Real time search is undergoing a paradigm shift as Facebook launched a new real time search feature for its social networking website a few hours before Google unveiled its own secret project, Caffeine.
Facebook engineering manager Akhil Wable posted on Facebook's official blog that Facebook users will now be able to search the last 30 days of "their news feed for status updates, photos, links, videos and notes being shared by friends and pertinent Facebook Pages."
The feature will be available to the 250 million users that form part of the Facebook community. This release comes a few hours after the acquisition of Friendfeed by Facebook at a rumoured cost of $50 million in shares and cash.
Facebook's changes will also allow users with public profiles to display what they are saying about particular topics, events or news in quasi real time, in a way similar to Twitter. More importantly, users will be able to get search results based on the source and will remain in control of what content is being shared with other people.
Speaking to Sky News, Leah Pearlman, Facebook's product development manager, said that the changes were "not a knee-jerk response to Twitter's success" (ed: surely it is pure coincidence that it launched on the same day as Google' Caffeine).
As a side note, Akhil Wable submitted a patent referring to the "Sharing Digital Content On A Social Network" which discussed the "Embodiments of the invention provide techniques for more effectively and easily sharing on a social networking system digital content obtained from an external system".