Today Facebook introduced its new Graph Search for finding people and things on its network, but the feature isn’t available to everyone right away.
Facebook will start Graph Search in a limited beta, which users can sign up for at this website. The page offers a sample search of people who live in the users area using Facebook friends and likes to rank them. At the bottom of the page Facebook included a button for users to sign up to use Graph Search.
Graph Search is now “in a very limited beta program” for English speakers in the U.S. It’s not clear how many users Facebook will allow into the feature at first, or when it will come to all users. If the rollout is anything like the Timeline rollout in 2011 and 2012 the feature won’t come to every user that wants to try it for several weeks or even months.
With Graph Search users can find information such as movies their friends like, restaurants their friends (and other people) in a specific like and photos of their friends from a certain time.
As Facebook shows in its demo videos the function is great for finding people with similar interests for planning trips. Facebook also demoed the feature as a way to find dates by searching of single friends of friends in specific cities or with specific interests.
Facebook stresses that Graph Search will respect the privacy settings users currently have. The company recently revamped privacy filters on the desktop website to make them easier to access and easier to understand. Only information and photos that users let others view will appear in Facebook Graph Search.
Facebook only showed Graph Search on the desktop browser, but as the feature comes out of beta it seems likely that Facebook would include it in its mobile apps.