Facebook just announced that it is acquiring a personalized shopping search engine called TheFind, which has over 15 million current users.
TheFind touts its search engine as the only way to search everything available for sale on the internet, and can match even very vague terms like “white sweater” with a vast array of relevant options.
TheFind also has localization features, meaning that it can return relevant results within a specified geographic area in case the user prefers to buy in-person. Since TheFind aggregates prices across the universe of online and brick and mortar vendors, the user doesn’t need to traverse multiple websites (or physical locations) to find the best deal.
Facebook plans on shutting down the search engine capabilities, but rest assured that they have some clever plans for monetizing this technology. Most likely, this will involve better contextualization of posts and messages that Facebook users generate to make advertisements even more hyper-targeted than they already are.
Perhaps in anticipation of this acquisition, Facebook recently launched an ad sales team with the express purpose of promoting specific items that advertisers are trying to push. There’s no doubt that TheFind strengthens Facebook’s ability to pitch this service to advertisers, as well as charge a significant premium versus
Although Facebook ads may now potentially become even more creepy than they already are, this acquisition should be a win-win-win. It’s win for consumers, who should receive more relevant and better offers; win for advertisers, who can better match ads with the right consumers; and a HUGE win for Facebook, which should be able to further mark up its ad inventory.