Is Facebook the Next Google? Facebook’s Search Functionality Explained
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you’re likely familiar with Facebook. Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has grown in to a cultural and financial phenomenon. With a user base that now exceeds 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook has risen to become the world’s 6th most valuable company.
In 2008, Facebook launched business pages; a chance for businesses of every size and industry to reach a massive new audience, build a following, and potentially convert new customers. Facebook’s business pages were especially helpful for hotels given the highly social nature of travel.
Studies have found that 52% of people dream about a vacation when on Facebook, even without one being planned. And of those planning a vacation, 55% liked Facebook Pages specific to their trip.
Hotels who interacted with people on Facebook began to grow a base of followers. These people who would be able to see updates from the hotel in their News Feed. It was a dream come true for hotel marketers – free promotion and strong engagement on the world’s largest social network!
The Good Times Never Last
But you don’t become a billion-dollar company by giving something away for free – especially not something you could be charging for.
In 2011, Facebook ads began appearing in peoples’ News Feed for the first time. Then last year, Facebook made a major change to its News Feed algorithm, essentially transitioning from a social network to a paid advertising platform for businesses. The update put a larger emphasis on posts from family and friends, stunting the organic reach of Business pages. Today, almost all the updates that appear from businesses in the News Feed are paid.
Facebook Takes Aim at Google
This has been a widely successful strategy for Facebook, now the second largest advertising seller behind Google. In Q1 2017, it posted a record $8 billion in revenue. But Facebook’s CFO, David Ebersman, has warned that the amount of ads Facebook show its users is reaching a saturation point. For the company to continue to grow, it needs to find new revenue streams.