Facebook unveils a better search tool
The announcement wasn't flashy, and the stock price didn't respond much. But the social network is taking an important step to building a solid infrastructure.
That problem is at the heart of Facebook's highly anticipated mystery announcement Tuesday. The company didn't announce a new phone or a new gaming platform -- and the stock price barely moved as a result. Instead, it announced something called "Graph Search" to let people take a more active role in the Facebook experience.
The way it works, according to early reports, is this: You can do a Facebook search for people, photos, places and interests. Facebook demonstrated a search for people who live in Palo Alto, Calif., and like the television show "Game of Thrones." You could also search for "college friends from San Francisco."
Facebook clearly wanted to stress that this was not the equivalent of a Web search. Google (GOOG) has little need to worry, which is perhaps one reason why Google shares saw a small spike as the announcement was being made. Instead, this is only a search within Facebook's own content.
The Graph Search isn't a flashy announcement. But it's an important part of Facebook's infrastructure, a building block upon which the company can start building more services and features -- and sell more advertising.
Graph Search and the resulting map function that users build "can be the basis for building a lot of different kinds of services for connecting," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at Tuesday's event.
Will it lead to privacy issues? Undoubtedly. But Facebook says it's merely collecting information that users already make public in their profiles. If you said you like "Game of Thrones," and you didn't make that information private, you could likely show up in a Graph Search. It's a good reminder to always stay on top of your Facebook privacy settings.
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Facebook is so useless that some sites require it to get people to respond to their silly articles. If it wasn't for them forcing it upon the general public, Facebook would be long gone.
Do you notice that Facebook and Obama are not in this site's dictionary???
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