Facebook’s U.S. search queries grew 48 percent in March, bringing the company to 2.7 4.2 percent market share, according to comScore data that’s due out this afternoon but has already been distributed by Citi Investment Research. Update: It appears that Citi may have erroneously reported the search engines’ shares by comparing Facebook’s portion to the top five properties rather than the whole category. Using the raw data as provided by comScore client Ask, we have updated to the correct percent shares for all search engines throughout. With the actual numbers, Facebook is smaller than Ask. At 2.7 percent of searches, Facebook now ranks just below the search engine Ask (s IACI), at 3.1 percent, and ahead of the long-time portal AOL (s AOL), at 2.5 percent. And this is coming off of a February when Facebook redesigned its home page to more prominently feature search and saw an immediate 10 percent jump in search queries.
Microsoft’s Bing (s MSFT), which powers Facebook’s web search, is also on the rise, with 7.8 percent market share a tenth above February. Yahoo (s YHOO) grew for the first time since Bing was introduced — to 11.3 percent market share — but is still on a overall downward slope for the year. Meanwhile, Google (s GOOG) had 59.7 percent market share in March, down just a few tenths from March.
Expect this trend to continue. As we wrote last month:
Understanding information through a social lens can be incredibly useful. Not to mention, half of Facebook’s 400 million users log in every day, so they will likely become accustomed to searching through the site where they live on the web.