Facebook is building a search engine; confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg during Techcrunch Disrupt 2012 with Michael Arrington.
Most of the interview is clearly aimed at making investors feel that the company, who’s stock has been nose-diving since it’s IPO, has a long term strategy to monetize the massive social network. Zuckerberg reaffirmed that mobile is front and center for them, and that they were building a search engine. Of course, Facebook already has a search engine of sorts… it filters billions of queries a day. Yousaf Sekander explained the potential implications very well:
Based on his remarks, it is very clear that he believes the future of search is not about a set of relevant results but about answering specific questions. His example query is “Which sushi restaurant did my friends go to and liked in the last six months?”. That is the type of question that a lot of people will start asking as search behaviour evolves due to nature of the social web.
Considering the large volume of personal data Facebook has on each of us they could tailor results in a way that might not be available to Google. That’s the idea at least. While Google is surely watching Facebook closely they are the undisputed kings of search and will do everything possible to stay there. You can watch the whole fireside chat below: