Facebook Working Harder for Better Search; Tests New Self-Service Ad Feature, Revamping Check-in Numbers

Facebook appears to be working to improve its search features, according to Businessweek report, Facebook currently has 24 team members, lead by a former Google employee named Lars Rasmussen.The goal, according to unnamed sources, is to help users better sift through the volume of content that members create on the site, such as status updates, […]

Facebook appears to be working to improve its search features, according to Businessweek report, Facebook currently has 24 team members, lead by a former Google employee named Lars Rasmussen.

The goal, according to unnamed sources, is to help users better sift through the volume of content that members create on the site, such as status updates, and the articles, videos, and other information across the Web that people "like" using Facebook's omnipresent thumbs-up button.

The article states that Facebook had 336 million search queries on its site in February 2012.

The benefits of a better search experience will certainly help users who want to find specific information in their news feeds, Facebook pages and more. It will also help Facebook as it tries to gain more revenue from advertisers, something which Google has been successful with its own search engine.

Also, Facebook is running a test aimed at improving its Marketplace Ads self-service platform. "We've heard from self-service advertisers that they want more guidance on how to optimize their campaigns based on their marketing goals," Facebook's Annie Ta said.

"For example, some advertisers may want to get more app installs while others may be more interested in likes. As a result, we're testing out a new design and set of features in the self-service ads creation tool," explains Ta.

Adding, "Our overall goal is to make setting up ad campaigns easier and more tailored to achieving specific marketing objectives on Facebook," Ta said.

The current key features include:

  • Flexible targeting options. Advertisers will be able to employ both precise interests and broad category targeting in the same campaign. In the current Marketplace Ads iteration, brands must choose between the two options.
  • Goals-driven ads automation. Marketers will be able to specify upfront the key campaign objectives, such as app installs or gaining likes/fans. The system will optimize their ads based on these goals, Facebook says.
  • A simpler interface.

Facebook has also sent an email to admins, alerting them that numbers on Pages will be updated "in the next few weeks" -- per the Facbook's email:

We are revising check-in numbers on Facebook Pages to give you a more accurate picture of how people are visiting your business. Among these changes, previously, if an individual checked into your business multiple times, each check-in was counted into your Page's total check-in number.

Now, if someone checks into your business multiple times within a 12-hour period, that action will be counted as one unique check-in.

In addition, when people tag their friends at a location and upload a photo, those photo tags will be counted more holistically. For example, if 20 photos were uploaded to an album at a specific location, we'll now count that as a single check-in. If Jessica checks into a location and tags five friends in the photo she uploads with her check-in, the total check-ins number will be six -- Jessica plus her five friends.

Here's a screenshot of the workflow displayed in the test:

Facebook Tests New Self-Service Ad Feature