Facebook announces Graph Search, could be the next big mobile search product

Daniel Bader

January 15, 2013 3:19pm

Today, Facebook announced a web-facing product that isn’t mobile, and the internet dropped to its knees. Graph Search is a way to find out about your friends’ likes semantically, and who your friends know that you should, too.

The lack of a mobile focus was curious, but not out of bounds for the slow-moving social giant. The company claimed that there have been over 240 billion-with-a-b photos uploaded to Facebook since its inception, and that it curates over a trillion connections. These numbers are astounding, but then again there are over one billion active users. Last check, Facebook had over half a billion mobile users.

Graph Search allows for semantic terms like, “Find me friends of friends who love Dan Brown novels,” or “How many friends live in Stockholm, Sweden?” There are so many potentially-interested facts to be found because users unwittingly and without much thought to the consequences post troves of data about themselves, often publicly. Graph Search means to consolidate it and make it reachable — and useful.

The potential for disruption is huge, though it’s not going to go beyond Facebook’s network, at least initially. But Facebook has also partnered with Bing, Microsoft’s ailing search engine, to provide results that are not discoverable on the Graph itself.

When this goes mobile — and it will — users will have yet another source of information to find great restaurants, hotels and other facts. The four tenets of Graph Search, People, Photos, Places and Interests, are perfect sources of data for taking on companies like Yelp, Flickr, LinkedIn and more. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Facebook launch its own Search app for mobile devices utilizing the power of Graph Search. Google has done just this with its Local Search feature, and Facebook’s attempt to take on the search giant may just knock it down a few pegs.

Of course, the results are only as good as the data available, and it’s yet to be seen how privacy scares, both past and present, will affect users’ willingness to share all this data. “Friends of friends who like Android” will only return results if those friends of friends have allowed their data to be shared with you. Graph Search will be great for self-promotion, but there’s no such thing as Facebook SEO just yet.

Many analysts were expecting a Facebook phone to be announced at today’s event. Sadly, or perhaps mercifully, nothing of the sort emerged. But Graph Search lays the bricks for a future mobile platform where all search results are kept internal. Siri did it for Apple, getting it around its heavy reliance on Google, and Facebook stands to do even better, with more users in higher market share than any other social graph.

A year from now things may look very different in the mobile space as a result of Graph Search. Or not — nothing’s ever certain in this industry.

Source: Facebook
Via: The Verge

  • Hilman

    Meh, totally underwhelming.

    • RIPRIM

      Can we use this search on BB10?

  • coolchick

    Facebook is SO 2004.

    Who still uses Facebook now-a-days.

    • Kid.Canada

      I still do but not as much as I used to back in high school. Facebook is heavily used by high school kids who have too much time on their hands and like to talk alot of sh*t, but its different once your out of high school mostly because everyone or most of the people you knew in high school have went their separate ways.

    • Keith

      Not me but it recenlty moved ahead of Google in Alexa’s rankings to become the top webiste in the world so I believe it still has a few users.

  • coolchick

    The answer to that would be your Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, Great Grandpa, Great Grandma, etc.

    • Hilman

      The answer to you would be no, no, no, no, no and no.

  • Phil R

    God damn it I don’t understand people’s obsession with facebook or any other social media. I can understand having a closed circle with friends and familly, controlling what and how information goes on the “wall” but letting anything, any comment, any like open for anybody to see, I just don’t get it. I value my private life… but…. gggwaahh!! I must be getting old.

    Sorry I know i’m waaaay off topic.

  • Senor Chang

    Oh Facebook, who cares? Lol

    • Phil R

      Teen girls who likes to take “pics” of them with their iphone in front of a mirror or pregnant woman who likes to post “feel good” catch phrases and pictures of their ugly “he’s soooo cute” baby. Other than that, my brother who only post online jokes or meme’s, that’s why I spend hours looking at his page and laugh my a*s off! (And I would like to mention that neither my brother nor me has mentionned that we are relative on FB, for some reasons, it offended people, for I was hard to find… god d*** it…)

  • Me Ted

    LOL!!!! That’s supposed to take on Google search? What a joke.

  • Alex

    Calling the press for that.. not impressed.

  • Facepalm

    LOL! All that hype for this!

  • Dan

    “My friends who give two shits about Facebook search”

    0 results returned

    • Brian J

      now thats funny !!!!

  • Abe

    Sounds like a starting point to become a full time stalker 🙂

  • Steve Dion

    Don’t get it. Like all the other facebook features. So complicated / stalker like.

  • OgtheDim

    “and the internet dropped to its knees”

    Actually every single comment section I’ve seen on this has been universally filled with the underwhelmed.

    Its like only the writers think this is cool.

    • Dz

      It’s like a glorified pivot table, but who will really use it?

  • Nicholas B

    I’m Binging it!

  • Mark

    IMO, Facebook is a site that has ENORMOUS potential to be the #1 social media site IF only ppl would really say what they think about things and not be afraid of their friends opinion or have a double life (some ppl not everybody). It’s just sad because now what I see is that alot of people post nothing and it becomes boring and ppl just delete their accounts or don’t login anymore.

    It’s also Facebook’s fault because they have showed the world that they don’t really care about their users privacy, they just want to collect data.

    But wtv I’m not here to defend Mark Zuckerberg, I use Twitter alot more which is way better than Facebook.

  • mlander

    “How many friends have ‘poked’ my girlfriend?”



  • some guy

    Creepbook could go away for all I care.
    For teens it’s like Armageddon every time FB stops working.

    To them I say: “read a book or go outside. Meet up with your friends for realz, and like, hang out n’ stuff.
    Just stop b****ing about Facebook. ‘Cause I don’t give 2 s**ts.”

  • OMG BASEDGOD #taskforce #tybg

    Still won’t get me to use Bing.