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Facebook 'Graph Search' knows all about you, here's what you need to know about it

facebook graph search

Screenshot via Facebook

Graph Search, Facebook's new search feature announced Tuesday makes use of the material already shared in your network to deliver precision results and spare you the hassle of asking everyone you know about the thing you'd like to know.

"Extolling the merits of the social graph," chief executive Mark Zuckerberg called Facebook, "a living database," reports Evelyn Rusli with the Wall Street Journal who live-updated during the Menlo Park press conference.

The natural-language "Graph Search" (with a first version focus on four main areas — people, places, photos, and interests) makes it possible for Facebook to answer questions that Google likely can not. It also has implications for local discovery, commerce, dating, recruiting and other arenas realized, and yet to be realized.

The Washington Post says "entering the search market gives Facebook the opportunity to compete with Google and Microsoft by giving advertisers a real use for all the likes and shares they collect on the site."

EXAMPLE SEARCHES

  • Languages my friends speak
  • Movies my friends like
  • Friends of friends who are single men in San Francisco
  • Photos of friends taken in Paris before 1990
  • Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney
  • People who have been product managers
  • NASA Ames employees who are friends of Facebook employees
  • Indian restaurants liked by my friends in India
  • People who like Game of Thrones

BETA

  • Graph Search releases in beta today for a select few; everyone else can "Join Waiting List."

PRIVACY

Facebook says they "built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind," noting in the news release that "every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn't public." To reiterate, "you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook."

MISSION & CONNECTIONS (via Facebook)

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.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE (via Facebook)

Graph Search

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.

Graph Search

GRAPH SEARCH VS. WEB SEARCH (via Facebook)

  • 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.

REACTION

A collection of reponses covering views from cautiously optimistic to terrified.

What's the first thing you'll search for? 

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