If you’re a Facebook user, it’s a good time to check your privacy settings, as the company has been tinkering under the hood and preparing to monetize your massive collection of personal information. Facebook is entering the search realm starting today. Facebook calls its new search technology graph search, because it searches what Mark Zuckerberg and company call the social graph, aka all the stuff your facebook friends have liked, discussed, tagged, and eyeballed.
“Graph search is designed to take a precise query and return to you the answer, not links to other places where you might get the answer,” said Zuckerberg at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, home base. “What you’ve seen today is a really different product from anything else that’s out there. I don’t necessarily think that a lot of people are going to start coming to Facebook to do Web search because of this, that isn’t the intent. But in the event that you can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s really nice to have.”
Fortunately, Facebook’s Graph Search respects your privacy settings. If you set something to friends only, it will only be seen by your friends, no matter what information prospective searchers may be looking for and your relative expertise in that field. Of course, breaches in privacy happen, but the product has been in the works for over a year, so it should be relatively safe. However, it is a little limited: as of now, Facebook’s searching function is only available in English via the web interface, not in foreign languages or via mobile app.
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