There’s a lot of buzz this morning regarding the Facebook announcement happening at 12pm CST. Most tech sites are predicting the announcement is a new phone or search feature. My money leans towards search and not a phone. Why is that? Apple finally integrated Facebook into iOS after it being years in the making. Ok, maybe not years in the making but it was something users wanted for a long time. If Facebook releases a phone that’s going to put Apple on the defensive and potentially remove that integration.
Now, search on the other hand is a lot more intriguing to me. Remember, Facebook stores everything you post including your links, captions on photos, location from photos, check-ins, interaction with apps, etc. so they have a ton of information about you and your friends. Since this information is available to your friends, they could release a product that searches your network of friends for recommendations, interactions or activity for nearly any topic.
Releasing a feature like this is a win-win for Facebook. For users, they get what they are looking for with friend recommendations and endorsements. This also follows Facebook’s mission “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Search does this. Hopefully users start using Facebook’s search product for content within their network and not on Google. Which is another win for Facebook - Revenue. Google is making money hand over fist with search so with a new search in Facebook its likely they would expand their ad model to mimic Google’s Adwords making investors very happy.
Google dominates search right now holding 65% market share and its been growing since Yahoo and Bing have had little innovation over the years. I think Facebook has identified this opportunity, knows they have rich data on their users and will be making a run at Google’s market share.
As you can see, my hopes are pretty high their announcement is a search feature. What else could it be? Lowering the bar for myself, it could be something small like the announcement for their next F8 conference or a new area on their campus focused on connecting their users. Only time will tell.