Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerburg might be venturing into one of the most lucrative markets on the Internet – search. Google currently rules the roost in this domain, but Facebook senses the untapped potential at a time when their advertising revenue is not showing much of a promise. The value of Facebook’s stock plummeted by 50% through Tuesday and finally came up 7.7% at $20.93 after Wednesday’s trading.
Although a “Facebook search” is a mere speculation at this time, analysts are already putting their views forward. Gerry Campbell, a former advisor to Summize, CEO of tech consulting firm Frequency Group, has high hopes that Facebook can take on Google and might end up winning in the long run. Like Google, Facebook need not create indexes of all sites on the Web to be successful – all it needs is the data that include the activities of its users on their own site and on external sites that have a “Like” button.
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CEO of Idealab, Bill Gross said that while social search might not be of prime importance, users certainly want filtered and more relevant results. If Facebook can achieve that, then there is a high chance of Facebook surpassing all its rivals in the near future. Presently, users can only find pages on the site and external websites are listed by the Bing search engine, which belongs to Microsoft. Google has been playing on similar lines by incorporating Google+ into its search engine results, whereas Microsoft does the same for Facebook.
The “Facebook search” has not met with positive responses everywhere. Citi analyst Mark Mahaney has clearly declared that search is a complicated model and should not be attempted by Facebook. He feels that Zuckerburg’s comments were opportunistic ploys to drag the attention away from sagging stocks.
However, Facebook is clearly looking to make its own search more efficient by testing a new ad format that will allow advertisers to have their ads come up in the drop-down menu of Facebook's search box, after users type in queries. RBC Capital Markets analyst Andre Sequin is of the opinion that although Facebook is now focusing on its mobile apps and advertising it can create a powerful search engine if it ever wants to.