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Facebook Unveils New Friends – Based Search Tool
Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled on Tuesday a feature to help its users search for people and places within the social network, in the company’s first major product launch since its May initial public offering.
Addressing reporters at its headquarters here, Mr. Zuckerberg revealed “graph search,” which allows users to sort through only content that has been shared with them – addressing potential privacy concerns.
Available as a beta version to hundreds of thousands of users now, the new feature – dubbed “graph search” because Facebook refers to its growing content, data and membership as the “social graph” – will initially let users browse mainly photographs, people, places and members’ interests, he added. Mr. Zuckerberg promised users will be able to tailor their searches, such as by specifying music and restaurants that their friends like, or their favourite dentist. The reverse is also possible, such as discovering friends who have an interest in a particular topic. Facebook may explore ways to earn revenue from the service in the future, he added.
“You need to be able to ask the query, like, who are my friends in San Francisco,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “Graph search is a really big product. It’s going to take years and years to index the whole map of the graph and everything we have out there.”
“We’ll start rolling it out very slowly. We’re looking forward to getting it into more people’s hands over coming weeks and months.”
Critics have long deemed the social network’s current search capabilities inadequate. Mr. Zuckerberg stressed Facebook was not getting into Internet searches, Google Inc’s specialty.