Facebook has announced Graph Search, which is a social search engine, and the service is now available as a beta, and the new Graph Search is a new way to search Facebook.
The Graph Search tool is designed to find specific information on Facebook for a specific search query, so it works differently than Google, which returns general results for a specific search query.
Facebook’s Graph Search appears as a larger search bar at the top of your Facebook page, and Facebook certainly has a lot of information to power Graph Search with over 1 billion users and more than 240 billion photos.
Graph Search and web search are very different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “hip hop”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook. We believe they have very different uses.
Another big difference from web search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn’t public. 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.
You can find out more information on exactly how Facebook’s new Graph Search feature works over at Facebook, it certainly sound very interesting and I wonder what Google will think of it.