At 1:07 EST on Tuesday January 15, Mark Zuckerburg stood in front of more than 120 bloggers and reporters to announce Facebook’s newest platform – graph search. Graph search will allow users to search photos, interests and places of people who have shared content with you.
Zuckerburg explained that graph search will have privacy settings so that friends can take down embarrassing photos of you or you can untag yourself from pictures. Zuckerburg made a point to say, “what is most interesting are tools to allow people to search their friends.” He confirms that it is not a web search. The graph search will be used as a “social search”. Facebook will be competing with search engines and will try to anticipate what your asking with a “Google” auto-complete and will spit out only answers. Zuckerburg announced there will also be
a “matchmaking” search. Almost instantly as the news conference went live, YELP shares dropped because with Facebook, you’ll now be able to search restaurant reviews from your friends.
The biggest controversy was when Zuckerburg revealed that BING will be sponsoring the graph searches, instead of the anticipated rumors of a link up with Facebook and Google. Zuckerburg explained that there were fine details with Google that needed to be worked out. What really happened was Facebook and Google couldn’t agree on how much flexibility users should have to tweak what they have posted after the fact.
Zuckerburg stressed that if they can keep users “ON” Facebook while they search, then there will be more opportunities for ads to be shown. Users will be able to search music and TV shows that their friends like. Zuckerburg discussed that the graph search eventually can impact revenue by offering “featured results” or search advertisements. It was explained that the more privacy settings your friends have, the less you’ll be able to search about. The graph search has the best results with less privacy, which can make users frustrated. Zuckerburg shared that everything that was private before the new launch of graph search will stay private.
The news conference ended with Zuckerburg stating that graph search is still in the beta stage and that he plans to make Facebook more valuable to the users and to make his network the main filter for accessing the world at hand. The only problem with the new graph search is that it’s not available via mobile quite yet. He also said that Facebook is not being aggressive on rolling out ads for it. With that, the graph search will allow users to open up their tight grip on privacy and interact in a whole new way with their Facebook friends. The new graph search will turn Facebook into an all in one place to get the information you want. So that’s it! Are you surprised?