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Facebook takes on Google and Yelp with Graph Search

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Facebook is mining its trillion connections with Graph Search, a tool to find content that's being shared between users that's distinct from web searches. The company is taking on Google's own social-integrated search tools, as well as social search sites like Yelp, while looking for more ways to build an experience that can be monetized in the wake of going public.

8 updates and 991 comments below.

Feb 15 12:03p

You're not gonna Like it: Facebook's new search struggles with the real world

Mark Zuckerberg needs to rethink Likes before Graph Search can shine Continue reading »

Jan 24 4:28p

Facebook Graph Search beta begins rolling out to users

We're seeing numerous reports that Facebook has begun enabling Graph Search for users that were among the first to sign up for the beta program last week. The ambitious new feature promises to change the way you find things on the social network by returning results to natural language queries like "restaurants nearby my friends like" and "pictures of my friends and me." Once you accept Facebook's invitation to try Graph Search, the menubar at the top of the site will switch to a new design...

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Jan 16 4:52p

Graph Search shows that, for Facebook, mobile is still always 'tomorrow'

Facebook launched Graph Search as a beta product for many reasons: its gradual rollout to only US English users; its limitation to people, photos, places, and interests (posts and Open Graph actions still aren't included); an attempt to manage what could be outsized expectations from both users and Wall Street. But it's also because Graph Search isn't available on most of the devices people use to access Facebook, and it won't be anytime soon.

Graph Search isn't mobile, whether on the web or...

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Jan 15 4:04p

The genesis of Facebook's Graph Search

This morning Facebook announced its latest salvo in the battle for web dominance: Graph Search. Using the tremendous amount of data on the company's servers as a resource, Graph Search lets users find restaurants they may like, people they might want to know, and more — all based off natural-language searches. Wired takes a look at the origins of the new feature, from Mark Zuckerberg's first pitch to former-Googler Lars Rasmussen, to how Graph Search helped inspire changes to Facebook's...

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3:32p

Facebook Graph Search hands-on: a brand new social search

We just got a chance to play with Facebook’s new Graph Search with our personal account, and it’s decidedly not a small addition to the site. The entire top menubar has been redesigned, with universal search pinned to the top left, and the friend request, messages, and notification buttons moved over to the far right of the screen. Similarly, you’ll notice subtle tweaks to the icon design and coloring. But most important: the word "Facebook" has been banished from the top left, replaced by a...

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3:13p

Facebook tackles Google, LinkedIn, Yelp, and its own huge database with Graph Search

Introducing what he called "the third pillar" of Facebook ecosystem today, Mark Zuckerberg was adamant: "Graph Search is not web search," said Facebook's CEO. The implication is that it offers users something different from other search products and Facebook's current features, and that it's technically much harder.

That difficulty means that Zuckerberg has to manage expectations, qualifying Graph Search as "early," as "challenging," as "beta." Without these hedges, if search doesn't work, W...

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1:48p

Facebook highlights Bing partnership as part of Graph Search

Mark Zuckerberg took time out of this morning's presentation to highlight one Graph Search partner in particular: Microsoft Bing. According to the CEO, the company has teamed up with Bing "to show you world class search results for things that don't match your query." It's essentially to supplement Facebook's search results with information that it may not already have as part of its user profiles: weather, music results, and the like. Bing results show up as traditionally-formatted blue web...

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1:09p

Facebook 'Graph Search' mines a billion people with a trillion connections, launching today in beta

Facebook has announced that it's improving its search experience with "Graph Search," a new way to search between Facebook's massive amount of photos, people, and connections that Mark Zuckerberg says is "not web search." The new tool is designed to find specific pieces of content from a precise query, rather than web search, which returns general responses to a general query. "Web search and graph search are really, really different," he says. In order to provide answers in an intuitive way,...

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Jan 14 5:34p

Can Facebook bring the magic back?

We'll be live blogging Facebook's event tomorrow starting at 10AM PT / 1PM ET. Check it out here!

There’s no numerical evidence that Facebook has "lost its cool," but you can feel it. You hear people talking about it. Instead of seeing Facebook blue illuminating the phones of fellow subway and bus riders, you see Instagram or Snapchat or Twitter. Facebook has become a normal thing — a "social utility" everyone uses but few are excited about. Tomorrow morning Facebook is hosting a big event...

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