remained public. And perhaps some which maybe you’d hope people could not find.
Never fear, you can still make old posts private in light of this news to avoid pictures or posts from the past being found publically. However, you cannot stop posts which mention or you photos shared by others of you from showing up.Can’t stop people mentioning you or sharing a photo of you.
Facebook is simply having to keep up with competing social media networks, as trending topics and searchable posts prove popular on networks such as Twitter and Google+.
It could be seen as feature creep, whereby this is an unnecessary feature that users didn’t ask for or need. But it certainly could have a lot of potential if the public at large make use of it.
It’s like this is a move to become more like Twitter, and partly a way to become more like Google, but as a form of “social search engine”. Whereas Google will show you the latest news and opinions from established websites and brands, Facebook will show you what the public think of this news.
For more information, watch the video below from Facebook.