If Facebook were to launch its own search engine right now, it would immediately attract nearly one-quarter of that sector and become the second-most-used search engine in every major market in the world except China, Japan, and Russia, where it would place third, according to a recent report by independent digital marketing agency Greenlight.
The results of the Greenlight survey also found that Facebook could increase its share in the search sector to 50 percent within a few years, but Greenlight cautioned that Google Plus has been a strong performer, as well, indicating that Google will remain a force in the category.
One finding that isn’t encouraging for Facebook: According to Greenlight, 44 percent of respondents said they “never” click on ads or sponsored listings on the social network.
According to the Greenlight survey, 5 percent of respondents would “definitely” use a Facebook search engine, while 26 percent would not use such an offering at all. Respondents answering “definitely” or “probably” totaled 17 percent, while those saying “no” or “probably not” totaled 48 percent.
Greenlight Chief Operating Officer Andreas Pouros said of the results:
These stats therefore suggest that Facebook could capture around 22 percent of the global search market by simply launching its own search engine tomorrow morning (the “definitely,” “probably,” and one-half of the “don’t know” respondents combined). It wouldn’t need to be a spectacular engine, either — just well-integrated into the Facebook experience and generally competent.
When compared with the 35 percent of users that Greenlight’s survey found routinely like a brand or company on Facebook, then it is not that significantly more than Google’s social signal collection, particularly as 28 percent of respondents said they had no idea what +1 actually meant, which will invariably decrease rapidly over time. Essentially, Greenlight’s research shows that Google and Facebook will both be front and center in social search.
Readers: Would you use a Facebook search engine, and would you choose it over other options, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo?
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