New Facebook Search Engine Unveiled

  • Partnership with Microsoft’s Bing
  • Graph Search
  • Challenge to Google

Facebook launched a search engine Tuesday for shared content as a way to find out more about friends on the huge social network. This may be a bid to challenge Google.

  • Partnership with Microsoft’s Bing
  • Graph Search
  • Challenge to Google

Facebook launched a search engine Tuesday for shared content as a way to find out more about friends on the huge social network. This may be a bid to challenge Google.

“We look at Facebook as a big social database,” chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in announcing the so-called “graph search” function. “Just like any database, you should be able to query it.”

Facebook emphasised that the new effort is not Web search, but can help find certain information archived within the network and in the content of friends.

“Every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn’t public,” a Facebook statement said. “We’ve built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook. It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.”

Zuckerberg said that Facebook will also use its partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine for the new effort and to find content housed outside the social network.

“I don’t necessarily think a lot of people will be coming to Facebook to do Web search because of this, but it is a very good search engine,” he said, adding that Facebook had discussed working with Google but that “Microsoft was just more willing to do things that were specific to Facebook.”

Possible searches include “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” or “people who like tennis and live nearby.”

“When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections,” the statement said. “Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections.”

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