On Monday, Facebook users in the United States would have woken up to a new look search bar. This brand new tool, known as Graph Search, allows users to conduct more advanced searches (such as "photos of my friends before 2000") that receive detailed results. It will, however, be a few weeks before everyone using the "US English" setting will have access to the tool.
Graph Search has been launched after 6 months of user testing and feedback, making the team at Facebook fairly confident that it will be a success. Some of the many improvements that the tool will bring users include the speed of search and the accuracy. Facebook believe that they better understand what people are searching for and can, therefore, display the relevant results first.
Unfortunately, making Facebook more easily searchable will have privacy repercussions for its users. "[Privacy] is something, of course, we care a lot about, and so from the very beginning we made it so that you can only search for the things that you can already see on Facebook," said Tom Stocky, one of the lead Graph Search engineers.
Even though the tool allows users to search for people, photos, places and things their friends "like", Facebook says that their goal is not to replace Google. "Graph Search isn't web search. We aren't duplicating what Bing does and what Google does, but rather we are making things easier for people to find on Facebook" said Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg.