Facebook are currently testing sponsored search results.
Facebook are currently testing sponsored search results. At the moment it will only appear for a hand full of users. While this may be one of their many ideas for new revenue, it is flawed (which would explain why it’s in testing mode and why they haven’t made a big deal out of it).
The familiar search bar, previously giving you results based on current friends, friends of friends, pages, etc, can now be seen to show some paid for top spots in the results. These results are almost identical to the organic ones except for the word ‘sponsored’ in small light grey text at the bottom of the results.
The problem with this is users won’t be using Facebook to find businesses they are unfamiliar with. Looking for a coffee shop in Dublin, for example, you’d likely use an established search engine like Google or Yahoo. However, searching for a business you already know of and want to follow, you will likely use Facebook to ‘like’ their page. Using the Facebook search, you almost always know exactly what you’re looking for and will ignore anything else.
While we may have to get used to this in the future, will the concept actually work for them? For it to work the search box would have to become a much more resourceful search engine overall to challenge Google in any way.