Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that Facebook will soon offer a new social search engine called “Graph Search” for their billion plus users to better connect across their friends’ Facebook timelines without having to view an individual profile to discover their “like” preferences.
Facebook already holds a tremendous amount of data about their users’ personal interests and spending habits, representing a valuable resource for businesses and e-commerce marketers hoping to soon capitalize on the social network giant’s social networking footprint which spans the globe.
But some Facebook users may feel skittish about sharing their personal information and like preferences across the large social network.
Privacy controls are expected to limit the boundaries that Facebook will draw from their users’ profiles and exchange it on the site.
Zuckerberg maintained that privacy is at the center of this new development.
Graph Search will allow Facebook users to have more immediate access to private details about their friends’ interests and preferences, allowing for more connections.
The search engine will be oriented around the social networking site instead of the web.
For example, Graph Search will provide Facebook users with the ability to type “My friends who like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter,” to generate a list of Facebook friends who like both.
Facebook is hoping to make Facebook a more interesting place to spend time on its site and away from other social networking sites such as Google Plus and Twitter.
Currently, there is limited beta of Graph Search today but it will rollout in the coming weeks and months.
Although Facebook does not intend to immediately monetize Graph Search, it’s in the works for the company to do so in the future.
Paul Kedrosky, a tech blogger on his site Infectious Greed and contributing Bloomberg editor, said today on Bloomberg’s Money Moves with Deidre Bolton that search data remains “insanely valuable” but he also noted that privacy hamstrings Facebook because you can only search for information that Facebook users chose to make public.
Facebook announced they will continue to operate Bing search and it will be integrated into Graph Search.