Facebook alters search capabilities to let users interact about breaking news

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook makes public posts searchable.

“Today, we’re updating Facebook Search so that in addition to friends and family, you can find out what the world is saying about topics that matter to you”, Stock said. “Friends” means your Facebook friends can see what you post and search for your posts.Speaking to the Verge, Rousseau Kazi, a product manager on Facebook’s search team said: “Because we’ve indexed the entire world’s conversations, we tell you things that are trending, things that are breaking, what’s happening right now”. In theory, this will make finding content you’re interested in easier, but could also put things you post about in the search results of complete strangers.

Facebook will show you a warning about how this is going to change all your posts that you’ve shared with friends of friends or with the entire public to being viewable only by Friends. “You don’t just see what your friends and people around you are saying”, Tom Stocky, Facebook’s VP of search, told TechCrunch. “Now, you can dive into that and see what is the latest that’s happening about that one thing”. Facebook will then auto-suggest a few popular search items and phrases and if the user then taps on a result, a list will appear with articles, quotes, videos and other related posts from other users. It essentially takes the best news from around the world and makes it simple to find-and it also keeps you away from Google and other newsy apps, ensuring you spend that much more time in Facebook’s ecosystem. “We even have it that if you are sharing publicly and you’ve decided you don’t want to do that, with a single button you can go back and change all of your previous posts to be friends only”. It should also remind all Facebook users to carefully mind which of their posts are public and which are not – if you set something to “public“, it will be more visible than ever.

The whole point is to steal people away from Twitter, which just enabled the “moments” feature to make it easier to see real-time reactions to news. Remember: When you modify your post privacy from the Update Status section (image below), this becomes a default setting for that box from that point on.

The same choice can be made whenever you post – just underneath the status update page sits an audience option, which adjusts who will see the update. The move will let Facebook track more accurately what people are talking about, so that its search tools can offer information about what’s going on. 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. Facebook just made two trillion posts easily searchable, so those embarrassing statuses you thought were relegated to the annals of time may crop up again.

Instead of scrawling through a timeline to find story links on other’s timelines, users will now be able to search for the story as one would on Google. Users can click on the the tiny padlock icon at the top right of their profile to view their settings, where the “Who Can See My Stuff” option will show them who can see the posts that they’re now publishing.

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