Facebook Now Suggests Searches

I noticed something new today while on Facebook. I saw a story about Six Flags incorporating Samsung VR headsets into their roller coasters, and clicked on the article to read more. I read the story on Giz, then flipped back to my Facebook tab an found something new in the search bar – a suggestion.

Facebook Search Bar

Notice the “1 new suggestion” text on the right.

What’s a Facebook Search Suggestion, you ask?

Well, it appears Facebook is testing search suggestions for it’s users based on the stories and videos they click on within their news feed. Maybe this is a feature Facebook has been using for a while and I’ve just now noticed, but I think it’s an interesting addition to their user flow. Now, it appears Facebook has found a new way for it’s users to learn more about brands, celebrities, and everything else that would keep someone glued to their site.

Facebook can now keep the conversation going between advertisers and users by making it easier to learn more about brands we care about. It’s not as obvious as the suggested news articles that appear below stories you click on, but it’s definitely making it easier for you to convert from a simple search query to a new follower.

Don’t forget that ‘ol Zuckerberg can monitor everything we do on his site. It can easily take the data it collects from search suggestion click-throughs and update it’s algorithms to give preference to companies willing to pay to be placed within search suggestions. I don’t think this is as huge as a change as it’s preference for live videos, or it’s tactics to support users who “freeboot” original content from other sources. More than anything this is just a reminder that user experience design and conversion tactics change rapidly online, so we as users of Facebook need to stay aware of the constant change.