Facebook plans to be more than a place for socializing and aims to magnetize news stories and public debates that are usually associated with Twitter.
Thanks to the continuous work on its natural language Graph Search, Facebook now registers 2 billion searches per day, filtering through its 2.5 trillion posts.
The increase in searches over the social media platform is significant, seeing how in July 2015 Facebook counted 1.5 billion searches per day. For comparison, in September 2012, the platform had 1 billion searches per day. A 33 percent surge in searches over nine months is something all social media can learn from.
Full post search seems to have given Facebook an edge over Twitter. Facebook recruited 60 million users during the last quarter, which makes Twitter's 3 million unimpressive by comparison. Facebook has the power of big numbers, with a total number of 1.71 billion global users. It simply has more voices, despite many of them being not as responsive or opinionated as Twitter users.
But it looks like the trend is already shifting.
At the recent earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, pointed out that users no longer use the search function merely to find high school acquaintances, but to get in touch with people's opinions on various topics.
What is more, a growing number of users rely on the search function to scoop up businesses and various interests, which moves the focus of the search from just people to a wider array of topics.
What Facebook discretely suggests is that its users now talk more about things that matter to them on the platform, as their words can find their way to those interested. The powerful search engine and huge user base also make it a good idea for businesses to be more active in the social media environment. Traditionally, Twitter has been the master of talking space, but Facebook is coming up from behind since it launched its public post search in 2015.
At the earnings call, Facebook's CEO was asked about his strategy for turning searches into revenue.
Zuckerberg says that there are three stages to the strategy: first, a "consumer user case" is required. Second, Facebook will tweak things so that clients naturally interact with the businesses. Third, providing tools for businesses to reach more people should boost Facebook's profits.
The company's helm underlined that paid search ads are not in the books for now, but he acknowledges that "a reasonable amount of behavior [...] could be monetizable." Facebook is also looking into banking on its WhatsApp and Messenger apps, and insiders familiar with the matter point out that various ideas are still being tested.
Another way the company plans to increase its revenue is by tapping into the potential of Live Video. Facebook wants to make the feature interesting and even signed deals with celebrities to create their own videos. However, the feature is not yet bringing in revenue, as the company is currently focusing on delivering high quality content.
According to the recent earnings report, Facebook's revenue in the quarter was of $6.44 billion, with $2.05 billion profit, most of which comes directly from mobile advertising.