Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) leaped into the online search market with its “graph search” tool that was unveiled last Tuesday. While it is a big step for the company, which has made efforts to monetize its social network a priority, Wall Street analysts are not expecting the platform to challenge the dominance of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) search engine.
Here’s what they are saying:
Allowing users to sift through their network of friends to find restaurant and movie recommendations could make the social network’s search tool competitive with certain categories of Google search, like its “Places” and “Maps,” wrote analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a research note seen by Reuters. The firm further noted that those results could be easily incorporated and supplemented with commercial results provided by Facebook’s partnership with Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing.
Merrill Lynch analysts estimated that the search tool could add $500 million in annual revenue if it can produce one paid-click per-user-per-year, and lifted their price target on the company’s stock to $35.