Kate Magiver

Today, Facebook is the second biggest website on the Internet after Google. And Facebook may be aiming for first.

Some iPhone Facebook users have spotted a new icon called “add a link” alongside older options to add locations or photos. Clicking on the icon permits users to search for a link to post on their Facebook wall as part of a post on any topic.

This function is helpful for mobile users, who have to go through back and forth between different web pages if they want to do that normally. Facebook has confirmed that this is their plan, as a spokesman told Wired that Facebook is “piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments.”

This Facebook addition could pose a serious threat to Google. For the past few years, Facebook has functioned as a middleman where users can easily share links from other websites to all of their friends. Now, Facebook intends to take over that process for itself which means SEO companies and marketers pushing products such as 100k Factory will have to come up with a new strategy.

Furthermore, the search engine would be powered with over one trillion posts indexed by Facebook to gain access to websites. This is data which Google does not have, which clearly makes Facebook a direct competitor.

The intended result will be that users will continue to stay on Facebook and not head to another website like Google. This is important because the two websites are becoming more competitive on the lucrative mobile advertising sector. Facebook’s revenue from mobile advertising made up 73 percent of its total advertising over 2015 Q1, and advertising revenue makes up nearly all of Facebook’s revenue.

Facebook’s work on finding links are not the only way in which the company intends to become a repository and not a middleman of information. On May 12, Facebook announced that it was cooperating with nine news organizations including The New York Times, BBC News, and Buzzfeed to produce Instant Articles.

Instant Articles will be posted directly to Facebook instead of the organizations’ websites. This will also encourage users to stay on Facebook instead of heading to those websites directly.