Facebook has announced that public search listings will be freely accessible on the Web--meaning individuals who are not logged on to Facebook will be able to view Facebook profiles when they search for another individual via a general search engine. According to Facebook, these publish search listings display less information than a Facebook user could access and that Facebook members will be able to control the viewing of their listings. If they don't want it to be accessible outside the Facebook network, they can adjust their search privacy settings.
Facebook gave its members a one-month notice about the new public search capability to ensure that they were comfortable with their profiles "going public." This certainly isn't a revolutionary idea. It's one that has been successfully embraced by both ZoomInfo and LinkedIn.
Still, there's no doubt this new search function will help individuals find each other when they use more general search engines like Google. But it will also serve to add more attention--free publicity--to Facebook with every search conducted. That's most likely the main reason behind this. However, it would see that the ultimate reason people create profiles on services such as LinkedIn and Facebook is to be found. Such an addition to Facebook was invevitable.