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Facebook enhances social search with 'Graph Search' engine

'We wanted to make search more social,' CEO Mark Zuckerberg says of the new tool

By Zach Miners, IDG News Service
January 15, 2013 03:50 PM ET

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But Facebook executives assured attendees that with Graph Search users can only see content that they could see before, and users can only search for content that has been shared with them. The company is also rolling out more user-friendly privacy controls to keep users' information hidden and make it easier to untag photos.

The company has also partnered with Microsoft's Bing social search engine to fill in some of the gaps where Graph Search falls short, such as for weather reports or, say, new music releases. But Facebook stressed that Graph Search is based on indexing Facebook data and is not a Web search.

"We're not saying, 'this is the Web here,'" Zuckerberg said. "Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and return to you the answer, not link to others places where you might get the answer," he said, referring to the pitfalls of a typical Web search.

The tech community has been abuzz since last year over rumors of a Facebook smartphone, but no plans for a phone or any other type of hardware were discussed during the press conference.

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