Yesterday was a big day for Facebook as the company called a press event to announce its first new product since it went public last May. And while there was speculation about what the big announcement would be, few were anticipating the launch of a new Facebook search engine, called “Graph Search.”
Heralded by Mark Zuckerberg as Facebook’s “third pillar” (following Timeline and News Feed), Graph Search allows users to search all the content available to them on Facebook rather than having to look at all their friends’ individual profile pages. So, instead of having to sift through hundreds of friends to find out which ones live in New York or to find all the photos of them at a certain event, Graph Search will do it for you and present the results on one page.
Zuckerberg states, “Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and return to you the answer,” he said, “not links to other places that might take you to the answer.”
Because results are limited to what is available to each Facebook user, everyone’s results will be very different and tailored for them. So what happens if there are no results in your search? Facebook will default to Bing’s search engine results.
Facebook has explained that people will be able to change their privacy settings to remove their content from Graph Search results.
Graph Search has begun to roll out in beta stage however it is only available to a limited number of English (US) users. In the meantime, millions of users (including our own UK Facebook developers) will have to get on the wait list to see it.
What are your thoughts on Graph Search? Let us know in the comments below.