Facebook Announces New Graph Search

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Facebook unveils social search feature

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about Facebook Graph Search at a Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. The new service lets users search their social connections for information about their friends’ interests, and for photos and places. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new beta service called Graph Search.

Think of Graph Search as a way to navigate the Internet through the data Facebook owns.

Graph Search allows you to search across different friends' Timelines without having to go to each individual profile to figure out if they like a specific place or thing.

ABC News describes Graph Search as, "turning some of the personal information people have shared on Facebook into a powerful searchable database."

A potential graph query would look like, "Who are my friends that live in San Francisco?"  Graph Search will scan all your Facebook friend's pages and spit back the relevant information about friends who live in San Francisco.

Another potential search term could be, show me "friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter" for a big movie night.

Graph Search is Facebook's way of searching for objects on the Internet by how they are mapped out in likes, not links. Metadata and connections are also factored in. Facebook is using Graph Search as a way to get back to its roots and allow people to use the graph to make new connections.

Graph Search is currently in beta but people, photos, places, and interests are at the foundation of the beta. If the data from your Graph Search is too general, you can refine the search to get specifically what you want.

Zuckerberg told an audience of journalists and Facebook engineers that, "every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, making Graph Search very challenging to build."

Here's some more information on exactly what Graph Search is via ABC News :

Until now, the search bar you saw when you logged in to your Facebook page wasn't very powerful. You could only search for Timelines -- your friends' pages, other people's public pages and business or product pages.

But now, after close to a year and a half of development, the new "Graph Search" will allow you to search and discover more about your friends and other information that's been put on the world's largest social site.

In case you were wondering, Graph Search is privacy aware too, every piece of content has its own audience, most content is not public, and you can only search for content that has been shared with you.

Graph Search is rolling out slowly, it will only be available to a limited set of U.S. users at first. Users can sign up for the wait list here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch.

Bing search results are integrated into Graph Search too.

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