Picture this: You read an article about the Mad Men finale on the train to work. Once at work you decide your friend, Tom, would enjoy the article so you open Facebook to share it with him. Since you no longer have the article open on your screen, you head to Google to search for the article link. After some digging, you find the article and copy the URL. Then you head back to Facebook to add it to your post.
Well, what if you never had to leave Facebook to find the link?
Last week Facebook announced that they are testing a new feature that would allow users to add a link to a post or comment without having to use a main search engine to find it. The tool has a search bar that allows users to find an link via keywords. While most articles will be available, Facebook does favor content that has been shared most frequently.
The tool was built to keep Facebook users on the social network longer and provide a better user experience for them. With the addition of the ‘Add A Link’ tool, Facebook may soon be stealing valuable traffic from Google. In 2014 Facebook delivered 25% of all social referral traffic and that number is expected to greatly increase throughout 2015. Many have even speculated that Facebook will launch advertising integration, similar to sponsored results on Google.
While search isn’t an arena that Facebook has excelled at in the past (looking at you, Graph Search), the ‘Add A Link’ tool has the potential to change the search engine game. The product is currently available only to some iOS users, but is expected to roll out to all users later this year.