SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook announced Graph Search with Bing integration today.
Unveiled at a low-key event in San Francisco that was streamed to Facebook's swanky London offices where The INQUIRER was in attendance, Graph Search is Facebook's latest bid to help its billion-plus users connect further.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage to unveil the social network's latest product, which lets users search using four different categories: People, Places, Photos and Interests.
For example, Facebook members will be able to use the new search function to find out which friends are fans of Game of Thrones, or to seek local restaurants recommended by friends. The feature can also be used for dating and recruitment, the Facebook team said, so it recommended deleting any crude photos now.
Facebook claimed that it has taken users' privacy into consideration, and was keen to explain that it's easy for users to decide what will show up in others' Graph Search results. It added that it will encourage users to look at their profiles to protect what they don't want other users to see, a notice that it said will be displayed as a message at the top of the social network's webpages.
Most interestingly though, Graph Search comes with Bing integrated into it. So, Zuckerberg explained, if Facebook is unable to help with your query, it will bring up a Bing search results page.
When asked why Facebook chose to partner with Microsoft over Google, Zuckerberg blushed and said that Microsoft was more willing to work closely with the company.
"We've worked very closely with the Bing team. We have a great relationship with the team over at Microsoft," Zuckerberg said.
However, keen to prevent us journalists from reporting that Facebook is planning to take over the world with its new web search abilities, Zuckerberg said that he doesn't expect people to come to Facebook to search the internet.
"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," Zuckerber said. "[In] 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."
Facebook said that it has started rolling out its new search feature today, albeit slowly. µ
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