After a long history as a walled garden, Facebook has decided to open up search of public user updates. The practical effect is to make 2 trillion posts available through its own search engine.
Many have speculated the move was designed to counter Twitter’s popularity with those wishing to seek out the latest commentary on current events. Others believe it creates more opportunities for advertisers.
Still others see this as a shot across Google’s bow by beginning to threaten that company’s search supremacy.
For public affairs professionals, here are the key considerations and questions:
- Will users be more likely to restrict access to their Facebook status updates, knowing that if they set them to “public” they will be much more easily found by strangers.
- How will advocacy groups use this new access to learn from and influence Facebook conversations?
- How will Facebook users react if more people they don’t know start commenting on their posts?
- How should public affairs pros leverage this new data for advertising and research purposes?