From a Facebook smartphone to developing its e-commerce presence, there's no shortage of rumors as to just what Facebook will roll out next week. But there's growing certainty that the social giant will eventually get into the search business, if not next week, sometime this year, analysts said.
(Read More: Here's What Facebook May Unveil Next Week)
"We have no question in our mind that given their broad vision of making Facebook a site that people come to, that search will become a critical component of it," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies.
Facebook no longer wants to be just a social networking site. It's growing its services and features to keep users on its platform longer, and search is a key way to accomplish that, Bajarin said.
"There's been a general approach to the Yahoos of the world, MSNs of the world, where eventually you want to keep the eyeballs on your site as long as you can," Bajarin said. "So think of it this way, Facebook is really going in the direction of creating a destination page that people come to where they can get a lot of things—not just social networking—shopping news sports weather as well as search because search becomes the glue."
While Bajarin said it's more likely Facebook will announce something related to mobile next week, he does expect the company to introduce a search product sometime this year. But there's still the mystery of just what kind of search product it will be.
"Search is about the only thing we kind of know they've been working on one," said analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities. "My guess is it's not a global search, I think it's probably a curated search product. So just some enhancement to look and see what your friends have posted, more like a timeline search, ... but it could be anything,"