Facebook announced on Thursday that it will expand its search function to include every publically-available post in its archive, not just those of your friends and liked Pages. But this won’t simply be a firehose of information, Facebook will reportedly segregate and stack results depending on the source.
The top of the search results will be dominated by trusted sources like professional news outlets (CNN and the like). Below that section will be posts from your friends, presumably providing color commentary and insightful discussion of the headlined news — or, if they’re anything like my friends, it’ll quickly devolve into GIF wars and poop jokes. And at the bottom of the stack will be a Digg-like section of aggregated links related to the search topic. The returned results are reportedly personalized for each user based on 200 search factors. These factors include what subjects and Pages you like as well as your personal information and search history.
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This change comes in response to criticism of FB’s existing search feature, which has been characterized as an “echo chamber.” By at least exposing users to thoughts and opinions beyond those of their immediate social circle, FB hopes to improve the overall discussion about breaking news. “You don’t just see what your friends and people around you are saying,” Tom Stocky, VP of Search, told TechCrunch. “You see the stories of people on the ground. It gives us a different level of perspective.” Though, if this new search function is anything like the bedlam of breaking news that is Facebook’s Signal news service, you might want to just stick with Google.