Facebook search engine plans provokes mixed reaction

As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg expressed his interest in expanding his social media network into a search engine the stock value increased by 12 percent, but experts are scoffing at the collaboration possibilities.

The Daily Telegraph reports meetings between Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, and Marissa Meyer, Yahoo’s Chief Executive Officer, to explore the possibilities of “how the two companies can work more closely together”. The report mentions a potential agreement “to reorder the hierarchy of the world’s biggest technology companies”.

The social network has already entered a partnership with Bing, but experts are sceptic about the benefits of the joint move with Yahoo, who is still working with Microsoft.

“There’s nothing Yahoo brings to the table that Facebook doesn’t already get with Bing. Bing has far more search talent than Yahoo. It has far better search technology than Yahoo. At this point, Bing even has more useful Web search experience than Yahoo, given that Yahoo has outsourced Web search to Bing since 2010,” Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land contributor told ITWeb Africa.

AllThingsD have rejected the notion, saying the probability of a joint effort with Yahoo is not realistic. However, Zuckerberg’s commentary at the TechCrunch conference in September this year could be used to back up these reports. Zuckerberg said the search option is an interesting territory to explore for his company, considering the amount of search hits of over a billion per day.

“I think that there’s a big opportunity there at some point and we just need to go do that,” Zuckerberg said. He added “Facebook is pretty uniquelypositioned to answer the questions people have … At some point we’ll do it”.

Derived from the nature of Zuckerberg’s commentary, the search would be more subjectively focused rather than factually based. He referred to the popularity of sushi restaurants in his exemplary employment of a Facebook search engine.

Facebook is not set on becoming a competitor of Google. However, the market shares might be influenced by the activation of this new, impending expansion of Facebook.

“Facebook might be the only company on earth that I think could truly go up against Google Inc. and win on the search side,” Gerry Campbell, Web search expert, told Valuewalk.

Posted in: Social Media

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