Facebook (FB) on Tuesday held a press conference at its Menlo Park, California headquarters where it unveiled “Graph Search,” a search engine of sorts designed to allow users to search for content on Facebook. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Graph Search allows users to search for news posts, status updates, photos, locations and more within the Facebook Social Graph. Graph Search is also privacy aware, so only results pointing to public data and posts from within a user’s network of friends will be visible to the user performing the search. The new search engine will launch as a beta and will index data from more than 1 billion Facebook users.
“Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page,” Facebook explained in a press release. “When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook.”
The release continued, “Graph Search and web search are very different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: ‘hip hop’) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: ‘my friends in New York who like Jay-Z’) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook. We believe they have very different uses.”
Users can sign up for the Graph Search beta on Facebook’s website.