Facebook announced a new search tool yesterday (Jan. 16) called Graph Search. Built for use within the extremely popular social site, Graph Search is designed to keep users on Facebook, instead of going to other sites to seek information.
According to Facebook, “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. It makes finding new things much easier, but [for privacy reasons] you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.”
At present, Graph Search will mine users’ pictures, likes and check-ins, but not status updates. The first version of Graph Search focuses on four main areas — people, photos, places, and interests. Open Graph actions (for example, song listens) are not yet available, but could be in coming months.
Examples of searches include: “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,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “cities visited by my family,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” “languages my friends speak,” “strategy games played by friends of my friends,” and “books read by CEOs.”
According to the New York Times, “The search tool is plainly designed with an eye toward profits. If done right, said Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner, it could offer marketers a more precise signal of a Web user’s interests. ‘It’s going to lend itself to advertising or other revenue-generating products that better matches what people are looking for,’ he said. ‘Advertisers are going to be able to better target what you’re interested in. It’s a much more meaningful search than keyword search.'”
Graph Search beta is open and only available in English. Click here for more details or to join the waitlist.
In more FB news, the company is testing a pay-to-message service for ordinary people to be able to message celebrities, CEOs, etc. More here.