Earlier today, Facebook announced that the search function on mobile and the Web version of the social network will give users the ability to bring up specific posts in search results. Rolling out to English-speaking desktop users and iPhone users first, you should be able to search for old posts created by yourself as well as friends and family. According to this mention on the Facebook Newsroom, the update will also be rolling out to anyone that uses an Android smartphones or tablet at a later, unannounced date.
Speaking about the function of post searching, Facebook VP of Search Tom Stocky said “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…Your search results are personalized and unique to you and, as always, you can only see things that have been shared with you.” Conceptually, you should be able to type a few key words that you recall from the original post in order to make the post in question appear within the search results.
Of course, this has obviously been a huge task for Facebook to complete. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently mentioned that more than one trillion pieces of content would have to be indexed in order for Facebook search to accomplish post searching. On the financial side, post searching will have a huge impact on Facebook advertising. Advertisers will be likely be able to target users based off what was mentioned in a status update.
Privacy settings will definitely play into the ability to access posts within the search feature. Assuming a friend has limited the privacy settings of the post after it was originally published, the content may not appear when searched on Facebook. It’s also possible that a Facebook user that’s too open with their privacy settings will pay the price when when friends, family and co-workers start rummaging through old post history.