Facebook: Mystery search box was caused by someone ‘targeting the browser’

Turns out the mystery web search box that some people saw at the top of Facebook today was a mystery to Facebook, too. Here’s the official statement, straight from a company spokesperson.

We are not testing the placement of a separate web search field and have no plans to do so.  We believe the second search field or “Search the Web” box appeared on peoples’ accounts as the result of unknown actions by a third party targeting the browser (potentially a browser plugin or malware) unrelated to Facebook.

If people think their browser may have been affected by malware, we offer a remediation process which includes a free browser-based virus scanning tool built by McAfee. Users are required to run this Scan and Repair tool and clean their machines of malware before accessing their account.

Weird, huh? AllFacebook, which had broken the news, has an image of what the web search box looked like. The company didn’t say which browser or browsers were involved, but we’ve asked and we’ll update this post depending on the response.

At any rate, so much for the speculation about the possibility of a new standalone Facebook web search box throwing a ton of new traffic to Microsoft Bing.