Till now, searching the web for any kind of data has been synonymous with Google. But if Facebook’s latest launch on Tuesday is anything to go by, the social networking giant is now hoping to eat into Google’s rather large market share. Called Graph Search, this service lets subscribers sift through their social connections for information about people, interests, photographs and places.
“Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and return to you the answer, not links to other places where you might get the answer,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 28-year-old founder, told reporters present at the launch. “What you’ve seen today is a really different product from anything else that’s out there,” he added.
He also drove home the point that the user could and would decide the amount of information he/she wanted to share with the world, thereby addressing potential privacy issues that have plagued the social networking giant in the past.
Graph Search is currently in its beta stage, therefore only a fraction of netizens will be able to use right away. Everyone else can get on the waitlist at facebook.com/graphsearch.
What you can do:
It will allow users to search for people, pictures, places and other content that has already been shared on the social network. This adds a personal connect to the platform, something Google cannot provide.
You can search for specific information, like friends who live in a certain city or like a certain movie or both. For example, you can search for people in ‘Mumbai’ or those who like ‘Life of Pi’ (2012), or both.
It even allows for complicated searches like ‘movies liked by people who are film directors’ and ‘friends of friends who have been to Ranthambore National Park’.
If Facebook pages are unable to provide answers, you are redirected to a Bing search engine, which comes integrated due to a deal signed by Microsoft and Facebook.
This search utility is currently available only on Facebook on personal computers. There are, however, plans to introduce it on the mobile platform later.