Facebooks launch of a new way to search for photos and information from among its more than 1 billion users may set off a mad scramble inside the headquarters of its competitors. Other Silicon Valley companies could roll out their own improved search functions.
If youre a Facebook competitor, you have to seriously consider how to respond to this by improving your own search paradigms, Brian Blau, research director in consumer technologies for Gartner, said after Facebooks announce-ment Tuesday. Theres no immediate threat today, but its definitely going to have an effect.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg clearly challenged Internet giant Google on Tuesday with his announcement of the beta rollout of Facebooks new Graph Search function that will allow users to quickly and more easily find photos, restaurant reviews and other information from among their Facebook friends and other users.
But other competitors, such as Yelp and Foursquare, that rely on user reviews to find local products, services and entertainment also could be threatened, said Rebecca Lieb, an industry analyst with the Altimeter Group who received a Facebook briefing on Graph Search a day before Zuckerbergs announcement.
Theyre looking at this with some interest and trepidation because Facebook really is the 900-pound gorilla in the social networking space, she said.
Many analysts suspect that the introduction of Graph Search will lead more businesses to flock to Facebook in order to be found and reviewed, and hopefully liked by Facebook users.