Facebook’s new search – why PLM vendors should care?

Facebook’s new search – why PLM vendors should care?


I’m following Facebook search development effort. Maybe you had a chance to read my earlier post about that – Why PLM should pay attention to Facebook Graph Search?  Search development in Facebook is interesting lead by ex-Googler Lars Rasmussen. You can read some interesting materials about that here Facebook’s Bold, Compelling and Scary Engine of Discovery: The Inside Story of Graph Search and here.

Few days ago, my attention caught by new updates about Facebook search updates – Facebook search now lets relive old status updates. This update was also mentioned on Facebook’s news room here. The following passage is very interesting.

Speaking about the function of post searching, Facebook VP of Search Tom Stocky said “With a quick search, you can get back to a fun video from your graduation, a news article you’ve been meaning to read, or photos from your friend’s wedding last summer…Your search results are personalized and unique to you and, as always, you can only see things that have been shared with you.” Conceptually, you should be able to type a few key words that you recall from the original post in order to make the post in question appear within the search results.

The scale of Facebook search is impressive. Here is quote by Mark Zuckerber about search initiative from Facebook 4Q 2013 Earnings Call Transcript:

So starting with Graph Search, we’re really early in the game on this, and I think you can see that because we haven’t even really rolled out our mobile version of Graph Search yet, and we’re a mobile company, right? And we started on desktop and the way that we’re thinking about this is there’s just so much content that people have shared on Facebook that simply building the infrastructure to index all of it and start ranking it is a multiyear effort, which we’re making our way through. So the first release indexed more than a trillion connections between all the people and interests and events and groups and things that everyone was connected to. The second release that we did recently was around all the updates, right? So there are more than a trillion status updates and unstructured text posts and photos and pieces of content that people have shared over the past 10 years, and indexing that was a really big deal, because as the number of people on the team who have worked on web search engines in the past have told me, a trillion pieces of content is more than the index in any web search engine.

Trillion connection between people, connections and updates. This is impressive and clearly can be compatible with scale of data held by manufacturing companies. To complexity of connection embedded into engineering information is very high and it requires a piece of sophisticated technology to crunch it. I’ve been experimenting with Facebook search over the past few days and find it interesting. I found few references on my old posts and unknown before sources of information.


What is my conclusion? The amount of data accumulated by manufacturing companies is huge. As engineering companies are moving their effort towards cloud and online the need to have an infrastructure capable to crunch this scale of data is growing. Facebook is an interesting referencing point to keep in mind. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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