By Mathew Ingram, GigaOm:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the social network is already handling a billion search queries per day, and that it is interested in launching a social search engine powered by the activity of its users — something that could turn out to be Google’s worst nightmare.
During an interview at the Disrupt conference on Tuesday — the first since Facebook’s underwhelming IPO and subsequent stock slide — co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked a lot about the social network’s strategy in a number of areas, including a defence of the company’s approach to mobile and an explanation of why the company moved away from HTML5 for its apps. But while those comments were interesting, I thought the most revealing part of the interview came when Zuckerberg talked about search. Although he didn’t go into a lot of detail, it was clearly intended as a shot across Google’s bow: the underlying message was that Facebook is going to do social search, and soon — and it already has most of the ingredients necessary to mount a significant challenge to the search giant.
In response to a question from TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington about whether the company plans to do anything in the search market, Zuckerberg said that the social network already handles about one billion search queries every day, “and we’re basically not even trying.” For comparison purposes, that’s about 20 times as many as Microsoft’s Bing search engine gets — and about a third of the 3 billion queries that Google handles every day. But it’s not just about volume: the critical factor is that Facebook’s searches are all about finding socially relevant information, from people to brands and related topics… Read more