Facebook to launch ‘Graph Search’

Alex Walls
January 15, 2013

So, what is that exactly?

Facebook’s mystery announcement, which has seen its share price rise and predictions ranging from a new phone to a new operating system, was covered live by various attendees.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage to announce the introduction of Graph Search, a search service that lets Facebook users search questions of their Facebook friends, CNBC reported.

And, of course, Facebook is working on mobile implementation for Graph Search, Forbes reported.

Rather than a web search with links, Mr Zuckerberg reportedly said the search function will provide answers and will, like Google Search, auto-complete.

He gave the example of looking for Mexican restaurants in the area that his friends had been to, Forbes said.

The searchable information will depend on privacy settings, and users will only be able to search already shared information.

Given that one of the search examples reported at the conference was “My friends of friends who are single men and San Francisco residents and who are from India”, it seems the launch is a) well placed for Valentine’s Day and b) taking Facebook stalking to epic new proportions.

Facebook has released a beta of Graph Search with introduction by director product manager Tom Stocky and director of engineering Lars Rasmussen and said the function allows users to make new connections.

The function will appear as a larger search bar across the top of each page, the run down says, with the search terms forming the title for the page (which can be edited).

The intro again emphasises the difference between Graph Search and web search, although Forbes reported Facebook has a partnership with Microsoft’s Bing for answers that Graph Search couldn’t provide.

Mr Stocky and Mr Rasmussen’s intro said web search was designated to take a set of keywords, for example hip hop, and provide the best possible results matching these keywords.

“With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.”

The intro also mentions privacy, advising users can only see what they could already view elsewhere on Facebook (but presumably, now in a collated form).

The beta is available in English, focussing on people, photos, places and interests.


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