Facebook is said to be working on an upgraded version of its search engine - a move which would put it in even closer competition with Google
Facebook is quietly working on a technology that might make Google nervous - a new, upgraded version of the site's search engine.
The move could give web users a new way to find content - 'steered' by the huge amount of information Facebook stores on its users, rather than by Google's algorithms.
Facebook has reportedly recruited former Google engineer Lars Rasmussen to work on a new version of its Search function.
Rasmussen is working in secret with a team of 25 engineers, according to a report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Facebook already offers a search tool, but it is fairly crude, powered by Microsoft's Bing, and designed to find site users rather than web pages.
The new version of Facebook's search would reportedly be built to search through the huge amount of content - from news stories to entertainment - shared through the site.
Facebook has long been rumoured to be contemplating a move into search - which would create another way for the search giant to earn money from advertising.
Facebook is currently gearing up for an IPO later this year. If Facebook unveils a full-fledged search engine, it's liable to be very different from Google's - with a 'human touch' powered by the social giant's huge database of what people 'like'.
'By cropdusting the web with 'Like,' buttons Facebook has a huge set of data and information curated by all of us,' says tech blog The Next Web. 'Think of it as a super-fine set of information that has already been pre-screened by humans.'
The social giant has been rumoured to be working on an upgraded version of search since a laptop seen in a picture on Mark Zuckerberg's own Facebook page showed an expanded 'Search' box.
Evidence? A laptop seen in a picture on Mark Zuckerberg's own Facebook page showed an expanded 'Search' box
Google: Search, the company's most enduring and popular product, could be in for a radical makeover - which will make the search engine more like Microsoft's second-placed Bing
Google is also said to be working on an upgrade to its search engine which would make Google searches 'answer questions' more effectively, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal
Google has quietly amassed information on 200 million of 'entities' - people, places, products - and the new version of search will feed users information about the 'entity' they are searching for.
Instead of relying on Wikipedia, for instance, to provide facts and figures, Google will provide this information itself.
In 2010, Google acquired FreeBase, a 'knowledge graph' company - and has expanded its database of 'entities' from 12 million to 200 million today.