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Facebook adds 'liked' news stories to search results

Facebook has added more functionality to its search results by including all the articles a user's friends have said they "like."

Facebook's search results featuring "liked" articles.
Facebook's search results featuring "liked" articles. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Facebook is taking a page out of Google's playbook.

The social network updated its search this week to include articles that a user's friend has "liked." So, when a person inputs a query into the Facebook search field, any article related to that query that someone in the person's network has liked will be included. All Facebook first reported on the update.

In most cases, the search results in Facebook's improved tool are ranked by the number of likes an item gets. But in a few queries that I input, including "new Apple TV," I noticed that the results weren't ranked by "like." In fact, one item with just 32 likes trumped another with over 100 likes. But that was very much the exception, rather than the norm. In fact, it seems that the feature is designed to categorize items based on how many times a person liked the result, rather than anything else.

Facebook's decision to offer article results based on likes appears to be a shot over Google's bow. Rather than rely upon the entire Web community for help in delivering viable search results the way Google does, Facebook seems to be assuming that a user's friends would provide better results. That said, the new feature needs some work. It's not as easy to use as Google Search and the content is quite limited. But it certainly has promise.

Facebook did not immediately respond to request for comment.