Social media giant Facebook is rolling out a new feature, which will practically serve as a search engine for content produced by its users, the company´s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced.

During a speech he made at Facebook´s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, he introduced the new Graph Search and highlighted the fact that the innovation will be very different from other search engines that users are familiar with, Search Engine Watch reported. The tool will be rolled out gradually, starting with a beta version, which will only be available to a small number of users.

The new tool will allow Facebook´s one billion users to search for people, photos, places and other content that other users have already shared. However, the Graph Search will also be integrated with Microsoft´s Bing and will redirect searches that were unable to yield results on the social media to the bigger search engine automatically.

When asked if the launch was a move targeting Google, Zuckerberg explained that Facebook has been “very public” about developing the feature and did not specifically want to integrate it with Bing, suggesting that he would not have minded working with Google on the project. He said that the Graph Search is not being launched with the idea of becoming a competition of the biggest search engines.

According to Search Engine Watch, the new tool will allow users to connect with their friends in an entirely different way to before. It will not just link to answers to one´s query, it will display those answers. The search can be broader, such as “Restaurants my friends have been to”, or very narrow, like “Friends who like football and live in London”, the website said.

Ben Hollom

January 17, 2013