Facebook users may soon be able to browse other websites without having to log out of their account, as the social networking website is currently testing its own search engine. The new feature will make it easier for users to share links and articles with their friends.
Currently, users have to paste in the URL of a page if they wish to share it but some iOS users will have noticed a “add a link” option on the social networking website’s app. Users can type in a query and be provided with matching links, which they can then tap and add to their status with a comment before sharing it with other users.
Facebook recently spoke about the feature, saying that more details would be revealed soon and confirmed that the site is “piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts or comments.”
The trial is so far only available to a small group of users in the US, however, the site has “indexed over one trillion posts to let people search for links that have been searched with them.” If the feature becomes available to all users, it will enable them to search for content without even having to use Google and they will be able to locate news much more quickly without having to search through Facebook’s news feed.
The “Add A Link” feature may enable users to share more news and receive news and content that other users and their friends care about, depending on what stories their friends click on or “like.”
The new search engine feature is likely to be a benefit to Facebook, as it means that publishers could become even more dependent on the website. News stories will be accessed and shared more quickly, as users will not need to click out and wait for web pages to load.
The feature also means that there will be more chances for the social networking website to place adverts next to posts. Facebook plans to split ad revenue with publishers.
In addition to allowing users to share news, the feature also aims to get users to remain logged into their Facebook account for longer periods.