We’re here at Facebook headquarters where
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is announcing
Graph Search, Facebook’s new social search engine.
The new social search engine, with a new
integration with Microsoft Bing, ramps up
Facebook’s ongoing competition with Internet
search leader Google. It also presents a number of
potential new revenue opportunities for Facebook.
Zuckerberg starts by saying there are two ways to
connect people in Facebook: staying connected and
making new connections. Today Facebook’s
focusing on how to find information.
There are three ways to get information on
Facebook: News Feed, Timeline and Graph Search,
he says. “People want to know what is going on
around in the world around you. That’s News Feed.”
The second is Timeline to learn about people.
The third way to find things is through search. Zuck
calls it Graph Search. This is not web search, he
emphasizes. Graph search shows private
information that isn’t in web search.
Searching for “hip hop,” for example, gives you
information links to pages about hip hop. Graph
search is designed to return the answer, not links to
an answer, he says. He’s showing a search for “My
college friends from San Francisco.”
We focused on four use cases in this search launch:
people, photos, places and interests, he says. Zuck
shows a search of people who live in Palo Alto and
who also like the TV show Game of Thrones–for his
Game of Thrones party. “We had a small Dothraki
party,” he says. Major geek cred, Zuck.
Zuck then shows a search of photos and himself
and his wife Priscilla Chan. Then a search for
Mexican restaurants in Palo Alto. This includes
listings of restaurants and his friends who have
checked in or Liked the restaurants. Looks like a
major Yelp and Foursquare competitor.
In the demo: Facebook is showing a search of
“friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter.” The
list can also be narrowed down by school,
hometown, gender, school, relationship and other
factors using drop downs on the right hand side of
the search results. The list of people also shows
what other likes the people have and how they are
connected to you.
Searching people: By typing in “friends of friends
who are single men in San Francisco and who are
from India” in the search box, the search engine
highlights those search terms and brings up a list of
eligible bachelors for matchmaking example. The
search engine reads natural language and turns it
into terms to search on.
Regarding privacy: you can only search for items
that you could normally see on Facebook.
Searching photos: You can type “photos of my
friends taken in Paris” or “photos of my friends
taken in national parks.” The searches bring up big
tiled photos of the photos in that category. Or you
can just search for “photos I like.” This brings in
social gestures such as the “Like” that Facebook
already has that tag photos and other objects. This
is also data that Facebook has that competitors
don’t. You can only see the photos that people have
shared with you.
Searching interests: You can type in “Movies my
friends like” or “TV shows my friends like.” Clearly
this section of search has revenue potential. You
can also search for “Videos by TV shows liked by
my friends” this will bring up just the videos that
TV shows have posted. “TV shows liked by doctors”
shows that doctors like to watch Grey’s Anatomy.
You can also search and see what kind of music
people who like Mitt Romney or Barack Obama like.
Searching places: When traveling you can search
for “bars in Dublin liked by people who live in
Dublin” to get local insider information. Or search
for people who have been to Ireland.
On privacy: Facebook has privacy shortcuts in a
button on the upper right hand corner. Click on
“Who can see my stuff” then photos to see the
photos I have uploaded or that are tagged of me. Or
you can see just the photos I’ve hidden from your
Timeline. You can also send a message to the
person who uploaded the photo asking them to take
the photos down. For those inappropriate photos.
Zuckerberg is back on stage: This is in beta. And
this is a new way for people to see information, he
says. He’s showing “bulk untagging” settings. “It’s
not enough to build the tools,” he says. Facebook is
adding a notice at the top of Facebook to notify
them of the changes and how they work.
Facebook also has a partnership with Microsoft’s
Bing search engine included in Facebook. “When
you can’t find what you’re looking for we have a
partnership with Bing,” Zuckerberg says. Weather,
for example, isn’t in Graph Search but is in Bing. “I
don’t think people will come to Facebook to do web
search. That isn’t the intent of this.” But if you need
something, Bing is there.
Facebook is also working on Graph Search
implementation in mobile, all languages, Facebook
posts and Open Graph integration (with apps).
Graph Search rollout is coming but will be slow. To
just hundreds or thousands today. Now: obligatory
video with emo music track. “It’s a big technology
problem and also a big social problem. Something
we’re uniquely suited to (work on),” Zuckerberg
Q and A:
Will there be an API for developers? “We’d
love to,” but have a lot to do.
What’s the monetization of this? “This could
potentially be a business over time but for
now we’re focused on user experience,”
Zuckerberg says. Facebook has sponsored
search for apps but not for the general search
When will this hit mobile? We don’t have an
We’re here at Facebook headquarters where