Southern California breaking news and trends

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."


Get out of my Facebook: Users upset over quiet email switch

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Over the weekend, Facebook added a feature that lets users change what contact information is displayed on their Timeline, directly from the Timeline.

In rolling out this change, the company defaulted user displayed email addresses to addresses, and hid the user's previously selected choice.

The ill-received change was first pointed out by bloggers over the weekend. Feeds fueled with passionate disapproval followed shortly after.

An email sent to a address lands the email in the messages of a user's profile, and the more people use Facebook to communicate, the more the company can target ads based on conversations.

"They've got an email service that no one is using," said Forrester analyst Nate Elliott to the Associated Press. Getting people to send emails to and from Facebook deepens people's connection to the site, he added. "This is a way of encouraging use — it's just a rather crude way."


Facebook to buy Instagram for $1 billion


Photo by Cris via Flickr Creative Commons

Things are about to get square -- Facebook announced it will be buying Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock, reports Business Insider.

The mobile-only photo app grew from 1 million users in January 2011, to 15 million in December 2011, to 30 million users today, they say.

Mark Zuckerberg just announced the news on Facebook saying "I'm excited to share the news that we've agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook."

More angles as they develop.


Bald Barbie? Group petitions Mattel to create doll to support children with cancer

bald barbie

Image via Facebook

Ken you dig it? A movement called "Beautiful and Bald Barbie" launched a Facebook page just before Christmas in support of kids with cancer.

The group, with already more than 31,000 fans, is petitioning toy-manufacturer Mattel to build a Barbie that's undergone treatment and lost her hair.

The idea was created by friends Rebecca Sypin, a special ed. teacher's aide in Lancaster, Calif., and Jane Bingham, a photographer from New Jersey. Both have been affected by the disease.

We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania. Also, for young girls who are having trouble coping with their mother's hair loss from chemo. Many children have some difficulty accepting their mother, sister, aunt, grandparent or friend going from a long haired to a bald.

Accessories such as scarves and hats could be included. This would be a great coping mechanism for young girls dealing with hair loss themselves or a loved one. We would love to see a portion of proceeds go to childhood cancer research and treatment. Let's get Mattell's attention!