Why Facebook Bought A Semantic Search Engine

by Ruud Hein August 17th, 2010 

Just between you and me; search on Facebook sucks. My boss would like me to put that in more professional terms but frankly, Facebooks search is that bad.

Just how bad is Facebooks search?

Facebook Search Is Broken

When news broke this morning that Facebook has bought the semantic search company Chai Labs, thousand (millions?) of people mentioned it, talked about it, liked it, shared it so that now when you do a search on Twitter for chai labs, this is what you get:

SNAGHTML1a13a17c

That same search on Facebook " the very core of the news story –  yawns this on your screen:

SNAGHTML1a1834ef

A few names and some generic web results slapped on. Youll have to click through to Posts by Everyone to get results (how many people do?) and those are frequently not relevant to what you searched for.

Facebook: Unlocking Whats Inside

With 500 million accounts and counting, Facebook has a tremendous amount of information and knowledge at its finger tips " yet it cant get to it.

That is why they started Facebook Questions. So that you could ask something like I upgrade my iPhone to iOS4 and now my auto lock is greyed out " what can I do

But that very same problem and its solution or links to its solution has already been posted numerous times on numerous Facebook pages, profiles, updates, walls and what not. Its just that you cant find it.

That in turn is where Chai Labs comes in.

The company specializes in making platforms that allow for structured content extraction and semantic search. In other words, it makes search better.

That understanding the content, understanding its meaning, can also help produce better targeted ads doesnt hurt either.

Heres What This Means To You

  • Facebook continues to inch towards being its own search engine; soon people wont just Google it, they will Face it.
  • These are the golden years of the new frontier: the right time to establish and build out your presence on Facebook.
  • Getting good at this is not yet detrimental to your business survival but is a huge growth factor.
Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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