TechCrunch, a technology blog, holds regular ‘Disrupt’ conferences where a bunch of geeks gather to talk about geeky stuff. At the most recent ongoing conference in San Francisco, TechCrunch interviewed Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook. The interview itself is roughly 30 minutes long and has a good amount of information in it (feel free to watch it if you want) but there is one big bombshell Zuckerberg casually dropped — Facebook is working on its own search engine.
Zuckerberg talked about how users are more and more finding answers using social networks as opposed to simply Googling something, such as where to eat. Zuckerberg feels “search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers, ‘I have a specific question, answer this question for me’” and Facebook, with the personalized information it has on millions of people, can better provide this service.
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook is already “doing 1 billion queries a day and we’re not even trying”. As such, Zuckerberg says “Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have” and “at some point” Facebook will build a search engine. In fact, he says “we have a team working on it.”
Of course Facebook entering search would be poetic justice, seeing as Google recently wandered onto Facebook’s turf with Google+. However, after hearing how Facebook is thinking about search and social networks as two parts of the same whole, it isn’t surprising Google went ahead and dived into social networking.
As TechCrunch points out, what makes a Facebook search engine even more interesting is Facebook’s strong relationship with Microsoft. So far Microsoft has been unable to crack the search engine market with Bing but if Facebook partners with Microsoft… both combined may indeed give Google a run for its money. Heck, with so much data to play with and money to fund R&D, a Facebook search engine on its own could give Google a run of its money.
I can imagine it now: little Ashrafs saying, “Dad, Facebook it.”