Facebook could be about to release its own search engine, letting users find articles to share with their friends alongside their status updates.
At the moment, users must paste in the URL of a page if they want to share it. But some iOS users are seeing a version of the app where they are offered an “add a link” option, which they can click and then search for articles to share.
Clicking on the option gives users a search box, into which they can type their query. They then get results sorted by their likelihood to be shared, with recently-published articles and those posted by others being prioritised.
When users pick the article they want to share from the list, they can add things like a status update, location or emoji as normal.
Initially, the feature has only been rolled out to iOS users in the US. But the site told Techcrunch that it is “piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments”.
Facebook also told Techcrunch that it had indexed over one trillion posts to power the search engine, looking through users’ feeds to find out which articles had been shared more than others. That socially-powered search is likely to be the Facebook search engine’s selling point over Google, which doesn’t have access to the same data about what articles are being shared and by who.
10 facts you didn’t know about Facebook
10 facts you didn’t know about Facebook
Around 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day, with the site estimating in September last year that users had so far put up more than 250 billion images. That’s 4,000 photos uploaded every second and around 4 per cent of all photos ever taken, according to a study by Nokia.
Facebook’s logo is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colour blind. “Blue is the richest color for me. I can see all of blue," said Zuckerberg in an interview with the New Yorker. The colour is so popular that Facebook’s campus store even sells nail polish in the exact shade named ‘social butterfly blue’.
Zuckerberg's famously low-key wardrobe (either a grey t-shirt or a hoodie) is so that the CEO saves time deciding what to wear each day. However, Zuckerberg is known to dress up when the occasion demands it. For a 2011 event with Barack Obama he showed up in a suit, with the president introducing himself by saying: “I’m Barack Obama and I’m the guy who got Mark to wear a jacket and tie.”
In July 2006 Zuckerberg turned down a $1 billion offer for the site from Yahoo. He was 22 years old at the time and owned 25 per cent of the company. Zuckerberg reportedly turned it down by saying “I don't know what I could do with the money. I'd just start another social networking site. I kind of like the one I already have.” He definitely made the right choice: Facebook is now valued at $135 billion.
A YouGov poll claimed that three-quarter of UK Facebook users' photos showed someone drinking or inebriated. However, the poll did ask users to estimate the number of boozy snaps themselves, and like all things on Facebook, there might have been an element of exaggeration involved.
Facebook operates a bounty hunter program – for bugs. Like many other big technology companies Facebook offers cash rewards to security researchers who point out flaws in the site’s code. The minimum payout is $500 and the largest prize to date has been $33,500.
More than a third of divorce filings in 2011 referenced Facebook, said a survey from UK-based legal firm Divorce Online. The exact figures may be an estimate, but with just under 8 trillion Facebook messages sent in 2013 it’s certain that a substantial body of evidence is to be found on the social network.
Zuckerberg isn’t much of a Twitter fan. Despite having nearly three hundred thousand followers on the service he’s only tweeted 19 times - once in 2012 and the rest in 2009. Although Facebook dwarfs twitter in terms of active users (1 billion compared with 200 million by some accounts) the micro-blogging site handles breaking news better. Facebook has introduced trending topics and hashtags to counter this.
Following the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 Iceland decided to rewrite their constitution using Facebook to solicit suggestions from citizens. Unfortunately, despite this forward thinking approach, the document was killed by politicians in mid-2013 for various (mostly technical) reasons.
You can browse Facebook upside down. Facebook currently supports more than 70 different languages – including English (Pirate) and English (Upside Down). Check the bottom of the column on the right of your newsfeed and click your current language to change!
Increasing the amount of traffic that newspapers and other publishers get from Facebook means that news feeds are filled but also that those publishers are encouraged to keep up active followings on the site and occasionally buy ads. The site has become a huge source of referrals in recent years and making it easier to share articles is likely to increase that yet more.
But the button could also be a move away from one of the site’s more controversial recent strategies, which will see content from publishers including the New York Times hosted on Facebook rather than on their own pages, with the social network sharing revenues with newspapers.Reuse content