Jan. 15, 2013 – Facebook announced their first step into search with the introduction of Graph Search. But Facebook’s challenge of Google in search dominance is being presented in a different format than most expected.
From Facebook’s newsroom:
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.
A search in Google provides links to sources that it deems the most valuable and relevant to your search query. Google uses factors such as keywords and backlinks to determine the relevance of or web pages to display in the SERPs.
Facebook’s dive into search focuses on providing information that no other search engine on the planet can provide. Actual answers to your search queries.
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.
Graph Search is based on likes. Likes act like “votes” of confidence, similarly as links do for a website. Through the likes of your Facebook friends and yourself, you will be able to get answers for People, Places, Photos, and Interests. Answers to questions such as “friends who live in my city,” “photos of my family,” “restaurants in Kansas City,” and “music my friends like.”
Privacy shouldn’t be a concern. Facebook promises that only information that people can see on Facebook will be used in search results. However, with Facebook’s crazy hard to comprehend and find privacy settings, some people still might be surprised about what will be displayed.
Facebook’s Graph Search is in beta right now. So if you want to try it out go to http://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch.