During the last months, Facebook has been announcing a lot of expansion initiatives, so many in fact that some predicted that Facebook and Internet will soon become synonyms for a lot of the world’s population.
The company’s latest project is an attempt at creating its own search engine, opening up to the many opportunities of finding articles to share without leaving Facebook. In its present format, the social network requires the users to copy-paste the URL of a page in the Post Status box if they want to share it.
However, it appears as if Facebook is testing a simpler version that is already available on some iOS devices. Apparently, some users found a new “add a link” option, which can be clicked and it then offers the possibility of searching for various articles to share.
After clicking on the “add a link” option, users will see a search box pop up, where they can look for what interests them. Results will be categorized by their tendency to be shared, and most recently-published articles will also be prioritized.
As with any other status update, users will be able to personalize the post in which they share the article by adding a location, a description or a comment, or emojis as usual.
At first, Facebook released the option only for iOS users in the US. But according to an official statement, the company is “piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments.”
The tech giant added that more than one trillion posts have been indexed in one massive database that will feed the search engine. The posts were chosen by sending a crawler that checked users’ feeds and picking those articles which had the most shares among a certain group.
Facebook’s future search engine has the upper hand over Google exactly because of this unique way of powering it with data provided by such a large social community – and this characteristic is likely to be the selling-point when the time comes. Google has yet to find a way to access this kind of information on who shares what and how much.
In recent years, Facebook has gradually becoming one of the largest sources of referrals, and this proves to be a real incentive for newspapers and other publishers that rely heavily on Facebook to be active on the site and sometimes even buy ads.
Working on ways of making sharing articles even easier is only going to increase Facebook’s prevalence on the interwebs. It’s like a giant spider webbing and connecting publishers and users so tight to its network that they won’t leave. Ever.
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