Great post! Far more insightful than other commentary on this. It illustrates how people outside Facebook frequently mistake the product potential of changes.

But also: Isn’t there sometimes disconnect between the company’s intention and what actually works for users? Within Facebook, haven’t there been cases where intended icebergs turned out to be ice cubes? I’m wondering in particular about search: There have been a few points in the past where it seemed like Facebook was trying to carve out valuable pixels to serve up general web search (with Bing). And also there were changes with Open Graph queries. But it seems like these have never caused the giant shifts in user behavior they might have.

Search experiences are deeply complex and hard to predict, since executing well requires good UX, good social engagement, good retrieval quality, and good result quality — on a stream of diverse, potentially long tail queries. And doing well in each of those four areas requires different kinds of engineering efforts and team DNA. It will be interesting to see if Facebook will actually be able to execute on all those areas well enough to make commercial search compete with Yelp in this area.

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