Facebook 'mystery' event: A search engine in the works?
Facebook is holding a mystery press event at its Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters Tuesday. Some speculate that Facebook will unveil more robust search engine technology that will compete with Google.
Facebook¬†is holding the event at 10 a.m. (1600 GMT) at its California headquarters. The company has not said what it plans to announce. Last week, it invited bloggers and journalists to "come see what we're building."
The company probably won't be showing off a new office building ‚ÄĒ unless it decided to make its invitation very literal.
It's also unlikely to be unveiling a much-rumored "Facebook¬†phone" ‚ÄĒ unless CEO Mark Zuckerberg has changed his mind recently. Last fall, as he'd done on numerous occasions, he publicly shot down speculation that¬†Facebook¬†was building its own smartphone.
"It is so clearly the wrong strategy for us," Zuckerberg said at a September technology conference in his first public interview afterFacebook's¬†May initial public offering. "It doesn't move the needle for us."
As far as search goes, users would likely welcome a better way to sift through¬†Facebook¬†for people, businesses, events and everything else available on the vast online network.
The company, whose much-promoted initial public offering turned out to be a disappointment, may also talk about new advertising features.¬†Facebook¬†has been especially focused on building up is mobile advertising business, since most of its users accessFacebook¬†through smartphones and tablets.
Research firm eMarketer estimates that¬†Facebook, the No. 2 company in the U.S. mobile advertising market, had an 8.8 percent share last year ‚ÄĒup from zero in 2011. That compared with No. 1 Google's 56.6 percent. This year,¬†Facebook¬†is expected to grow its share to 12.2 percent, while remaining far behind Google.
Facebook, which has been calling itself a "mobile first" company, has been growing thanks to increased use of its mobile apps, improving ad quality and its emerging advertising network, called¬†Facebook¬†Exchange, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said in a recent note to investors.
"Our field checks suggest that the recently launched¬†Facebook¬†Exchange is helping advertisers target consumers more effectively," he said, adding that over time,¬†Facebook¬†will make more money from mobile ads, helped by its increasing user profile data.