Facebook Takes Its First Step Toward Rivaling Google's Search Business

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Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider

A few months ago, Facebook introduced one of the core pillars of its business: Graph Search. Now it has started testing ways to monetize it.

Graph Search will eventually let all Facebook users find people and recommendations based on very specific information. For example, a user could type "friends who like Zelda and live in Texas," and Facebook would display accurate results.

"We can answer a set of questions that no one else can really answer," Mark Zuckerberg told Wired's Steven Levy when Graph Search launched. "All those other services are indexing primarily public information, and stuff in Facebook isn’t out there in the world — it’s stuff that people share."

TechCrunch's Josh Constine says the first Graph Search ad tests began yesterday. They don't currently use keywords to target ads, so Facebook isn't reading what you type then trying to monetize it – yet. Eventually it probably will; that's how Google delivers such accurate search results.

Right now, Facebook is targeting Graph Search ads the same way other Facebook ads are delivered (by a user's demographic and geographic information, and through cookies). The ads show up on the bottom of the second page of search results, and they look like the ads Facebook currently displays next to photos and in its side rail.



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