BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Facebook's newly unveiled search tool has the potential to generate revenue but is unlikely to challenge the core business of Google in the near term, analysts said Wednesday.
As Facebook's biggest foray into the online search market, "graphic search" can enable users to trawl their network of friends to find information about people, interests, photos and places, as well as information from restaurants to movie recommendations.
Advisory company BofA Merrill Lynch analysts said that "graph search" contains some category suggestions that can be easily monetized.
They estimated that Facebook could add 500 million U.S. dollars in annual revenue from one paid click per user per year, according to Reuters.
After Facebook rolled out the friends-based search product on Tuesday, people began thinking about the question of how this new feature could affect Google, the king of search.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that "graph search" is different from an all-purpose search engine.
His view was agreed by experts, who said that compared with Facebook's focus on the network of friends, the search function of Google takes a much more holistic approach.
Analysts agreed that Facebook's search tool is unlikely to challenge Google's leading position in web search at least in the near future.
"As of now, we do not see Graph Search as a threat to Google Web search. Looking forward, Facebook Graph searches could be competitive with certain categories of Google searches, such as Places and Maps," according to BofA Merrill.