Friday, March 30, 2012

Facebook reportedly working to revamp search

Former Google engineer tasked with leading a team to make it easier to sift through the volume of content users create on the site, Business Week reports.

Facebook appears to be in search of a piece of Google's pie--albeit a very little piece.

The social-neworking giant is working on a makeover of its search product, according to a Business Week report. And to make that happen, it has tapped former Google engineer Lars Rasmussen with leading a team of two dozen engineers trying to make it easier to sift through the volume of content users create on the site, according to two sources.

Currently, members can use the social network to search for other members and friends, as well as Facebook groups, and events. The site also presents general Web search results via Microsoft's Bing search engine.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on the report. The company is currently preparing for an initial public offering in the coming months that could value the company at $100 billion, the biggest tech IPO since Google's.

Certainly, Facebook is no threat to Google's 67 percent search dominance; Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Ask, and even Amazon field more search queries than Facebook. But improving its search results could help keep members on the site longer, making it more attractive to investors and allowing it to it sell more keyword ads just as Google does.

Rasmussen joined Google in 2004 after his mapping startup company was acquired by the search giant. Together with his brother and two fellow Australians, he turned this acquisition into the creation of Google Maps. The noted Sydney, Australia-based software developer jumped ship to Facebook in 2010 after he received a "compelling personal pitch" from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

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