Facebook to take on Google with new search tool

By , Jan 15, 2013

Facebook has just kicked off its highly anticipated “come and see what we’re building” event, and it’s first big announcement of the day is its new search tool. It’s not necessarily a web search per se, but a graph search, capable of crawling all of Facebook’s data.

It will help you answer questions like: what are some things my friends like, what kind of music are they listening to, what about places my friends have been to or liked and much more more. We have more details on Facebook’s new search tool after the fold…

The tool itself is called “Graph Search,” and it’s a new way to search through Facebook’s massive amount of photos, people, and connections. It’s designed to find results from a precise query, as opposed to a web search, which returns general results to a general query.

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“Web search and graph search are really, really different,” Zuckerberg explained. In order to provide answers in an intuitive way, Graph Search uses a series of filters that look a bit like an advanced tagging system, allowing it to sort things like relationships and interests.

The tool will also handle typical web searches though, thanks to a new partnership with Bing. Microsoft’s search engine will supplement Facebook’s results with data that cannot be found in the graph, meaning things like weather, music results, breaking news, etc.

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It’s an interesting move, to say the least, as it completely takes Google out of the equation for Facebook’s search tool. And given that the social network has somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion users, it’s sure to be used by hundreds of millions people.

As far as privacy goes — a big issue with Facebook’s critics — Mark Zuckerberg says that the search tool is privacy-aware, and it will only return search results that have either been shared with you, or are marked as public, meaning they’re available for all to see.

Graph Search is only web-based for now, and will be rolling out very slowly, starting today with a limited beta for English-speaking users. If you’re interested, you can sign up for the wait list by clicking here.

So, what do you think about Facebook’s new search tool? Good idea?

[The Verge]

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  • jose castro

    WOW they want to be Google and dip into your privacy. a lot of Stalkers are getting excited.

  • Jeff

    I’d have to argue against that headline. I don’t think Facebook is taking on Google with this, at least for the time being they aren’t. They’re still working with Bing for searches outside the network. Will they eventually step directly into Google’s territory? More than likely. But for now, they’re playing it cool and taking baby steps.

    • Melvco

      Right, Facebook’s Graph Search itself isn’t a web search. But I think the Microsoft partnership, and the integrated Bing web search make it a direct Google competitor.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Great more ways to pry into ppl’s personal lives. What they listen to, where they go. Gimme a break, f’n redic. So glad to not subscribe to FB tripe.

    • memuser

      It only searches stuff you shared anyway so how is this privacy invasion ? I mean folks already share that stuff whether on the great Facebook or the subpar Google+

      • pawfyd

        You are subpar. Google+ is great.

        I don’t understand how someone can like Facebook and Apple at once – they are complete opposites. One is about quality, user experience, simplicity and minimalism. The other one doesn’t even know what user experience means, spams you with ads from every corner and simply sucks when it comes to ease of use and privacy. Guess which one is which.

        Google+ is a great social network. It’s simple, user experience is the most important thing for them and they just get the core social networking aspects right. It feels like it’s made by Apple because of its quality.

  • http://twitter.com/ToeKnee_G Tony G

    I’m wondering how this is taking on Google? I’m not aware that Google searches your facebook friends and finds similar movies, etc you have in common with them.

  • http://twitter.com/saltysmith1 Chris Smith

    I think they should sort out there push notifactions before launching something else

  • memuser

    Did you guys follow or read about this. Its only going to search stuff you shared anyways. It is just making it easier to find the info already shared with you. Please learn to read.

  • Jon Edwards

    Bring back the landscape mode before you do anymore updates!

  • Liam Mulcahy

    Cool

  • DJ Garcia

    WHOOOO TAKE MORE OF MY PRIVACY YAY haha no fuck off.