Facebook could soon rival traditional search engines as a place for consumers to seek information, Google has claimed.
The search giant acknowledged that the social networking site could prove to be a popular place for web users to go for recommendations and advice.
And it suggested that many web users will actually prefer to act on the information provided by their online friends than to click on random links on search engine results pages.
Commenting on Google’s inability to compete with such personal recommendations, the company’s group product manager Ken Tokusei said: "We haven’t gotten to the point where results are seen as if they come from someone you know."
Meanwhile, a Russian internet investment firm has purchased a 1.96 per cent stake in Facebook for $200 million (£125 million), valuing the company at $10 billion.