Mark Zuckerberg is on stage at Disrupt talking about the potential for Facebook to get serious about creating a search engine, saying “we’re basically doing 1 billion queries a day and we’re not even trying.” He followed up noting “Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. At some point we’ll do it. We have a team working on it.”
He explained that users really do look to the social network to answer questions, such as where to eat sushi. This is what people want out of search, not a pile of results. “Search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers, ‘I have a specific question, answer this question for me.’”
This is something that Google is fully aware of, and it’s no surprise that the company has turned to socialize its products with Google+. What would a Facebook search engine look like? It’s interesting to think about, and I see it to be something like an automated Quora, if that makes sense.
If you think about all of the connected information that Facebook possesses, the company is certainly in a better position than any new startup, when it comes to building a search engine. Once you have all of that information ready to pull up in response to user’s questions, it’s just a matter of how those responses will be displayed.
Since Facebook has a strong relationship, including investment, with Microsoft, it will be interesting to see if the social network works with the Bing team at all, as it works on its own product.
Zuckerberg told us that he likes being an underdog, which is approriate now that he’s opened the kimono a bit on Facebook’s plans for search. It’s no easy problem, just ask the top dog.