The rivalry between Twitter, Google and Facebook could be set to intensify as the latter launches Search FYI, a function that will allow users to search the two trillion posts that appear on the social network each month.
However, the search will only index public posts and others that have been shared directly with a user.
The new search feature is accessed through a search bar that appears on both website and mobile app versions of the network. Initially, it will only be available for use by English-speaking iOS, Android and desktop users in the US.
By typing a term or query into the search box, Facebook will provide personalised search suggestions that mean a user can follow stories in real time.
Tom Stocky, Vice President of Search at Facebook, explained more in a blog post: “With over 1.5 billion searches per day and over two trillion posts in our index, search is an important, long-term effort at Facebook.
“When something happens in the world, people often turn to Facebook to see how their friends and family are reacting. Today, we’re updating Facebook Search so that in addition to friends and family, you can find out what the world is saying about topics that matter to you.”
The new Search FYI feature is currently in test mode, so updates, improvements and further functionality can be expected as the social media giant gets feedback from users of the new service.
The company claims that the “diverse experiences and perspectives” shared on the network are unique, and Search FYI will offer full control over who can see a user’s own posts.
Public conversations about a link that is being widely shared will be easier to access and join in with. A one-tap feature will find posts and check out an aggregate overview of sentiment.
“When you search, you’ll now see the most recent, relevant public posts along with posts from your friends,” Stocky said.
“Search results are organised to help you cut through the noise and quickly understand what the world is saying about a topic in the moment. You also can pull-to-refresh and see the latest public posts,” he added.