As with Google: Facebook provides Wikipedia knowledge panels in search results

On Facebook, user knowledge panels have been discovered that provide information about search queries and are reminiscent of Google. The content comes from Wikipedia.

Does Facebook develop ambitions to be perceived as a search engine? With the largest social medium, users can now find knowledge panels by entering certain search terms. These information boxes provide compressed information about the search query, with Wikipedia as the source. So far, like on Google, the knowledge panels that appear at the top right of the search results page appear to be only available to public figures. But that could change soon.

Knowledge panels for people: Link to Instagram Acconts integrated

Anyone looking for famous politicians on Facebook should now come across an information box about these people. A search for Angela Merkel provides users with a knowledge panel that lists pictures of the Chancellor, a very short vita, extracts from her training and awards. In addition, a link to the official Instagram account Merkels is integrated – so Facebook could generate traffic for the subsidiary platform.

Facebook search for Angela Merkel, there is a knowledge panel on the search results page.
Facebook search for Angela Merkel, there is a knowledge panel on the search results page (click on the picture to get a larger view), screenshot Facebook

Users can also access information on other people from a similar environment in the “See also” section. They can also indicate whether the information that comes from Wikipedia is correct.

Social Media Today reported on the information boxes now on Facebook after various users had shared screenshots of them on social media. Social media expert Matt Navarra shared a picture of Jc Van Zijl:

Eight years after the search engine Google introduced its own knowledge graph, Facebook could hope for an optimized information transfer on its own platform from this feature – and one that stands in the way of fake news. The information in Google’s boxes often comes from Wikipedia.

Knowledge panel on Angela Merkel on Google
Knowledge panel for Angela Merkel at Google (click on the picture to get a larger view), screenshot Google

Knowledge panels for longer stays and and seriousness?

One effect that the Knowledge Panels on Facebook could have is the optimization of the length of stay for individual users. If more detailed information about people, and possibly future entities or other aspects, established itself on Facebook, some users would probably search there more and not on Google and Co. In addition, the links to the Instagram accounts of the person appearing in the Knowledge Panel could be used by others Make sure to check out Instagram. This at least brings the length of time the user stays to the Facebook group; and in addition some information about the usage behavior and any interests of the users that can potentially be marketed.

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Regardless of this aspect, the boxes in the search results could also be an approach to combat your own image as a breeding ground for the spread of fake news. After all, Wikipedia is now very well known as a source, although the online encyclopedia is also not immune to errors. Nevertheless, the Knowledge Panels could ensure that users are initially confronted with specific facts on the subject when searching for certain queries. A search for Attila Hildmann, for example, unearths an information box on Facebook in which, based on Wikipedia information, it is referred to as a “cookbook author” and “conspiracy theorist”.

If Facebook enables additional knowledge panels for its own search, this could benefit the platform’s reputation in the long term. Also because disinformation could at least be compared in this way. However, the feature has not yet been fully rolled out. However, some users in Europe can already use it. During our research, we were able to find knowledge panels on various people in public life – although not all information or images were completely suitable.

Inappropriate picture of Twitter's Jack Dorsey in the Knowledge Panel on Facebook
Inappropriate picture of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey in the Knowledge Panel on Facebook, screenshot Facebook

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