Facebook testing mobile search app to let readers skip Google News

12 May 2015


Facebook is said to be testing an internal search engine for its mobile app that would enble directly read news feeds rather than acces them via Google news.
Currently a few iOS users were seeing an 'add a link' option next to the buttons to add photos, locations, and feelings.

After users entered a keyword in the search bar, Facebook suggested related news articles to post, however, it was not clear whether the update would be available to everyone, according to The Verge.

Posting links to Facebook using a smartphone was quite cumbersome and therefore, the update might be aimed at tackling that problem, say commentators, but it could also be related to Facebook's plan to get publishers to post content to its site directly.

By hosting content and letting users to search for stories in its own app, Facebook was not only trying to make it easier to read and share content but also preventing people from leaving the website.

Moreover, readers would not have to depend on Google News selections.

Meanwhile, though Facebook and major publishers have come to share something of a symbiotic relationship, the liaison is not without its problems.

Facebook is set to launch its ''Instant Articles'' as reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, a move which would see publishers allow the social network to host their news and news and video directly.

Publishers had till now only shared links to their content on Facebook, forcing mobile users to click through and wait for that content to opoen on the publishers' sites.

However, BuzzFeed, The New York Times, and National Geographic have been the first to sign up for the programme.

According to the WSJ,  as of March, big publishers had been receiving 60 per cent of their referral traffic from Facebook, while according to the  Reuters Institute's 2014 Digital News Report, 44 per cent of Facebook users clicked on news stories in their feed.

So publishing on Facebook seemed to be something of an organic evolution to adapt to consumer behaviour. Though it presented a huge opportunity for publishers it also posed an enormous threat to their own business models.

This could have major implications for publishers' ad revenue. VentureBeat reported, "By publishing on Facebook, publishers could end up cannibalize their in-house ad sales teams. Facebook says publishers keep 100 percent of directly sold ads, and it will keep 30 percent of any ad revenue it generates against the content. Direct pageviews will decline for these publishers, making it harder to sell campaigns looking for large audiences.

"And publishers won't be able to use their own tools like Omniture or Google Analytics to track readership on Facebook. Publishers' competitive advantages come from their content and coveted audiences; when Facebook becomes the content aggregator and de facto publisher, that advantage is commoditized."

Business History Videos

History of hovercraft Part 3...

Today I shall talk a bit more about the military plans for ...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of hovercraft Part 2...

In this episode of our history of hovercraft, we shall exam...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Hovercraft Part 1...

If you’ve been a James Bond movie fan, you may recall seein...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Trams in India | ...

The video I am presenting to you is based on a script writt...

By Aniket Gupta | Presenter: Sheetal Gaikwad

view more