The general market did rally as well, but this wasn't a run fueled by tech. The stodgy Dow Jones 30's 2.2% pop beat the Nasdaq's 1.5% advance, meaning that the Federal Reserve's QE3 push did more for blue chips than the iPhone 5 did for technology companies.
Facebook earned its upticks. Will it keep them?
Searching for clues
The only major Facebook-centric development this week was CEO Mark Zuckerberg's appearance at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Beyond some humbling admissions of what the company has done wrong, the young helmsman has made it clear that Facebook realizes there's a huge opportunity in search.
In news that has to leave Google
"Search engines are really evolving toward giving you a set of answers," Zuckerberg said, and he's not talking about the type of general questions that IAC's
- What sushi restaurants have my Facebook friends gone to lately and liked?
- I have a job interview at a certain company -- do any of my friends work there so I can find out what it's like?
- Have any of my friends stayed at a hotel worth recommending in New York City?
Zuckerberg is just dreaming out loud right now, but he revealed on Tuesday that Facebook does have a team working on search.
Taking search to the next level
This was bound to happen. Even though Bing parent Microsoft
Google's search model has thrived over the years by shooing users away: Folks hit up Google's search box because they want to go elsewhere. Big G doesn't mind. There's money to be made with every sponsored lead it generates.
Facebook is turning that perception around. Stay. Search for what you want. Facebook can make money by mining your connections to deliver even better leads.
Facebook can do this. It closed out its latest quarter with $10.2 billion in cash, and any company willing to throw nearly $1 billion at a profitless Instagram is surely not beyond spending even more on a potential paid-search goldmine.
The social-media king is also big enough to pull it off. Revenue soared 32% to nearly $1.2 billion in the company's latest quarter. That may not seem like much, but Facebook has now surpassed Yahoo!
Google may have to squint to see Facebook in the rearview mirror, but the company has nonetheless become its closest online competitor. The search giant invaded Facebook's turf with Google+, and now it's Facebook's turn to return the favor.
If you don't think any of this will matter, you're not paying attention. Facebook is trying to revolutionize search in a way that no one else can.
A world of opportunity
There's a new premium report on Facebook detailing the opportunities and challenges in store for its shareholders. The report includes a full year of updates, so time's ticking. Check it out now.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.