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1/15/2013
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Meet Facebook's Graph Search Tool

Facebook downplays Google as competitor as it launches "internal" search tool that helps you find people, photos, places and interests inside Facebook using established privacy settings.

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Facebook's 2012 Highs And Lows
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Facebook on Tuesday introduced an internally-focused social search engine called Graph Search as a way to help people make connections within Facebook's user-defined privacy settings.

Speaking before several dozen members of the media at his company's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that Graph Search had been built with privacy in mind.

"The search we wanted to build is privacy-aware," he said. "...You can only search for content that has been shared with you."

Zuckerberg described Graph Search as "a completely new way for people to get information on Facebook" and said it represented one of Facebook's three pillars, the other two being Timeline and News Feed.

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For example, the Graph Search, "friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter," would return a list of friends who have "liked" each of those movies (among other search signals) in a context that has not been hidden through Facebook's privacy controls.

Graph Search might improve privacy for Facebook users because it brings new privacy tools to help people understand who can view the content they've shared and to restrict access to that content. For example, Facebook is providing a way to untag photos in which you have been tagged, along with a way to contact people who have tagged you in their photos to request a photo's removal.

At the same time, the availability of Graph Search could make privacy more of a liability. It might encourage Facebook users to share more information about themselves and their affinities, in order to make social search more useful for their friends and for themselves. Being invisible on Facebook could impose an opportunity cost.

For example, Tom Stocky, director of product management at Facebook, suggested that Graph Search could be useful for recruiting. He demonstrated how the service could be used to find connections who had been both product managers and startup founders, on the belief that those who found companies have a talent for product management.

Graph Search

If recruiting through Facebook becomes popular, as it is on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook users might feel pressure to disclose more information about their accomplishments and past employment in order to increase their visibility to those who might be hiring.

Graph Search is being rolled out gradually, and is being offered in what Zuckerberg characterized as a "limited beta." Facebook users who visit facebook.com/graphsearch will be presented with the option to join a waiting list to try the service.

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Melanie Rodier
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Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Black Belt
1/17/2013 | 9:11:26 PM
re: Meet Facebook's Graph Search Tool
"Tom Stocky, director of product management at Facebook, suggested that Graph Search could be useful for recruiting." I would think that LinkedIn is still going to be much more useful for this. I don't know how many people actually list their job experience on Facebook, whereas that's a large part of what Linkedin is for...I'm sure Facebook would like to compete in that space too, but it seems a bit of a stretch. At least for now.
Verdumont Monte
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Verdumont Monte,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/16/2013 | 9:54:23 PM
re: Meet Facebook's Graph Search Tool
One interesting fact - Right now this search is not working as intended.. For example, if I try to locate my friends in the town I live in, this search is returning people who has clearly mentioned other town in their info. Query I used is "My friends who live in <cityname>" I guess it might look into their history (may be they had lived in my town a long back) and return the results..</cityname>
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