Facebook has told Search Engine Land that it has no immediate plans to expose Facebook Questions (or answers for that matter) to public search results, with a Facebook spokesperson saying:
“Currently, search engines cannot access questions and answers through our Questions product. That may be something we consider for the future but have no current plans to allow it.”
Matt McGee of Search Engine Land seems surprised that Facebook isn’t going to open the service to search engines right away, saying that this is bucking Facebook’s trend of opening everything up that it possibly can – which, to be fair, it is. That said, we’re not too surprised at this decision by Facebook. Here’s why…
Facebook wants people to get comfortable with the idea, and they’re right to do so, especially as the questions and answers will be very public inside of Facebook already. Exposing these questions and answers to search engines now would most likely lead to quite a bit of backlash from Facebook users, many of whom are going to be asking themselves, at least in the short term, how much they want to get involved with the new feature. Putting questions and answers out there on the big, bad, open WWW would most likely turn a lot of those people not only against Facebook Questions, but hurt the Facebook brand as a whole.
We expect Facebook to keep Questions wholly inside of Facebook for awhile, and agree that it is the best strategy, at least short term.