Facebook finally launches its new and improved search service, allowing users to find status updates, links and notes of any user who has opted to make their content available to everyone, up to the last 30 days. The move comes hours after Facebook bought FriendFeed, which provides real-time search. In a search free-for-all, Google also opened up a developer sandbox to a new search engine.
Facebook followed its acquisition
of FriendFeed Aug. 10 with the official launch of its improved
search service, which lets users search their Facebook News Feed and Pages for
the last 30 days.
Facebook users will also be able to find status updates,
links and notes of any user who has opted to make their content available to
everyone, regardless of whether or not they are friends with that person. Search
results will continue to include user profiles, groups and applications.
Users who have a problem with everything being searchable
may edit their privacy settings here
. However, the default setting is for only friends to see content so unless
they have changed that they need not worry about all of their content becoming
Users who want to search for a particular term can simply
enter the query in the search box in the upper-right corner of any page. At the
results page, users can look to the left of the page filter their searches to
view only posts by friends or posts by everyone. Users looking for a specific
person, page, group or application, can filter by those results.
Some of the social network's 250 million-plus users may
not be used to searching on Facebook, so Facebook Engineering Manager Akhil
Wable provided some suggestions of possible search queries on the
"By being able to search more types of content that
are being shared on the site, you can easily find out your friends' evening
plans and recently frequented restaurants by searching for "dinner,"
discover which of your friends are following Michael Schumacher's comeback
during the "Formula 1" season by searching for the race series, or
query "economy" to see if people or your favorite news sources feel
that the recession is turning around. You also can search for a company or
product to learn what people are saying about that brand."
In a timely search experiment, Wable did a search on
Facebook for FriendFeed after Facebook announced the deal. When he entered "FriendFeed"
in the Search field he saw the most recent status updates, reactions and news
from his friends who work in technology and people who have chosen to make
their content available to everyone.
Facebook began testing
its new search last month, but is rolling out these
changes out over the course of the next few days. Accordingly, some users may
not see the new results right away, Wable warned.
Facebook improved its search to keep up with microblog
service Twitter, which is trying to gobble up as many users as it can by
indexing tweets in real-time. Interestingly, Facebook is not explicitly offering
real-time search just yet; it is, however, making older content readily
searchable for up to a month.
One reason Facebook might be steering clear of the
real-time search conversation could be the acquisition of FriendFeed, which
streams everything, from posts to comments and even search, in real-time.
However, Facebook has not said what it plans to do with FriendFeed beyond
allowing the social aggregator to continue to operate. Read more on the
FriendFeed buy on TechMeme here
Facebook is not alone in failing to produce real-time
results; Google has not joined that fray, but it did open up a developer sandbox
to its new search engine last night. Microsoft's Bing search engine
Twitter tweets in July.
Read more on Facebook search on TechMeme here