Facebook’s 1 billion users will soon be able to search their friends’ favorite vacation spots or most-traveled running trails using a new tool unveiled by the company Tuesday.
Graph Search marks Facebook’s entry into the search market currently dominated by Google and could allow the social network to leverage the treasure trove of information it keeps on the “likes,” interests and preferences of its users with advertisers.
“Graph Search lets you tap into the value of that information,” said Kate O’Neill, a Facebook product marketing manager.
Facebook said that users will be able to look up such information as “friends who live in my city,” “photos I like” or “Indian restaurants liked by my friends in India” and get the results instantly. Microsoft, which holds a small stake in Facebook, will serve up answers from the Bing search engine when Facebook can’t.
“The social link gives you additional context,” said Andrew Tonner, an analyst with the Motley Fool. “You’re more likely to take some sort of action if someone you know has also had a favorable experience.”