Facebook has expanded its search capabilities to enable users of the social network to discover everything that is posted publicly.
The new Search FYI has indexed over two trillion posts, allowing users to search on topics beyond their network of friends, groups and pages.
For example, as Facebook points out a search for ‘Mets World Series’ will return a host of posts from the wider community, as well as articles, quotes and videos.
Earlier this year Facebook was rumoured to be building its very own search engine and this appears to be it.
The effort, which effectively turns Facebook into a self-contained Google, sees Zuckerberg’s troops enter an arena where Twitter has been traditionally strong.
The company says it already deals with 1.5 billion search queries a day, but this expansion will enable members to turn to Facebook to follow emerging news and trending topics, and experience reaction from beyond their own networks
In a post on the Newsroom blog, VP of Search Tom Stocky said: “When something happens in the world, people often turn to Facebook to see how their friends and family are reacting.
In the blog post, Facebook said users can also expect better search suggestions as they begin typing, with a focus on things that are happening right now. This will enable users to “follow popular stories as they unfold.”
Facebook is also highlighting a feature that enables users to find public conversations and ‘dive into the discussion.’
Stocky added: “When a link gets shared widely on Facebook, it often anchors an interesting public conversation. Now there’s a new way to quickly dive into that discussion. With one tap, you can find public posts about a link, see popular quotes and phrases mentioned in these posts, and check out an aggregate overview of sentiment.”
The new feature is rolling out to US English iPhones and Android devices from today.
Naturally the company points out, individual users can tailor their privacy settings to ensure their posts don’t show up in public.