How Facebook's New Graph Search Changes Social Networking

Equities Editors Desk  |

Buzz around Facebook's (FB) new mystery search product had been humming for weeks now. As one of the most powerful and influential web companies in the world, Facebook's foray into a new area had many peaked the curiosity of many people--both users and investors. The world's largest social network today unveiled Graph Search, which is more an evolution of its platform than a whole new venture into the search business competing against the likes of Google (GOOG) and Bing (MSFT).

What is Facebook Graph Search?

Simply put, the new Graph Search basically allows users to find other friends in their networks with the same interests in music, movies, hobbies, as well as other criteria such as location, schools and employers. Allowing Facebook members to organize the way they navigate through their friends on the platform is the logical step in providing a more refined social experience. The search fields are based on some of the data Facebook has collected from its members.

While the term "search" automatically draw comparisons to Google or Bing's bread and butter, Facebook's new feature isn't focused on web search. Rather, Graph Search's primary focus as of now is to help users sift through the available and relevant data found on profiles, Timelines, and Newsfeeds in its own realm. It's more about enhancing the online social experience through finding other people with common interests than the broader approach of web search. Consequently, companies like Yelp (YELP) and IACI (IACI), which owns sites like Match.com and other dating sites could take the biggest hit. LinkedIn (LNKD) could also take an indirect hit as well if Graph Search is refined for employment recruiting.

While Graph Search is only available in a limited beta release right now, Facebook plans to roll out the service completely within the next month.

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