Facebook to reveal profiles on search engines

6 Sep 2007

Social networking phenomenon Facebook yesterday revealed that it is making limited public search listings available via search engines like Google, MSN Live and Yahoo!

However, before existing Facebook members get hot and bothered the company said that registered members will be able to control whether profiles are available to searches outside Facebook.

Facebook engineer Phil Fung, writing in a company blog, said: “We’re expanding search so that people can see which of their friends are on Facebook more easily.

“The public search listing contains less information than someone could find right after signing up anyway, so we’re not exposing any new information, and you have complete control over your public search listing.”

He said that within a few weeks Facebook will allow these public search listings to be found by search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN Live.

“We think this will help more people connect and find value from Facebook without exposing any actual profile information or data.

“As always, if you do not want your public search listing to be visible to people searching from outside of Facebook, you can control that from the Search Privacy page.”

Fung added that users will only appear in searches outside Facebook when their search settings are set to “Everyone”.

The Facebook social networking site began life in 2004 as an Ivy League networking site for students but by 2007 has grown to boast a global community of 34 million young professionals, mostly graduates and last year made US$50m in revenues.

By John Kennedy