Facebook’s Graph Search is to go public today (July 08) – at least to several million of its US users with their language set to American English.
The social networking firm told ABC News: “Over the past few months, tens of millions of people have helped improve the product just by using it and giving feedback.”
A stateside roll out is set to occur over the next few weeks, although it is unclear at this time when Facebook’s UK users will be able to use the service.
The search engine has a number of potential advantages for those in the digital marketing industry, not only suggesting restaurants or shops a friend recommend – word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool in itself after all – but the new Facebook addition may also allow companies to use the platform for head hunting purposes, finding candidates with the skills or experience required for a position.
The platform will also be used to sell demand-fulfillment search ads, or direct response ads – a type of advertising where the user has a specific need and is looking to fulfil it, for example searching a product on a search engine and carrying out a transaction by following an advertising link on the resultant SERP.
Interestingly however, Facebook won’t be targeting search queries, instead using bog standard Facebook targeting and retargeting which will appear at the bottom of the page.
The social network giant originally confirmed the new search engine back in January of this year, however it was only available to a limited number of beta users.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has always denied Graph Search would be a rival to Google however.
Explaining the differences between his firm’s latest creation and a typical search engine, he said: “Web search is designed to take any open-ended query and give you links that might have answers. Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and give you an answer, rather than links that might provide an answer.”
Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg reiterated Zuckerberg’s thoughts at a recent AllThingsD conference.
She said: “Graph Search isn’t Web search. We aren’t duplicating what Bing does and what Google does, but rather we are making things easier for people to find on Facebook.”
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