Yandex Creates Powerful Facebook Search App

January 19, 2013

We know that Facebook is very protective of its services/ products and that their practices concerning user data are questionable. What will Facebook do, however, with Yandex’s new search app? Tech Crunch announced, “Russian Giant Yandex Has Secretly Built A Killer Facebook Search Engine App Codenamed ‘Wonder’.” The search engine app allows users to ask what content and businesses friends visited. Facebook prohibits search engines to use its data without permission. A spokesperson from Yandex was not able to comment on Wonder, but did confirm the company as interested in mining social data and building social products.

Wonder works by allowing its users to vocally search for information and it lists whether their friends have searched for it as well. Yandex so far has limited themselves to the Russian market, but Google and other competitors have eaten away at its revenue and so they are turning to other areas. Some areas are mobile, maps, and app discovery for services/products.

What does Facebook think about this? Facebook tried to allow its users to search friends’ content with Nearby. Also Wonder might use too much of Facebook’s user data and Facebook does not volunteer user information to search engines, which Wonder might do. Facebook is taking its own steps to get into search:

“CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself explained at TechCrunch Disrupt SF that Facebook is getting into search:

‘Search is interesting. I think search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers’’ I have this specific question, answer this question for me.’ Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. ; What sushi restaurants have my friends gone to in New York in the last six months and Liked?’ These are questions that you could potentially do at Facebook if we built out this system that you couldn’t do anywhere else. And at some point we’ll do it. We have a team working on search.’”

There are various options that Facebook could do with Wonder: buy it, make a joint partnership, grant permission, etc. but we will have to wait and see what will happen. We do know that users are demanding Facebook create a better search engine and Wonder is making them work faster to develop it.

Whitney Grace, January 19, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Beyond Search

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