In more design news, Facebook appears to have made some tweaks to its search feature as part of its bigger plan to make it a more prominent part of the site.
In a rather minor change, the list of search results now stretches beyond the width of the search bar. This could help to lessen distractions from the underlying News Feeds, putting the individual’s focus on the results.
And although it hasn’t been confirmed by the company, this could also be Facebook’s way of preparing for a wider release of Sponsored Results — which enable advertisers to target specific search terms. For example, people searching for “Drake Hotel Chicago” could see a Sponsored Result for Hyatt Regency Chicago.
Facebook confirmed it was testing this feature in July, but no details have been released regarding usage data or a release timeline.
Additionally some members have noticed a new “Top Hit” feature that appears at the top of the list on random searches — there doesn’t seem to be a pattern for when it’s displayed. Currently Facebook organizes search results by category; it’s possible that this is a way to provide members with the most relevant result.
If the social network can find a way to make its search feature a more relevant and reliable tool for members, it won’t be long before it becomes a much more valuable tool for marketers and advertisers.