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Facebook to launch its own search engine at event later today

Facebook is getting ready to unveil its own online search engine later today, sources have revealed to UK website Pocket-Lint.

The social network set up an event for January 15th not so long ago, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg promising something “big”. Of course, our attentions again turned to that long-time rumour, the Facebook phone, but it seems as though the big F has plans to rival Google.

With Google being the obvious kings of the search engine space and more recently moving into social networking with Google+, it would seem that Facebook is looking to do the opposite; use its social media muscle to encourage people to deviate from Google for web searches.

Pocket-Lint’s sources couldn’t confirm exactly what the nature of the search feature will be, although it seems clear that it will be a part of the Facebook site itself rather than a standalone website. The source is anonymous but trusted by the site, and we feel that they could be pretty much spot on.

Facebook already has a search bar, of course, which allows users to search the social network for people, events, places, pages and other such social content. Although it’s still unclear, we have a feeling that complete web search functionality will be added to the same bar that you’ll find sitting in the blue bar at the top of your Facebook page.

Other rumours surrounding the event suggest that an iPad-specific version of the Messenger app will be launched to match the iPhone app launched last year. This is a very real possibility, and would allow iPad users to log in to Facebook chat via WiFi and natter.

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