Home Facebook Updates Are Now Searchable; Not What Most Users Joined For

Facebook Updates Are Now Searchable; Not What Most Users Joined For

Facebook is really flexing its muscles today. First it acquired radically innovative social network FriendFeed and now it has announced that it’s opened up search across all status messages, notes and shared links that users have marked as public. (Don’t worry, yours aren’t public unless you changed your own settings.)

Searching across all users, whether you know them or not, requires a couple of clicks – but the availability of the feature marks a dramatic turning point in the history of Facebook. For months the company has been pushing users towards being more public and less private. This is why.

Google still can’t index the contents of Facebook, because Facebook is positioning itself as a major competitor to Google. There is no RSS feed available for searches, even updates marked public are only public within the walls of Facebook, not on the open web at large. Developers can’t build innovative new applications on top of the new Facebook search. It’s a walled garden – why would you ever want to leave when Facebook can fill all your needs as a user?!

No one really gets what they want here except for self-promoters, voyeurs, marketers and presumably the advertising department at Facebook.

There’s something creepy about this. We’ve asked before if Facebook is a cult and we’ve discussed how its privacy moves represent an agenda that praises privacy but doesn’t support the kind of privacy people experience in real life. (You share different things with different people, depending on the context.) You probably joined Facebook because you thought it was a secure place to converse with friends and family. It may still be, but the company sure would like it if you’d please lift the lid and let the world search and view those conversations.

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