Facebook Testing Mobile In-App Search Engine

Facebook Testing Mobile In-App Search Engine

Facebook News Feed
(Image: smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com)

Facebook likes a new feature that could keep your eyes glued to its mobile app.

TechCrunch reports that the social media site has begun rolling out an in-app “Add A Link” button and keyword search engine that helps mobile users find websites and articles to add to status updates.

[Related: Hack Lets Facebook Pages Become Small Business Websites]

So far, the trial has only been available to what is described as a small group of users in the U.S., but has indexed more than 1 trillion posts in which people searched for links that have been shared with them–which, TechCrunch notes, are search results that bypassed Google.

According to TechCrunch, if rolled out to all users, it would also allow Facebook users to skip the hassle of copying and pasting links to their status updates, or even Googling or digging their News Feed to find links to share–something the website predicts will lead to more sharing of news and other publisher-made content. It also helps marketers with a smorgasbord of data: not only will structured data about the kinds of news users care about be revealed, it will also provide insight into the interests of you and your friends depending on if they click or Like your story.

TechCrunch also notes that users could expect more tailored ad content to appear next to stories selected for publication.

A recent study found that Facebook drove nearly 25% of social traffic referrals to websites–well above the more than 5% logged by Google, which came in second, and Twitter, the other top social media site, with only an 0.88% referral rate.

Though Facebook alleges it is not an echo chamber and could one day offer options for small businesses, it isn’t the first move the site has made to constantly keep users from checking their News Feed. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the site wanted media organizations to post their content directly onto Facebook–which would keep readers from logging time or clicks on Google or other sites to access content. Instead, it seems that Facebook is targeting a space once ruled by Google, which in recent weeks has modified its mobile search results.