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The social media juggernaut is getting into the search engine world. This would be a huge step for Facebook to take. Currently, their network is funded by a digital ad platform, one that I believe to be better than Google’s. To shift focus from their bread and butter to search is a crazy move. This would be another platform and grand audience for companies and marketers to implement. But, it will also be a new platform to learn, test and optimize. What do we know now? What are the positives/negatives of Facebook Search?

The Positives:

    • Every time a major competitor makes a move in the search engine world, we see Google turn on the super boosters. If Facebook was to actually give consumers another option, I’d bet the bank we will see more strides by Google, and that makes me feel good inside. The day Google becomes lazy or stagnant is the day they lose their edge. Bing has done everything it can to compete, by merging with Yahoo, running a massive marketing campaign, working with Twitter, etc., and they still haven’t come close to storming the Google castle. They’ve lost over 10 billion dollars thus far in search. That’s a huge hurdle to overcome. Google reigns king of search and probably always will.
    • The big aspect to Facebook’s search algorithm will be giving you results from brands that your friends like when you search for something. Obviously, people trust their friends more than strangers, so this would be a model that makes perfect sense. Or does it? (see The Negatives)

The Negatives:

    • If Facebook Search uses your friend’s likes as results, what does that mean to you as a consumer? It means that you are being given results by people you trust. But, that may not be the best thing when looking to buy something. Your friends all usually have something in common with you and it’s always good to get outside opinions. If you were a painter, you wouldn’t show your new painting to only your friends to see if it was good, you’d want it in a room full of strangers so you can get a wide spectrum of opinions. That is why sites that include reviews from tons of strangers/consumers should also be considered when looking to purchase something.
    • We’ve seen it before. Now it might happen again. Some marketing gurus think this would be a positive, but I don’t. Facebook is successful without Yahoo, and I think they need to continue to proceed without any huge outside partnerships. Merging with Yahoo means too many hands in the cookie jar situations. If you’re going to use Facebook Search, use it on Facebook. You don’t need to use it on Yahoo while you’re browsing gossip columns. I guess my big issue with this is why Facebook wouldn’t just merge with Google and become the double web powerhouse of the world? Why half-ass it? And yes, in my opinion Yahoo is half-ass.

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