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Facebook tests features that add Wikipedia results to search queries

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Facebook tests features that adds information from Wikipedia to search results on its platform

  • A Facebook test will now surface information from Wikipedia in search queries
  • The feature will display information in a side panel for some queries
  • It will look to help mitigate misinformation on the platform
  • The feature is live on iOS, desktop, and Facebook’s mobile web 

Your next Facebook search may yield some unexpected, and hopefully more trustworthy, results.

According to Techcrunch, the company will start populating searches inside Facebook’s platform with results from Wikipedia in a bid to crack down on fake news and misinformation.

For example, if a user searches for a movie inside the platform an ‘information box’ containing results from Wikipedia will appear, Techcrunch reports.

Instead of requiring users to leave Facebook to view the information, they’ll be able to see the results in a side panel next whatever their original query pulled up.

As noted by SocialMediaToday, who was the first to note that the feature is being introduced, the feature is similar to Google’s ‘Knowledge Panels’ which were added in 2012. 

Knowledge Panels appear on the side of search results to provide context and, as noted by SocialMediaToday, to help keep users engaged with pages for longer periods of time. 

For now, the feature is a pilot program, according to Techcrunch, and is live for English users with iOS, on desktop, or using mobile web.

Techcrunch also notes that the feature appears to favor the platform’s information when beneficial.

A test run by the outlet found that searchers for things like ‘COVID-19’ will bring users to the platform’s information own center as opposed to leading them to official third-party data.

Likewise, a search fo Animal Crossing pulls up the game’s Facebook page and also the option to add the title to the list of games a user is tracking on Facebook Games. 

Conversely, Google’s ‘Knowledge Panels’ gravitate toward official sources when searching about topics like COVID-19, Techcrunch notes. 

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