Facebook Announces Graph Search

By Justin Lafferty 

For the past few months, Facebook has been brewing a search engine that could change the way people find things. Now Facebook has it, with graph search. To be launched soon, graph search is a friend-based search engine that connects users to places all over the social network via friend recommendations and activity. Users can sign up to get on the wait list to be among the first to try it by clicking here.

What is graph search? It’s a live search bar that allows users to find what their friends have liked or recommended, as well as photos of friends. While this can be done manually, graph search makes it exponentially easier.

For instance, users can search for photos of their friends by location, whether it’s specific (AT&T Park) or general (at a theme park). Users can also search for friends of friends based on location, education, relationship status, and several other filters.

People can also discover music, movies, TV shows, and other interests based on what their friends like. If you type in something generic such as, “shows my friends like,” graph search will return with a bevy of results — not just links to the shows’ Facebook pages, but clips, too. There are several filters that users can take advantage of, such as friends in California who went to U.C. Berkeley and like sushi. Graph search has also integrated Bing technology, so users can also use graph search as a general search engine.

It’s a little clunky to describe, so here’s a video to show what graph search can do:

Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said graph search will be slowly rolled out in beta. It will be available to select users as early as Tuesday, but Facebook wants a slow rollout to gauge interest and to see how people use graph search.

Readers: What do you think of graph search?