Facebook held a much anticipated press event at the company’s headquarters today where they were able to show off what to expect in the site’s near future. One major announcement was Graph Search, a new way of searching through all of Facebook’s content to find answers to your queries.
Graph Search works by taking information from all over Facebook, such as status updates, photos, profile information, Bing search results etc., and using it to answer questions you ask. For example, you could search for something like, “Which of my friends are New York Yankees fans?” Graph Search will then use all the various information it has to conclude which of your friends seem to like the Yankees. Graph Search is also capable of searching outside of your friend network and finding people and information from those that have their accounts set to public. This is done with the goal of taking Facebook back to its friend finding roots, where people actually meet and become friends all while on Facebook.
Facebook is trying early on to avoid having another privacy concern fiasco with this release. Facebook says that the search system is privacy aware and that 10% of its computational power is dedicated solely towards ensuring the privacy of users.
Graph Search definitely seems like it could be a really cool, interesting and useful feature. There is yet to be an expected release date for the feature, but a few thousand U.S. citizens that use Facebook and speak English will be able to begin searching in the limited beta that begins today. Those interested can also join a waiting list for the beta here.