Facebook is mining its trillion connections with Graph Search, a tool to find content that's being shared between users that's distinct from web searches. The company is taking on Google's own social-integrated search tools, as well as social search sites like Yelp, while looking for more ways to build an experience that can be monetized in the wake of going public.
Dec 13, 2014
Facebook is no longer showing search results from Microsoft's Bing search engine on its on-site Graph Search product, as Reuters reports. The move apparently happened four days ago, alongside an update that improved Graph Search so that it could return specific posts when you search instead of just people. In a statement to Venture Beat, a spokesperson said, "We’re not currently showing web search results in Facebook Search because we’re focused on helping people find what’s been shared with them on Facebook." Microsoft also chimed in, saying "we continue to partner with Facebook in many different areas."Read Article >
Feb 15, 2013
One week ago, I received a Facebook message from my friend David. “SUPER random question, but do you know a girl from Michigan whose name is Lauren and lives in Boston?” he asked. “Apparently she is your friend and Jenna’s friend on Facebook.” I hadn’t spoken to David in years, so I was a little confused. “I was using Tinder (a new dating app) for the first time today,” he wrote, “and Lauren was the one person I decided to look up since we had 30 mutual friends and shared 30 interests. I guess we'll never know.” I was at work, and not in the mood to pore through the 20 Laurens in my friends list to help David find the right girl. Then I remembered I had been given access to Facebook’s new search product, Graph Search, which is built to answer such questions. I opened Facebook and typed into the search bar, “Friends of mine named Lauren who are also friends with Jenna and live in Boston.” Facebook returned one result. Bingo.Read Article >
I have no idea how or if David tried to set up a date with Lauren, but even in "early beta" Graph Search had certainly proved its mettle at finding people. It felt like using Google for the first time, seeing tons of data scraped through in mere seconds. All of the information you have ever provided about yourself has been indexed and cross-referenced, accessible with a few keystrokes.
Jan 24, 2013Read Article >
We're seeing numerous reports that Facebook has begun enabling Graph Search for users that were among the first to sign up for the beta program last week. The ambitious new feature promises to change the way you find things on the social network by returning results to natural language queries like "restaurants nearby my friends like" and "pictures of my friends and me." Once you accept Facebook's invitation to try Graph Search, the menubar at the top of the site will switch to a new design that places universal search on the left and relocates friend requests, messages, and notifications over to the ride side of the screen. If you're lucky enough to be among the early participants, feel free to discuss your thoughts on the new Facebook below. And for those that haven't gotten around to it yet, it's not too late to join the Graph Search waiting list.
Jan 16, 2013
Facebook launched Graph Search as a beta product for many reasons: its gradual rollout to only US English users; its limitation to people, photos, places, and interests (posts and Open Graph actions still aren't included); an attempt to manage what could be outsized expectations from both users and Wall Street. But it's also because Graph Search isn't available on most of the devices people use to access Facebook, and it won't be anytime soon.Read Article >
Graph Search isn't mobile, whether on the web or through any of the company's smartphone or tablet apps. This is a problem. It sharply limits the usefulness of Facebook's new search in almost all of the use cases presented on Tuesday. It cuts off access for Facebook's fastest growing and most devoted pool of users. And it confirms the unfortunate impression that Facebook either doesn't understand how and why to develop for mobile, or simply isn't concerned with making it a priority.
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This morning Facebook announced its latest salvo in the battle for web dominance: Graph Search. Using the tremendous amount of data on the company's servers as a resource, Graph Search lets users find restaurants they may like, people they might want to know, and more — all based off natural-language searches. Wired takes a look at the origins of the new feature, from Mark Zuckerberg's first pitch to former-Googler Lars Rasmussen, to how Graph Search helped inspire changes to Facebook's search bar design. If you're interested in knowing where one of our most significant web properties thinks search is going, it's well worth a read.
Jan 15, 2013
We just got a chance to play with Facebook’s new Graph Search with our personal account, and it’s decidedly not a small addition to the site. The entire top menubar has been redesigned, with universal search pinned to the top left, and the friend request, messages, and notification buttons moved over to the far right of the screen. Similarly, you’ll notice subtle tweaks to the icon design and coloring. But most important: the word "Facebook" has been banished from the top left, replaced by a small ‘f’ logo, prompting you to "Search for people, places and things." When you hover your mouse over the box, the logo changes to a magnifying glass, and clicking into the search field offers primary search options: friends, photos, restaurants, games, music, photos, and more.Read Article >
Jan 15, 2013
Introducing what he called "the third pillar" of Facebook ecosystem today, Mark Zuckerberg was adamant: "Graph Search is not web search," said Facebook's CEO. The implication is that it offers users something different from other search products and Facebook's current features, and that it's technically much harder.Read Article >
That difficulty means that Zuckerberg has to manage expectations, qualifying Graph Search as "early," as "challenging," as "beta." Without these hedges, if search doesn't work, Wall Street will punish him. But don't be fooled. With Graph Search, Facebook is plugging a big hole in its own features, targeting vulnerable competitors, and taking a measured shot at Google's title as the dominant online company. Facebook wants to be where we find friends, food, bosses, love, news, and the traces of our multimedia lives.
Mark Zuckerberg took time out of this morning's presentation to highlight one Graph Search partner in particular: Microsoft Bing. According to the CEO, the company has teamed up with Bing "to show you world class search results for things that don't match your query." It's essentially to supplement Facebook's search results with information that it may not already have as part of its user profiles: weather, music results, and the like. Bing results show up as traditionally-formatted blue web links, standing out clearly from the rest of the Graph Search results.Read Article >
"We don't think a lot of people will come to Facebook to do web searches," Zuckerberg said, "but if we can't find what you're looking for, it's good to have this." Facebook's Graph Search launches today in a limited beta.
Jan 15, 2013
Facebook has announced that it's improving its search experience with "Graph Search," a new way to search between Facebook's massive amount of photos, people, and connections that Mark Zuckerberg says is "not web search." The new tool is designed to find specific pieces of content from a precise query, rather than web search, which returns general responses to a general query. "Web search and graph search are really, really different," he says. In order to provide answers in an intuitive way, Graph Search will use a series of filters that look a bit like an advanced tagging system, allowing it to sort things like relationships, interests, and location. Ordinary searches, meanwhile, will be handled by a new partnership with Bing.Read Article >
Facebook is relying on its wealth of social connections to give people the right results once they've entered a query. Results frontload the people users interact with most; after that, they'll sort by mutual friends and total engagement — the idea is that users will get the information that's both most popular and most relevant to them. Facebook suggests things like "Friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter" for planning a movie night or finding someone you met at a party by checking mutual friends who were at the same party.
Jan 14, 2013
We'll be live blogging Facebook's event tomorrow starting at 10AM PT / 1PM ET. Check it out here!Read Article >
There’s no numerical evidence that Facebook has "lost its cool," but you can feel it. You hear people talking about it. Instead of seeing Facebook blue illuminating the phones of fellow subway and bus riders, you see Instagram or Snapchat or Twitter. Facebook has become a normal thing — a "social utility" everyone uses but few are excited about. Tomorrow morning Facebook is hosting a big event at its Menlo Park headquarters, the first event of its scale in ages, and an opportunity to rejuvenate itself after a string of misfires focused more on winning the confidence of investors than the hearts of its current users.