Facebook may have its own internal search engine, with help from Bing, but it doesn’t quite live up to standards set by other trend and search services. Google and Yahoo offer social search but there are better ways to find out people’s opinions on a given subject and what your social circle likes.
Before using a Facebook search engine, check to see whether it has all these qualities.
A Facebook search engine shouldn’t be complicated. Users want to find information easily and move on.
Example: Openbook is easy to use because it looks very similar to Facebook’s search engine. This software shows global results but can be broken down by male or female updates. Unfortunately, there aren’t any other search options beyond that.
This is a pretty obvious one. The search engine should be constantly updating with new content. The social media world moves fast.
Example: Kurrently is a real-time search engine for Facebook and Twitter, but you can separate results from each. It’s always updating and you can choose different stream speeds.
By “trendy,” I don’t mean cool-looking (although that’s also important). What I mean is the search engine should contain a list of the latest trends on Facebook.
Example: Socialmention shows the most current trends mentioned anywhere online. It’s not very fast, but it provides much more analysis and statistics on a search than other services.
There are enough privacy concerns surrounding Facebook. The search engine should be upfront about how it gets the information.
Example: Like Button is powered by what else but Facebook’s like button, and other social plug-ins, but does not access your personal information. Likes from your friends are broken down in easy-to-view categories like news, videos and technology. Each site has its own list such as Huffington Post, YouTube, CNN, Slate and so on.
Just like Facebook, you should be able to easily get past all the garbage and view topics that you care about.
Example: It’s Trending is a non-searchable, real-time feed of the most shared content on Facebook in regard to videos, news, images, sports, technology, gaming, entertainment and comedy. You can also view items from Cracked, YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, Washington Post, Mashable, TechCrunch, The New York Times, Huffington Post and CNN.
The search service has to be engaging. It needs to have more than a search box to keep people coming back.
Example: Greplin has a search bar that updates as you type and pulls results from your different networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Dropbox and Twitter. You can add new indexes from other sites. The software is in a closed beta, requiring registration.
There are so many Facebook search engines popping up that it’s hard to be truly innovative. The software needs to bring something new to the table in order to draw attention.
Example: Booshaka has evolved from an ordinary search service into a points game where you compete against your friends and the rest of the world. Posts, comments and likes on Booshaka are each worth one point as you climb the leaderboard of a Facebook page.
Readers, which search engines do you prefer?