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01/16/2013

Facebook launches crucial social search engine, blows the name

Facebook_graph_searchThe world's largest social network is launching a powerful new tool to search and discover things your friends are posting (and talking) about, but they got one thing wrong already.

Facebook Graph Search was announced today by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

It lets you sift through all the stuff your friends have posted to find what you're looking for.

So if you want to find a good sushi restaurant, for example, search for “sushi restaurants my friends like” and you'll see a list of their posts, photos and page 'Likes' about sushi.

You may also search out things that others may have posted about (if their privacy settings aren't set to a high level).

Facebook Graph Search is all about finding things your friends have posted about – and what they recommend.

This is taking the power of word-of-mouth to the next level.

One thing that may hold Facebook back, however, is the name. Facebook Graph Search doesn't really roll off the tongue. It's not like people are going to be saying “just Facebook Graph Search a good bar” when they could easily just say “Google a good bar.”

But Google can't produce the type of social search results Facebook can. And Google is still the undisputed search engine king.

If FGS does take off, it could pose a serious problem for Google. The search engine makes a lot of it's money off advertising – and that advertising is driven by search.

But it'll also be interesting to see how each user's privacy settings will have to be adjusted to keep your content safe. Zuckerberg says privacy controls were taken into account...but then again, what does he his family know about privacy?

In any case, the feature is being slowly rolled out to English-language users.

Are you looking forward to using Facebook Graph Search? Will you ditch Google for it?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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