Reuters correspondent Eric Auchard wrote a story about Facebook, chronicling the latest news on the rapid growth of the social network, which is adding more than 150,000 members per day. The Facebook platform has spawned 1,400 applications. But what was more interesting to me is finding this Reuters story, at least a pointer, on Facebook.
Eric and I are Facebook 'friends,' and this morning a note from Eric about his Reuters story was at the top of my Facebook News Feed. I read the story on the Reuters site, and then posted on comment about it on the Facebook note he wrote pointing to his story. This is the Facebook 'loop,' in which Facebook is content hub that is driven by a social graph.
This experience brings up the notion that the feed from my Facebook friends network is a valuable filter, in addition to what I get from my hundreds of RSS feeds in Google Reader. I can also subscribe to Facebook notes from friends via RSS.
From this Facebook encounter, I connected to a post on Facebook by Aditya Agarwal of Facebook about improving search on the site. Currently Facebook services more than 600 million searches per month, which are sorted by an approximation of social graph distance. Agarwal wrote: "We have big plans to improve Facebook search in the upcoming months. We want to leverage the power of the social graph to further improve the quality of the results and ensure that you find what you are looking for on Facebook."
Spock is a new people search engine (currently invite only) that aggegrates data from multiple sources. Here's what a search for Eric might look like, with Facebook on top and Spock on the bottom: