Facebook rolls out friends-based 'graph search' tool
Facebook has a vast amount of information in its social network, including roughly 200 billion photos. But some analysts noted that the information each user has access to through a network of friends is not always that extensive and could limit the usefulness of Facebook's search offering.
"Very well-connected individuals have a rich treasure trove of data that they can mine, but the average person's storehouse of data is much sparser and has less relevance to these queries," said Ray Valdes, an analyst for Gartner Inc.
Facebook's announcement underscores the increasing overlap between social media and traditional Web search engines. Google, the world's No. 1 search engine, launched the Google+ social network in 2011 and has been integrating data between Google+ into its search engine.
In the works for more than a year, Facebook's new search feature will initially be available for the English language only and for use on desktop PCs.
Bringing the search tool to mobile devices, such as smartphones, would probably require a change in design of the product, noted Valdes. "It might be that they have to come up with innovation like voice search, a Siri-like voice assistant to get it to work well on mobile," he said, referring to the technology available on Apple Inc's iPhone.
Facebook executives at the event showcased a variety of different potential uses of the product, such as finding a date by searching for single men who live in San Francisco and
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