Facebook has just announced “Graph Search,” which they’re hoping will change the way you search for new friends, connections and even answers on the social network. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is careful to note that this is in no way a competitor to web search, it’s something different. Ordinary searches on Facebook will be instead handled by Bing, also announced as a new partnership. Graph Search on the other hand is designed to give you more specific answers to more specific queries, like the search below:
Facebook has over a billion people on the social network with more than a trillion connections. Graph Search allows you to personalize search and get the results most relevant to you by utilizing your connections and the people you interact with the most. If for example, you’re searching for a new restaurant in town to eat in, Graph Search would show you restaurants that your friends liked — as opposed to a web search or Yelp review which would also give you reviews, but they wouldn’t be from people you know or trust.
It’s also a great way to find common interests between you and your friends. A traditional way of doing this on Facebook would be to navigate to someone’s profile and go to their About Page then find what they have listed there. A Graph Search would instantly be able to tell you which of your friends are into Star Wars, so you could plan a movie night in a matter of minutes. Searches can also be made more specific to really narrow down your results. You could search for restaurants liked by friends that are in the food industry perhaps, using their taste and expertise to find the best of the best.
As for privacy concerns, the company has already thought of that — you can only view what you would normally be able to view elsewhere on Facebook. Graph Search is now rolling out in a very limited capacity as a beta for the web, and only for English users. It should arrive in more languages and to mobile in the coming months. If you like the sound of this, you can sign up for the wait-list at the link below!