The social media company calls this Graph Search — and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says it’s different from conventional Web search: The service, still in the beta testing phase, will just include information that Facebook users or friends have posted and shared with each other. For example, people could look for “friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter,” or “photos of my friends before 1990,” he says. Results will only include information that’s already available to the user, with a special emphasis on people, photos, interests, and places. “Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page,” the company says on a web site describing the plan. “When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook.” Graph Search will begin in English, with other languages to come later. The company is working on a mobile application, and on ways for users to fine-tune the information that they make available. Facebook could use some fresh energy: The number of active users in the U.S. dropped by 1.4M last month, monitoring firm SocialBakers says according to a report on MarketWatch.
In addition to the Graph Search announcement, Zuckerberg says that Facebook has a deal enabling its users to search the web with Microsoft’s Bing. The price of Facebook shares bounced around during the announcement, but seemed to settle at -1.7% as the event began to wrap up. One big question is whether the new service for Facebook’s more than 1B worldwide users will cut into the search demand for other social media companies or Google. The stock price for Yelp, which depends on user-generated reviews, is down more than 7.2% while Google is flat.