MENU

Facebook wants to be bigger than Bing or Google

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is ready to let more of its users think inside the box.

Graph Search — the social graph platform that the popular website rolled out in January to those wanting to kick the tires while still in beta — is going live.

Facebook will start rolling out Graph Search to all users, though it may take a few weeks before everyone begins to see the new search box at the top of their news feeds.

The market wasn’t exactly wowed by Graph Search when it was introduced in mid-January.

“This could potentially be a business over time,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained at the time, squelching hopes that this could be a near-term moneymaker for the leading social networking website operator with more than a billion active users.

Facebook shares have gone on to surrender roughly 20% of their value since Graph Search was introduced, contrasting the market’s broad ascent. Disillusionment when it comes to Graph Search isn’t the lone culprit, but it’s a potential game changer that got rained out.

It doesn’t help that the market is underestimating the value in Graph Search. Wall Street was hoping for a direct rival to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Bing. It was silly to expect that, especially since Microsoft has been an early investor and partner in Facebook.

If all Facebook wanted was a Google-like search bar it could have merely handed the keys to Microsoft’s Bing team and let Microsoft at it.

It’s clear that Google sees Facebook as a threat. It’s why Google Plus has become a cornerstone of the search giant’s properties, even though the company has historically not had a lot of patience for sites and projects that don’t take off right away.

However, Graph Search shows that Facebook is hoping for bigger things than conventional search. Graph Search is about tapping friends — and more importantly, friends of friends — as resources.

Need a plumber? Are you looking to date a lawyer? Do you need a cool place to stay? Graph Search lets you scour the universe of willing friends and friends of friends to find references that you can trust. This is huge, but the market has looked the other way because it’s not in the wrapper of Google.com or Bing.

The opportunities to monetise Graph Search may not be the same as traditional paid search, but it’s an approach that could eventually be seen as superior for a wide range of query requests.

Facebook shares still have a long way to go before getting back to where they were in January — and even a longer haul back to last year’s IPO price — but Facebook is trying. The market’s merely looking the wrong way.

The Australian Financial Review says “good quality Australian shares that have a long history of paying dividends are a real alternative to a term deposit.” Get 3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

More reading


A version of this article, written by Rick Munarriz, originally appeared on fool.com.

The 5 mining stocks we’re recommending in 2019…

For decades, Australian mining companies have minted money for individual investors like you and me. But if you believe the pundits and talking heads on TV, those days are long gone. Finito! Behind us forever…

We say nothing could be further from the truth. To earn the really massive returns, you’ve got to fish where others aren’t fishing—and the mining sector could be primed for a resurgence. That’s why top Motley Fool analysts just revealed their exciting new research on 5 ASX miners they believe could help you profit in 2019 and beyond…

Including:

The best way we see to play the global zinc shortage… Our #1 favourite large-cap miner (hint: it’s not BHP)… one early-stage gold miner we think could hit the motherlode… Plus two more surprising companies you probably haven’t heard of yet!

For free access to our brand-new research, simply click here or the link below. But be warned, this research is available free for a limited time only, and we reserve the right to withdraw it at any time.

Click here for your FREE report!