Monday 26 January, 2015
In early December, Facebook finally rolled out its long-awaited feature that lets you search for posts. The new search feature is designed to help users find specific posts, photos or videos, or information by keyword within those posts.
Representatives of the company started talking about the new feature about two years ago and users have been eagerly awaiting it. Now, it’s a reality.
The New Search Feature Explained
The new feature works just like the old searches. It’s just an improvement to Facebook’s regular search function. Until the change, searching using the search field at the top of the screen only brought you users or pages that use the search term. Now, it also brings you old posts as well.
For example, if you type in the search terms “Ferguson Missouri” using the old function, you’d find the official page of the city of Ferguson or users who have it in their profile. Now, you’ll also see friends’ post related to the killing and recent news about it.
Back from the Grave
According to Facebook’s vice president of search features, “With a quick search, you can get back to a fun video from your graduation, a news article you’ve been meaning to read, or photos from your friend’s wedding last summer.”
That sounds wonderful, but there’s a dark side as well. Now, searches can also unearth embarrassing, cringe-worthy posts you made years ago that you wish would stay buried. Surely the new feature is prompting some users to go through their old posts deleting what they don’t want coming back from the dead.
Facebook’s New Search and Marketing
What the search really does is allow you to conduct better research using the site. For example, if you’re considering visiting a new restaurant in your area, you can search for things people have said about the restaurant before. This effectively turns Facebook into a more personalized version of Yelp.
For companies that have goofed up badly in the past, this could be a problem. The feature will offer a few challenges to the field of reputation management, where unfavorable information is buried in old posts.
For marketers, though, it’s generally a good thing. It offers a goldmine of information. You can search for specific terms related to your products or promotions to discover what your connections think about it. This is an excellent new research tool to help you find out what people think.
The new search feature only turns up old content from friends and connections. It doesn’t show posts from other companies or users you’re not connected with. This limits its research capabilities somewhat, but it’s useful for those who don’t want their searches to turn up irrelevant or marketing content.