Well, in my earlier speculation about the 1.00pm ET mystery press conference, I was pretty much spot on – Facebook today announced that it will launch a search engine for their social network called “graph search.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the the search engine will run within Facebook and while similar to web search, is not exactly the same thing.
Comparing graph search with a web search, Zuckerberg said graph search will deliver answers to questions like, “Who are my friends that live in San Francisco?”
He noted that graph search can return results about people, photos, places and interests. Users type a question into the search bar on Facebook and ask questions, which can later be refined.
Zuckerberg showed off other searches like:
“Mexican restaurants in Palo Alto, Calif, my friends have been to”,
“Photos of me and Priscilla.”
“photos of Berlin, German from 1989,”
“photos of my friends before 1990” or
“photos I’ve liked.”
Facebook Graph Search is still under development and has reached its beta phase. Users who want to participate in the Beta can join the waiting list on Facebook’s website.
Zuckerberg also touched on privacy concerns and pointed out to privacy shortcuts, which are located at the top right section of the website. The setting lets users see what photos have been uploaded, tagged and hidden from Timeline.
Because of a partnership with Bing, any results that cannot be found on Facebook will pull from Bing.com.
Wired.com adds about the announcement;
The search engine was developed by a team led by Lars Rasmussen, who co-created Google Maps and Google Wave, and by Tom Stocky, Facebook’s director of product management. In a demonstration of the software, Stocky showed how Graph Search could be used for dating and matchmaking, typing the query “friends of friends who are single males in San Francisco California who are from India.” He also showed examples of searches recruiters might run, like “john cumber’s friends who work at Google” and “people who have been product managers and who have been founders.”
Other rumors included changes to the Timeline and another popular one – the “Facebook phone,” even though Zuckerberg personally shut down that rumor several times. He said at a September technology conference after Facebook’s May initial public offering;
“It is so clearly the wrong strategy for us. It doesn’t move the needle for us.”
*** Update *** Stock market investors appeared to be unimpressed with the search announcement and shares of Facebook (FB) fell by 2.74% to $30 by close of trading on Tuesday.