Facebook this morning announced “Graph Search,” a way to search all of Facebook’s content for queries tailored to your profile. CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the search by saying, “Graph Search is meant to answer very specific questions like ‘Who are my friends in San Francisco?” But worry not, privacy protectors: we’re told it’ll be “privacy aware.” Facebook’s even dedicated 10 percent of its computing power just to the goal of ensuring privacy.
The project was spearheaded by Lars Rasmussen, the same man who worked on Google’s Maps and Wave applications. It’s being touted as a return to Facebook’s roots, when the company’s main goal was forging connections between people (rather than, say, a gaming portal, or a means for companies to advertise). Graph Search is essentially a relaunch of Facebook’s internal search engine, allowing its already existing users to forge new relationships with folks they may not otherwise meet. The beta — albeit in a limited, English-only capacity — kicks off today. During that period only a “subset of content” is available through search, with four primary areas of focus: people, photos, places, and interests. Facebooks says Graph Search will expand, “over the coming months,” with additions like searchable wall posts and song listens (only if your privacy settings allow those things to be searchable, that is). And no, none of your privacy settings will automatically change as a result of signing up or using Graph Search.
You can head right here to get whitelisted for the beta. Or you could head past the break right now for the full PR from Facebook and a walkthrough video.
Gallery: Facebook Graph Search
Gallery: Facebook Graph Search press shots