New Delhi: Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new feature to help its users search for people and places within the social network, in the company's first major product launch event since its May initial public offering.
Available as a "beta" or early version now, the new feature - dubbed "graph search" because Facebook refers to its growing content, data and membership as the "social graph" - will initially let users browse mainly photographs, people, places and members' interests, he added.
Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title - and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook. It also lets you narrow down your queries. 'Graph Search' is said to be designed keeping privacy in mind. It starts today with a limited preview, or beta. The first version of Graph Search focuses on four main areas - people, photos, places, and interests.
Graph Search FAQ: Here is what the new feature is all about, and how users can use it.
- What is Graph Search?
Graph Search is a new way for you to find people, photos, places and interests that are most relevant to you on Facebook.
- What is Graph Search useful for?
Graph Search will help you instantly find others, learn more about them and make connections, explore photos, quickly find places like local attractions and restaurants, and learn about common interests like music, movies, books and more. All results are unique based on the strength of relationships and connections.
- What can I search for?
With Graph Search, you can search for people, photos, places and interests.
- How do I search?
Type your search into the blue bar at the top of the page. As you start to type, suggestions appear in a drop down. You can refine your search using the tools on the right-hand side of the page.
Some example searches include:
- People who like tennis and live nearby
- Photos before 1990
- Photos of my friends in New York
- Sushi restaurants in Palo Alto my friends have liked
- Tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends
- How are you rolling this out?
Graph Search is in a limited preview, or beta. That means Graph Search will only be available to a very small number of people who use Facebook in US English.
- How can I get Facebook Graph Search?
You can sign up for the waitlist at www.facebook.com/graphsearch
- Does Graph Search change any of my current privacy settings?
No. Graph Search follows your current privacy settings. You can only search for content that has been shared with you.
- How do I control what tags, locations and photos can show up about me?
To control tags, photos or posts with locations about you that appear in search, go to your Activity Log.
"Facebook's mission is to make the world more open and connected. The main way we do this is by giving people the tools to map out their relationships with the people and things they care about. We call this map the graph. It's big and constantly expanding with new people, content and connections. There are already more than a billion people, more than 240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections," said Facebook in a blog post. Graph Search is a new way to navigate these connections, said Facebook.
Facebook has partnered up with Bing to bring in web search results into the Graph Search.
It's only available in English today and users can search for only a subset of content on Facebook.
"When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections. Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections," said Facebook.
Users can go to www.facebook.com/graphsearch to get on the waitlist. The roll out is going to be slow so the company can see how people use Graph Search and make improvements.
Graph Search vs Web Search
Graph Search and web search are very different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: "hip hop") and provide the best possible results that match those 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. We believe they have very different uses.
Another big difference from web search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn't public. We've built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook.
It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.
Posts and Open Graph actions (for example, song listens) are not yet available. Facebook will be working on these things over the coming months.