Facebook unveils social search tools for users

Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 16/01/2013 21:00

Facebook has announced a major addition to its social network - a smart search engine it has called graph search.

The feature allows users to make "natural" searches of content shared by their friends.

Search terms could include phrases such as "friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter".

Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg insisted it was not a web search, and therefore not a direct challenge to Google.

However, it was integrating Microsoft's Bing search engine for situations when graph search itself could not find answers.

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Unveiling the tool, Graph Search, at its first major product launch since the company's IPO last May, Zuckerberg described it as the site's "third pillar", after Timeline and News Feed.

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Facebook has spent eight years nudging its users to share everything they like and everything they do. Now, the company is betting it has enough data so that people can find whatever they want on Facebook. And on Tuesday, it unveiled a new tool to help them dig for it.

The tool, which the company calls graph search, is Facebook's most ambitious stab at overturning the Web search business ruled by its chief rival, Google. It is also an effort to elbow aside other Web services designed to unearth specific kinds of information, like LinkedIn for jobs, Match for dates and Yelp for restaurants.

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Earlier today, Facebook unveiled its third pillar, Graph Search. While the announcement was highly anticipated, the unveiling didn't live up to the hype from the investors' perspective, as the stock is currently down 3.23 percent at 29.95 - below $30 again.

For the past two weeks, investors have been anticipating a big announcement coming from Facebook. It explains the recent uptrend. Depending on what was actually announced, shares could have held steady at $31 or could have dropped slightly. Today's scenario seems to be the latter.

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