I can imagine this post, titled “Facebook Testing Web Search Box At Top Of Site” was flying around Google’s cubicles today. Probably with a few expletives attached as commentary.
This certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented. They targeted Microsoft years ago with their online Office competitor, and Microsoft fired back with Bing and seems to be quite willing to invest billions of dollars for as long as it takes to grab search share from Google. Now Google is targeting Facebook with their social efforts. There’s no reason at all why Facebook wouldn’t go into search. For us users, it’s all good. Competition brings better products to the market at lower prices. And Google needs more competition in search.
But…phew! The screenshot that All Facebook got is a fake, or the result of third party software messing with a user’s browser (my guess is photoshop is the culprit). So take it down to DEFCON 2, Google, Facebook isn’t launching search just yet.