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Facebook builds ‘Graph Search’ as third key pillar of its ecosystem

Facebook is taking the social search element of its offering to another level with the expansion of Graph Search. For now, Graph Search is available only for users of US English but according to the company’s Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is looking to further improve Graph Search by incorporating feedback from users, and will then launch the product everywhere.

Earlier this year Facebook had announced the initial beta of Graph Search, which is its newest way to find people, photos, places and interests on Facebook. A company blog explained that over the past few months, users have helped improve the product by using it and giving feedback. Some of the areas that have been augmented, according to the blog, include, “Speed – Graph Search is faster both at suggesting potential searches and displaying results; Query understanding – Graph Search understands more ways of asking questions; Results – Graph Search does a better job at showing the most relevant results first and Interface – The search box is easier to see and use.”

In a related video blog, Zuckerberg defined Graph Search as the third key pillar of the Facebook ecosystem, the first two being Newsfeed and Timeline. The common underlining factor of all the three products is getting all the developments at the same place. Newsfeeds lists down everything happening with friends of a user. Timeline allows users to curate anything they want to share with their network in one place.

“Graph search is going to be another pillar on those lines,” said Zuckerberg, adding that in its initial stage, Graph Search will apply to people, photos, places and pages for business.

Facebook is currently working on making it easier for people to search and discover topics, including posts and comments. It is also working on getting mobile Graph Search ready.

Graph Search attempts to make search more relevant for users on the back of the depth of personalisation that Facebook provides. “So far, people did not look at Facebook as a place where you can discover things to do or places you can go to. It would be natural to do that with this product,” said Zuckerberg.

Graph Search results are personalised and unique for everyone, based on what has been shared with them. For example, if users search for ‘Photos of San Francisco’, they will see photos their friends took there and shared with the user, as well as Public photos. This means same search can show different results based on the friends and photos shared with them.