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Facebook introduces 'Graph Search' to help search almost anything on Facebook

Updated: January 16, 2013, 12:20 AM IST
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Facebook introduces 'Graph Search' to help search almost anything on Facebook
Graph Search, which is said to be designed keeping privacy in mind, will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page.

New Delhi: It's neither a Facebook phone nor Web search; it's in fact Graph Search. Facebook has now come up with what it calls the third pillar of Facebook ecosystem - Graph Search. According to Mark Zuckerberg, News feed and Timeline are the two pillars of Facebook ecosystem and this newly introduced feature named "Graph Search" is the third pillar.

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. It also lets you narrow down your queries.

'Graph Search' is said to be designed keeping privacy in mind. It starts today with a limited preview, or beta. The first version of Graph Search focuses on four main areas - people, photos, places, and interests.

"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," said Facebook in a blog post. Graph Search is a new way to navigate these connections, said Facebook.

Facebook has partnered up with Bing to bring in web search results into the Graph Search.

It's only available in English today and users can search for only a subset of content on Facebook.

"When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections. Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections," said Facebook.

Users can go to www.facebook.com/graphsearch to get on the waitlist. The roll out is going to be slow so the company can see how people use Graph Search and make improvements.

Graph Search vs Web Search

Graph Search and web search are very different. 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. We believe they have very different uses.

Another big difference from web search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn't public. We've built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook. It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.

Posts and Open Graph actions (for example, song listens) are not yet available. Facebook will be working on these things over the coming months.

First Published: January 16, 2013, 12:20 AM IST
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