Last week, Facebook invited the press to a mysterious event on January 15 at its HQ. The cryptic wording of the invitation left the media in the wild, and the most popular speculation was that the social network would unveil a smartphone. But, Facebook has surprised the media by unveiling a new feature – graph search.
On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented graph search in front of the press. He marked graph search as “the first big product announcement.” The search engine will enable users search the social network based on relationships, whose mathematical mapping is popularly known as ‘social graph.’ The graph search feature is not designed to compete with web search engines, though it integrates Bing search to answer queries in cases when graph search is not enough.
So, what will users get from this new search engine inside Facebook? Like, I noted earlier, users will be able to discover fellow users or their shared content based on relationships. For example, if you want to find friends who like hiking, you need to put in a query like “friends who like hiking”; as simple as that. And, this is just an example of what Facebook’s graph search could do.
The immediate question is why Facebook developed a graph search? When asked about this, Zuckerberg admitted that he didn’t know if the users really wanted this feature. That means, Facebook might have a business case behind developing graph search.
By introducing graph search, Facebook might be able to “drive connections within the network between individuals and between companies and pages.” This would effectively increase the reach of advertisers; that means more revenue.
Facebook graph search will be in beta testing for some time and will roll out very slowly. “We’re going to put an encouragement on the home screen of everyone’s account so that everyone has the chance to look through these tools,” said Zuckerberg. He added, “We’re going to do this before graph search is fully rolled out.”
Thanks To: BBC