Facebook Search vs Twitter Search – Side by Side Comparison

As most fellow geeks are aware of Facebook announced the purchase of real time microblogging platform Friendfeed yesterday. Without any delay they then announced later that night that users will now be able to search across peoples profiles and wall postings, something that has never been possible before. This opens up a whole new can of worms and it remains to be seen how well this search feature is adopted and what changes Facebook continues to make to the underlying platform that they have now integrated from Friendfeed.

Now that there is a new live search entity on the block, things are really starting to heat up. Below you will find screenshots of two different queries inside of both Twitter and Facebook.

Before I get into each snapshot I would like to point out a few things. First, by default, Facebook does not show your activity to the public without you going in and selecting that option in your privacy settings. This certainly plays to the affect of Twitter Search having much more coverage for most queries when compared to Facebook Search.

Search Query: Yankees

For the first example I decided to take a broad keyterm that certainly gets plenty of chatter. You will notice that Facebook only had 15 mentions for the phrase “yankees” in the last 8 hours, where Twitter had 20 in the last 12 minutes.

Search Query: Search Engine Strategies

For the second example I decided to take a query that I know is getting traction right now, as San Jose Search Engine Strategies is taking place as I write this article. This is also a good example because typically there is plenty of chatter during events such as this. Similar to the query above there is a lot more going on at Twitter with 20 posts in the last 3 hours. Facebook on the other hand had only 15 since August 5th.


Facebook has a long way to go if they expect to compete with the thoroughness of live search that Twitter currently portrays. Really this can be attributed to the fact Facebook has set privacy settings by default to make users wall posting and events not show up in the public feed, which I am sure users are happy about.

Overall the layout and readability of Facebooks stream in my opinion is sub par and does not lend itself to easy scannability. Twitter really shines on that front. Simple is a good thing.

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1 Comment
  • Barrie Adams
    Posted at 15:59h, 11 August

    Nice comparison, I’m in agreement with you that Facebook need to do a whole lot more to compete in the search market, it currently looks very messy but I’m sure in time they will make it a whole lot slicker.

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