WASHINGTON, January 15 (RIA Novosti) – Social media giant Facebook unveiled a new tool on Tuesday, called Graph Search, that will allow users to conduct targeted searches for people, places, photos and interests on the site.
“When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections,” said the company in a statement. “Graph Search takes us back to our roots.”
“You should theoretically be able to ask Facebook ‘Who are my friends who live in San Francisco?’ and Graph Search should be able to return an answer to you,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told reporters.
Facebook’s Graph Search photo component is the first of its kind for the California based tech company.
“Photos will be surfaced based on the query, and then based on the number of likes and comments,” said Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s director of engineering. “For example, you can look up photos of friends taken in Paris, or even photos of friends taken in national parks,” he said.
Just an hour after its release, the places search feature had been branded by industry analysts as a direct competitor to the business review site Yelp.
Want Thai food in New York City? The new tool will let users see which friends have dined where, and which restaurants were “Liked” by friends. And using natural language search terms such as “friends who like college football,” Graph Search is also able to comb through the billions of “Likes” to curate results, a tool that advertisers might find useful, experts said.
According to media reports, in his presentation, Zuckerberg placed special emphasis on users’ privacy.
“You can only search for content that has been shared with you,” Zuckerberg said, adding that a message will appear on users’ Newsfeeds to remind them to review their privacy settings before the product begins to roll out this week.
In addition to launching Graph Search, Facebook is also incorporating Bing search results in Facebook searches.