A whole wing of the Internet just got added to our collective conscience, like websites by Google or knowledge by Wikipedia before it.
Yet the news cruised by with analysis focused simply on what Facebook’s new keyword post search does today. Yes, any post by you or any of your friends can now be dug up with a quick search from mobile. But I don’t think people realize how big a deal it is for tomorrow. Facebook just went from data rich to Scrooge-McDuck-swimming-in-a-tower-full-of data rich.
The ramifications for advertising, developers, and Facebook itself are tough to fathom. Our most vivid doppelgänger, our digital echoes can now be tracked. They don’t just say who we were, but where we’re headed, and what we’ll want next.
First, the trillion post index gives us group memory.Each person can only search stories from their friends and surrounding network, but Mark Zuckerberg recently said those all add up to over 1 trillion posts.
If your friends put their lives on Facebook, you can now remember them too. You could say these are just faded snapshots, nowhere near the real thing, but how much of our own lives do we forget completely? Search yourself and almost any word, and you’ll likely discover scenes from your own past that you didn’t find worth saving locally.