Remember Facebook’s “come and see what we’re building” event? Yeah, that’s today. And the first thing that CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled was a new feature called Graph Search. It essentially will give people the power and tools to take a cut of the graph to form any query they want. However, Zuckerberg was adamant that Graph Search was not the same thing as traditional web search.
Currently, there are 1 billion people, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections in the Social Graph, and indexing all that content to make it easily searchable is obviously quite a challenge. Zuckerberg says that most of the content on Facebook isn’t public, so users want a way to search for things that have been shared with them. This is where Graph Search comes into play.
Plus, Graph Search will be “privacy aware”, and the platform was built with privacy in mind. Currently, 10% of Facebook’s computing power is spent on privacy, and we’re guessing that will only increase once Graph Search goes live. The biggest difference that Zuckerberg mentions between Graph Search and general web search is that web search just searches for anything and everything related to the search term, while Graph Search is very specific and catered towards the user.
Graph Search is meant to answer very specific questions, like “Who are my friends in Chicago?”, and you can search for other things, like the music your friends listen to, restaurants your friends like, or the movies and TV shows your friends enjoy watching. You can also combine searches, like “friends who live in Chicago and like Breaking Bad.”
In the end, Graph Search is essentially a very-specific way of searching that involves the people who you’re connected with on Facebook, and makes it easy to find friends who share similar interests as you do. The new tool will even let you find a friend of a friend that you met at a party, and Graph Search will let you connect with them right away.