Facebook is adding a dose of Google to its repertoire.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media giant says its personalized search function "Graph Search" will become available to all Facebook users in the U.S. who have the English version in the next few weeks, according to a statement released today. Your search box will be automatically updated, Facebook says.
A beta version of Graph Search was released in January. The internal search function mines photos and comments to find recommendations on what to eat, where to shop or what to buy based on what your friends like.
Facebook users individually determine the content that can be searched with their privacy settings. If you set a photo as viewable only to you, then it will not come up in a search. If you set a photo as viewable to your friends, then it will come up in searches that your friends conduct. Meanwhile, if you allow a photo to be viewable by everybody, then it will come up in all searches.
Reviews on the Facebook Graph Search have so far been mixed. Some social media experts say it holds promise for business owners because it will allow them to advertise next to search results. Others say the initial versions have a clunky user experience.
Facebook says over the past few months it has taken the feedback it received from tens of millions of people and made the search tool faster, improved the ability of the function to understand queries and made the interface easier to see and use. "This is just the beginning," says Facebook in its announcement.
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