MENLO PARK, CA (KTVI) – The wait is over. Facebook issued a media invitation last week to a mystery “press event” and offered only “Come see what we’re building.”
Speculation centered around a couple of external product ideas, such as a search engine to rival Google or a new smart phone or tablet, despite strong denial they are working on phones.
Others wondered if the company would announce another change to the news feed – but that news has been out for a while.
A new ad network and strategy was also discussed as a possibility, along with the idea of charging for messaging someone a person is not friends with on Facebook. Both of those ideas would help drive revenue for the company.
The actual announcement was for a new search within the social networking site. It is called Graph Search and will allow users to find people with similar interests through a user’s likes, photos, and other Facebook content.
During their presentation, Facebook explained a user can look for other people who like a certain restaurant, vacation spot, or business, or who have tagged photos for a certain location. Privacy issues were brought up in live blogs during the presentation. Facebook addressed privacy issues by demonstrating privacy settings already available.
Graph Search will roll out in limited beta Tuesday after the presentation. The rollout is expected to be slow.
Facebook will plug in results from Microsoft’s Bing for anything Facebook can’t deliver with Graph.
Shares of Facebook went down about 2% after the announcement.
You can find out more about the new Graph Search here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch