The function, which appears as a bar across the top of a Facebook user’s screen, lets users specifically search for content posted by their friends, find people with common interests, as well as content from around the web – via its partnership with Microsoft’s search engine Bing.
For instance, a user can type: “Movies my friends like,” or “Music liked by people who like the music that I like”, and be served results based on their Facebook profile, or social graph.
Graph Search has been in beta since January this year when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described it as Facebook’s “third pillar” of content discovery complementing its already existing News Feed and Timeline functions.
Although there are no advertising propositions around the function at present, Facebook claims Graph Search offers businesses another opportunity to target users other than trying to get into their News Feed.
Graph Search is also yet to offer the service to its mobile users but a post announcing the further roll out of the function also claimed it was working on improvements to the service “such as searching for posts, comments and mobile”.
The extended roll out comes as Facebook announced it was making changes to its News Feed algorithm to make “story bumping”, i.e. resurfacing content that a user may have missed earlier, easier for brands.
Although Facebook claims Graph Search is not intended to rival Google, it does use Microsoft’s Bing to serve users web content whenever a user enters a term it cannot answer, such as “Current weather in London”, and further bolsters Microsoft and Yahoo’s Bing Alliance.