MENLO PARK, Cal. (NEWS CENTER) - If you've been a Facebook users for a number of years, you know it can be hard to find things you've posted in the past. Today in California, Mark Zuckerberg announced a new tool to help users with finding more information within Facebook.
Facebook calls this new tool "Graph Search" and it's basically an internal search within Facebook. So if you want to search for a photo of a trip you took five years ago, you can use this search tool and find it. You can search within your friends, and you can search anything that is made public.
With Graph Search, there are two possible search results, public posts (from all over Facebook) and information within your group of friends.
Once this tool starts officially rolls out, anyone can search anything that's public on Facebook. So in a sense this is Facebook's way of saying to users, you need to be paying more attention to your privacy settings.
A few weeks ago they rolled out easier to use and understand privacy tools, little did we know it was because of this new search tool. Basically you can search anything that you've posted, anything your friends have posted, and anything that's made public. That's the key thing too... Knowing what's public and what's not.
Understand the new Facebook privacy tools here:
So how specific does this search get?
The examples Facebook showed us were pretty specific. The current search is very vague. If you were to search anything now on Facebook, the results would either be Bing results or pages on Facebook. The new search allows for key phrasing. It searches across four different categories: people, photos, places, and interests. The search phrases can be something like "Tourist attractions in Europe visited by my friends" or "dentists in my town" Then Facebook pulls the results based on what your friends have posted and what non-friends have made public. This also includes pages.
Graph Search will also deliver different results to every single user. It's all based on your Facebook activity and your friends Facebook activity, just like your news feed.
Things like this are often very slow to roll out to everyone on Facebook, so be patient. They say that of their 1 billion users, only a few hundred will get it. It's in beta stage now, and they're going to perfect it through beta then roll it out to everyone later on. So it could be a while. They have a sample of what it will look like and do based on your activity:
For more on what Graph Search is: