Facebook Program May Disintermediate Google
June 5, 2015
Soon, Facebook users may not have to navigate to Google for relevant links then copy-and-paste them into posts and comments. TechCrunch reports, “Skip Googling with Facebook’s New ‘Add a Link’ Mobile Status Search Engine.” If this program currently being tested on a sample group makes it to all users, you can impress your “friends” a few seconds faster, and with fewer clicks. Actually reading what you find before you share the link is up to you. The article describes:
“Alongside buttons to add photos or locations, some iOS users are seeing a new ‘Add A Link’ option. Just punch in a query, and Facebook will show a list of matching links you might want to share, allow you to preview what’s on those sites, and let you tap one to add it to your status with a caption or share statement. Results seem to be sorted by what users are most likely to share, highlighting recently published sites that have been posted by lots of people. …
“If rolled out to all users, it would let them avoid Googling or digging through Facebook’s News Feed to find a link to share. The ‘Add A Link’ button could get users sharing more news and other publisher-made content. Not only does that fill the News Feed with posts that Facebook can put ads next to. It also gives it structured data about what kind of news and publishers you care about, as well as the interests of your friends depending on if they click or Like your story.”
Writers Josh Constine and Kyle Russell observe that, as of last year, Facebook drives nearly 25 percent of “social” clicks, and publishers are becoming dependent on those clicks. Facebook stands to benefit if their Add A Link button enhances that dependency. Then there is the boost to ad revenue the site is likely to realize by keeping users inside their Facebook sessions, instead of wandering into the rest of the Web. A move that will both please users and the bottom line– well played, Facebook.
Cynthia Murrell, June 5, 2015