Facebook is altering its search capabilities in an effort to encourage users to talk to each other about breaking news. The company is introducing universal search–making all public posts searchable–and adding a new “Top Posts” section and a list of popular links, rather than just a single stream of search results.
The new search functionality is, as Re/code notes, a push to surface more internal, Facebook-generated content when users search for news topics. Twitter is currently the place that many people turn to as breaking news events unfold, a fact that Facebook is acutely aware of; just last month, Facebook rolled out Signal, a discovery tool that it hopes will encourage journalists to embed Facebook posts in their articles instead of tweets.
This update is a thinly veiled attempt to compete with Twitter’s Moments tab, which launched recently and curates tweets about newsworthy topics. For Twitter and Facebook, two publicly traded corporations, getting people to talk to each other isn’t just a product goal–it’s also a way to generate valuable ad revenue for their stakeholders by serving up ad content around current events.