Facebook Targets Twitter With Real-Time Search

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Merely hours after acquiring FriendFeed, Facebook is now rolling out an improved real-time search product for all of the social network's users. The new Facebook search will deliver results from your friends' status updates, photos, links, and videos.

Facebook has been testing its improved search engine since June on a limited number of users. And as of today, real-time search is available to all of the social network's 250+ million users, the company announced on its blog.

The new Facebook search will look through the last 30 days of your news feed for status updates, photos, links, videos, and notes shared by your friends and also through fan pages you joined. Using the search box in the upper-right corner of any page performs a Facebook search query.

A glimpse into Facebook's new real-time search (Click to enlarge) | At the top, results from your friends' posts are displayed and results from other public members of the network underneath. Image: Facebook
One of the most important features of Facebook's new real-time search is the capability to look through all the public posts on the social network, marked as "Post by Everyone." Same as with Twitter, as new updates for your search come in, an alert will show at the top of the screen.

By introducing real -time search through everyone's (public) posts, Facebook is giving a solid alternative to Twitter search, something that the microblogging platform emphasized with the launch of its new homepage in late July.

Although at the moment not many Facebook users are sharing their status publicly, the social network is said to soon introduce more privacy options that will allow users to use their status updates pretty much in the same way as Twitter. Right now, if you want to make you status updates available to anyone, you can go to Setting>Privacy>Profile and select "Everyone" from the "Status and Links" tab.

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