Facebook has recently unveiled some new changes to the search capabilities which strikes at the heart of some major usability issues with the site. In addition to categorization of search results by origin (i.e. groups, friends, pages, etc.) the new search functionality allows users to reach out beyond their network of friends to see information from any Facebook user that has a public profile.
I disagree with many in the industry that see this as an attempt to crush Twitter, which has always opened up search results to public profiles. Rather, expanding the scope of accessibility to information across Facebook will only help people make more connections with other likeminded individuals. The old platform made it easy to connect with people and causes that you already knew. This expanded search functionality will allow people to make those more difficult and vastly more available connections with people and groups that exist outside their direct or indirect networks.
If this move is a threat to anyone, it's Google. The way that people find information on the Internet is changing. Search engines have done a great job of organizing the near infinite information that exists across the Internet, but most search results lack a degree of credibility. Social media sites put a person behind the information and people are naturally more adept at assessing the trustworthiness of other people then they are of websites. If Facebook can put a quality search platform behind the content that is flowing across their large and diverse userbase, it would certainly have the potential to impact people's dependence on Google's search results.