“Come and see what we’re building.” This was the invitation that Facebook sent out leaving much of the press and public to speculate. Many believed it would be the long rumored Facebook phone. Others thought it would be a a stand alone messaging app for the iPad. All of those rumors will have to go back into hiding for a bit.
Today Facebook unveiled Graph Search Beta.
“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.”
“Graph search is not Web search,” said Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg. Searching gives you links based on keywords and the goal of Graph Search is to provide answers. Users can search for “my friends in California that like techno music.” The results would give users a set of photos, people, places or other content that has been shared on Facebook. Searches could also be based on previous Likes of a restaurant or bar. You could search for local people in New York that like a certain wine bar. Another examples could be my friends that have pictures tagged at the Grand Canyon.
All of the results would be based upon end users privacy and settings. The many recent changes in the Terms of Service could have all been setting up the launch of the new Graph Search.
Facebook gave a few examples of the first four main area search types.
People: “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” “people who like tennis and live nearby”
Photos: “photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “photos of my friends taken in New York,” “photos of the Eiffel Tower”
Places: “restaurants in San Francisco,” “cities visited by my family,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “restaurants in New York liked by chefs,” “countries my friends have visited”
Interests: “music my friends like,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” “languages my friends speak,” “strategy games played by friends of my friends,” “movies liked by people who are film directors,” “books read by CEOs”
Facebook announced that it has a new partner that is helping power the new program. Microsoft Bing has been chosen “to show you world class search results for things that don’t match your query.”
The beta program launched today and can be found at www.facebook.com/graphsearch . The beta is limited to English to start and only on the web version of the site.
Introducing Facebook Graph Search
Find more of what you’re looking for through your friends and connections with Facebook Graph Search.