July 9th, 2013 05:43 AM
SAN FRANCISCO—Facebook on Monday began rolling out a tool for US English language users to mine the social network’s trove of experiences for anything from restaurant choices to photos of far-off places.
Facebook said that a “graph search” feature that it has tested since early this year is making a broader debut at its website and that a version tailored for smartphone and tablet applications is in the works.
“Everyone using US English should start seeing their search box automatically updated,” the California-based social network said in a blog post.
“This is just the beginning,” the post said. “We’re currently working on making it easier for people to search and discover topics, including posts and comments.”
Graph search is designed to take straightforward questions and find answers by tapping into users’ circles of friends as well as any public posts at the leading social network.
Typing “friends in San Francisco” in a graph search box atop a Facebook page will bring up members in the user’s circle who have made it known that they live in the City by the Bay.
But the feature was intended to be more sophisticated. The query, for example, can be enhanced to seek “Indian restaurants liked by friends in San Francisco who are from India.”
Such a prompt generates a results page showing Facebook friends who have indicated they are from India along with restaurants that they “liked” and the respective eateries’ pages at the social network.
Users can also perform searches based on categories, such as which films or music are liked by people of similar age groups or political leanings.