Facebook will most likely never develop a search engine of its own to compete with Google, but that doesn’t mean the social network can’t carve out its niche in the search sector.
Federated Media Founder John Battelle, who has been chronicling the relationship between Facebook and Google for his Searchblog, shared the following theory about how the social network might cobble together a search product using data from its open graph:
Imagine a world where the majority of app builders integrate with Facebook’s open graph, instrumenting your personal data through Facebook such that your data becomes searchable. (If you think that’s crazy, remember how most major companies and app services have already fallen all over themselves to leverage open graph).
Then, all those data are hoovered into Facebook’s “search index,” and integrated with your personal social graph. Facebook then builds an interface to all your app data, adds in your Facebook social graph data, and then perhaps tosses in a side of Bing so you can have the whole Web as a backdrop, should you care to.
Voila: You’ve got yourself a truly personalized new kind of search engine — a Facebook search engine, one that searches your world, apps, Facebook and all.
This hypothetical search engine would already have competition in the likes of RockMelt, and also Google itself, the latter most likely being what gave Battelle the inspiration for his post — the leading search giant began incorporating Google Plus posts in search results.
Readers: Do you think John Battelle is on to something?