Yesterday, Facebook unveiled its newest product - Facebook Graph Search. The product aims to put Facebook head-to-head with Google by allowing users to search for people, photos, places, and business pages, all from within the social networking site. Graph Search is currently in a limited beta version available to US audiences only, and there's a waiting list. While I wait for my invitation, I wanted to share a little about what we can expect from the upcoming Graph Search.
"In the past, Facebook has been primarily about mapping out and staying in touch with the people you already know in the real world," said Facebook Engineering Director Lars Rasmussen. "But now, we're building a product that can also be used to find people you maybe should know, people that have common interests, people you may want to work with," said Lars.
With Graph Search, you can find anything others have shared with you on Facebook, including any public content from non-connections. You'll see different results based on your friends, friends of friends, and terms you search for. You can filter through photos that you and your friends have been tagged in and find restaurant and music suggestions based on what your connections have liked.
"It's interesting because most people today don't think about Facebook as a place to discover places they could go eat, or things that they could go do, but with this product, it's so natural to be able to do that," said Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook Founder and CEO. "You can find friends of friends who have common interests, who are into ballroom dancing or running or hiking," Product Director Tom Stocky said. "In many ways, this will make your community feel a little bit smaller, make your world feel a little smaller."
At a news conference Monday at Facebook's headquarters, Zuckerburg said the tool could give the social platform a shot at the online-dating market as well as professional networking sites, like LinkedIn, and says the search terms will only expand with time.
"Today, we're starting off with a few basic things: people, photos, places, pages for businesses," Zuckerburg said. "And that's just the start."
If Facebook's Graph Search does not have information in its database that reflects your search query, it directs users to relevant results in Bing. I'm a pretty loyal Google user, but I like the idea of connecting with others who have similar interests on Open Graph. Do you think you'll use Facebook's new product? Let us know in the comments below!
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