Facebook announces Graph Search

Facebook teased the world last week when it sent out invites to members of the press to come to their headquarters for a news conference. Today, company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the new product they have been building is called Graph Search, which he said is one of the company's three "pillars" (News Feed and Timeline are the other two".

Engadget reports that Graph Search, according to Zuckerberg, is not intended to be a web search engine like Google or Microsoft's Bing, but an engine that will search out information across all of Facebook's one billion users. Graph Search is supposed to be able to answer specific questions, with Zuckerberg saying, "You really need to just ask 'Who are my friends in San Francisco?' and get the answer quickly."

He is also promising that Graph Search has been built with the privacy of Facebook users in mind. It will allow its users to find nearby friends who might watch the same TV show to perhaps get together for a viewing party (Game of Thrones is apparently a favorite show of Zuckerberg's). The search results can be ordered by how close you are with your Facebook friends that show up in the search result.

Facebook also says that if your profile can only be seen by your Facebook friends, than Graph Search won't show any results to anyone other than your friends.

Ultimately, it looks like Graph Search is supposed to make finding new Facebook friends easier while also encouraging better connections with the Facebook friends you already have. It will be interesting to see how Google responds (it has Google+ in place already). Microsoft already offers up Facebook search engine results in Bing but there's no word if Graph Search will affect the Bing relationship.

There's no word yet on when Graph Search will go live but we will update this post when and if that info becomes available.

Update: Facebook has posted up a press release with more information about Graph Search, including word that a limited beta is available for some users now. You can sign up for the beta on Facebook's website, which also offers users a quick sample of a personal Graph Search result. There's no word on when it will launch for all Facebook users.

Source: Engadget | Image via Engadget and Facebook

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