Facebook unveils social search feature

Staff reports Updated: January 15, 2013 at 12:00 am • Published: January 15, 2013

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new search feature on Tuesday in the company’s first staged event at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters since its May initial public offering.

Called “graph search,” the new service lets users search their social connections for information about people, interests, photos and places. It’ll help users who want to scroll through all the photos their friends took in Paris or search for the favorite TV shows of all their friends who happen to be doctors.

Until now, Facebook users were unable to search for friends who live in a certain town or like a particular movie. With the new feature, people can search for friends who, say, live in Boston who also like “Zero Dark Thirty”.

Zuckerberg says the search feature is “privacy aware,” which means users can only search for content that has been shared with them.

Facebook is stressing that graph search will be made available to users very slowly, beginning Tuesday. Though the company has focused on refining its mobile product for much of last year, the search feature will only be available on Facebook’s website for now.

Zuckerberg hinted last fall that a search feature was in the works in his first post-IPO public interview.

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